The Wheel – Parts of a disciple

A diagram that unpacks the vital parts of a disciple’s life


What is a vibrant disciple’s life made of? Using a wheel as an illustration, the diagram highlights what is crucial and how these elements hold together. This discipleship tool is useful for anyone involved in disciple making.

Derek Leaf

Leader, Navigators UK

Currently Leads the work in the UK and travels into Latvia. Yet, key role is one of prayer and standing with God. Married to Eva, have 4 children who have mostly left home.

The Wheel Diagram – The Pieces of a Disciple’s Life


Navigators have used The Wheel Diagram as a discipleship tool ever since its creation by Navigators founder Dawson Trotman in the 1930s.

Each part of this diagram represents a crucially important part of the vibrant life of a disciple—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.


The Hub: Christ the Centre
Key Scriptures – John 15:5 and Luke 14:26

Christ is at the very centre of a disciple’s life. Their whole life is to be surrendered to him and all their power to live as a disciple comes from him. Just like the wheel’s movement is driven from the hub, so the life a disciple is driven from being in Christ.


The Rim: Obedience to Christ 
Key Scriptures – John 14:21

Jesus calls his disciples to obey him in all things. The rim is literally where the rubber hits the road and illustrates the disciple actively obeying Jesus in every aspect of their lives.

If a wheel just had a hub and a rim it would not be a stable structure and would break up pretty quickly. So, there are four spokes to give the wheel stability.

The two vertical spokes illustrate our relationship with God whilst the two horizontal spokes illustrate our relationships with other people.


The Prayer Spoke                                                   
Key Scriptures – John 15:7-8

Jesus talks of his disciples abiding in him and asking in prayer. This means that his disciples communicate with God and so prayer is an important part of a disciple’s life. This involves both speaking to and hearing from God.


The Word Spoke                                                     
Key Scriptures – John 8:31-32 and John 15:5-8

Jesus talks about his disciples having his words and obeying his teachings and so having a personal intake of God’s Word is essential for the healthy growth and functioning of a disciple.


The Fellowship Spoke                                         
Key Scriptures – John 13:34-35

Jesus calls his disciples to love each other in all manner of ways. Good, encouraging, supportive relationships with other followers of Jesus is part of being a disciple.


The Witnessing Spoke                                       
Key Scriptures – Matt 4:19 and Matt 28:18-20

We are not just called to relate to other believers though, as Jesus has given his followers the responsibility of telling the world about what he has done. We are to make other disciples of Jesus, so a disciple will be a witness to those who do not yet know him.

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Turner House, 54 The Avenue, Southampton, SO17 1XQ

023 8055 8800



Turner House,
54 The Avenue,
SO17 1XQ

023 8055 8800


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