The Wheel®
download The Wheel IllustrationNavigators have used the simple but effective illustration of The Wheel as a discipleship tool ever since its creation by Navigators founder Dawson Trotman. By helping Christians understand how they are called to live as disciples of Christ, The Wheel illustration has helped to illuminate and clarify the motion of the Christian life since the 1930’s.

Each part of this illustration represents a crucially important component of a vibrant Christian life—from the rim representing obedience to Christ, to the hub of Christ-centeredness, to each of the four spokes of witnessing, prayer, fellowship and the Word.

If you need a simple, effective way to visually explain the structure of a God-glorifying life to someone you’re discipling, sharing The Wheel diagram can be as simple as drawing it out on a napkin or notepad. Challenge them to think deeply about how to be an obedient follower of Christ.

The Volitional Dimension:
How You Relate to Yourself

The Hub: Christ the Center

Total surrender to Christ's authority and lordship is not always a decision made right at conversion, but is a necessary act of will. For the believer, the “old life” has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17), and Christ dwells through us instead (Galatians 2:20). God creates within us the desire to do what He wants us to do in order to express His lordship in our lives.

The Rim: Obedience to Christ

Some acts of obedience to God are internal, such as attitudes, habits, motives, values and day-to-day thoughts. But even these eventually surface outwardly in our relationships with other people. Keeping His commandments in obedience is our outward indication of inward health and love for Christ—our worship (John 14:21, Romans 12:1).

The Vertical Dimension:
How You Relate to God

The Word Spoke

The Word of God is His direct voice showing us not only who He is, but how to live and interact with everyone around us (2 Timothy 3:16). This means an earnest personal intake of God's Word is essential for health and growth (Joshua 1:8). As God speaks to us through the Scriptures, we can see His principles for life and ministry, learn how to obey Him and become acquainted with the Christ who is worthy of our steadfast allegiance.

The Prayer Spoke

Prayer is the natural response to God as we hear Him speak through His Word. It is sharing our heart with the One who longs for our companionship and who cares about our concerns. Prayer not only trains our hearts and minds to know the power and glory of God, but also turns His ear towards action in our lives and of those who we pray for (John 15:7, Philippians 4:6-7).

The Horizontal Dimension:
How You Relate to Others

The Fellowship Spoke

God has directed Christians to build each other up through inter-dependence and loving relationships with each other (Hebrews 10:24-25). Gathering together as the Body of Christ draws God close around us as we praise Him and encourage one another (Matthew 18:20).

The Witnessing Spoke

God has given believers the joy and responsibility of telling the world about the Good News of Christ’s work on earth (Matthew 4:19). In fact, sharing this spectacular news with others should be the natural overflow of a rich, vibrant life in Christ (Romans 1:16).