The 48 hour rule


Forget the Engels Scale, the most responsive person on the planet is someone who has just seen the life of a friend or family member changed by the gospel.

That changes everything. That’s why Jesus sent the woman at the woman at the well back into her village. That’s why he sent the demoniac back to his home. He turned new believers into missionaries. Immediately. Immediately means within 48 hours of a person coming to Christ. That’s the 48-hour rule.

How do we do that? There are three things a new believer needs to know.

1. Why

Take out a coin that has the head of a king or queen on it. Explain that now Jesus is now their sovereign, their king. In Mark 1:17 he commands his first disciples to follow him. He is the ruler of our lives. But there are two sides to every coin. The flip side of following Jesus is that he promises to teach us to fish for people. Fishing for people is the job of every disciple.

You can’t split a coin. You can’t separate following Jesus from making disciples.

2. Who

Then ask, “Who do you know who needs to know Jesus?” Help them draw their “oikos” or people map. Pray with the new believer for their family and friends and asks who they could share within the coming week.

3. How

Finally, the person needs to be able to share a simple gospel presentation wrapped in their story.

I’ve become a big fan of the Three Circles. It’s clear, simple and memorable. Watch how Jimmy Scroggins does it.

3Circles text

Jimmy Scoggins

Jimmy Scoggins

Whatever simple gospel presentation you use, make sure you practice it with them ten times before you send them back into their world.

When you meet next, get them to update their people map and start working through the 7Commands of Christ. Who knows, you may begin winning groups instead of just individuals and pretty soon you’ll be making disciples who plant churches.

UPDATE: Ray Vaughn does the 3Circles.