A friend passed on this simple tool to me about 30 years ago. I rediscovered it’s usefulness in the last decade and have been using it to train others as well as in my own disciple-making efforts. Here’s what it looks like:
[Size of the Card is 5.5″ x 4″]
The objective is to move people from left to right, prayerfully, intentionally and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit (Left and right are simply directional markers. They have NOTHING to do with anyone’s perspective on politics.)
First, notice that the card is divided between those who are not committed to Christ on the left and those who are committed to Christ on the right. Looking at the left side, you will notice that there is another division between those with whom you have personal rapport and those with whom you have program rapport.
“Personal Rapport” = People with whom you have a personal relationship and who know that you love Jesus.
“Program Rapport” = People who have responded to some invitation of yours where some gospel content or experience occurred. It may have been anything from a backyard BBQ to attending a worship service with you. It might have been going to a ballgame with other brothers and sisters in Christ, or a Bible study, or a men’s night out for your Home Owners Association, or a __________ (be creative).
Eventually, sometimes in a month, sometimes in a decade, sometimes on a death bed, your friends begin to believe,
- they repent of sin;
- they believe the gospel;
- they get baptized,
- they begin to follow the risen Savior.
- They begin to live passionately for and like Jesus.
They are now on the right side of the card. But, you will notice that the card is divided into two categories and three columns on the right side. The categories are “Needing Care” and “Willing to Care.” But the “Needing Care” category is divided into two more columns, “Unfolded” and “Folded.”
“Unfolded” = these men and women are believers in Christ but the primary influencers in their lives are still non-Christians, superstitions, unbiblical philosophies and old habit patterns or traditions. This is a period in their life where they are most vulnerable but also perhaps most effective because of all the non-Christians that they know.
“Folded” = These men and women now are folded into the body of Christ in such a way that other Christians, the Bible and a biblical world and life view are more influential in their lives than their previous associations and habits. They still need care but there is clear evidence that they have passed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
The final column is the “Willing to Care” column. We all, always, need care, but as we grow in Christ, we begin to see the need to care for others. We begin to be more and more willing to sacrifice for the good of others. If not, there is something wrong with our discipleship and our progress in grace.
This is how I focus my efforts in praying for and making disciples out of the relationships that God privileges me to have.
Use it to make your interactions and prayer for people in your life more productive for the kingdom of God.