The Gospel, a Napkin, and Four Circles

The Gospel, a Napkin, and Four Circles

Examine a new way of expressing the gospel especially designed to explain God’s “Big Story” with diagrams simple enough to be drawn on a napkin at a coffee shop.


Today's young people do not look at the world as their parents did, so the way we express the gospel to them needs to be rethought. But how do we express the gospel in a new way without losing the heart of the gospel—that Jesus Christ's death and resurrection saves those who trust him from the death and judgment that their sins surely bring?

James Choung, an experienced campus ministry worker with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in San Diego, has shaped a gospel presentation that can be sketched on a napkin, using four circles that explain the essence of the gospel. What is different from earlier napkin tools is where it begins—with God's good creation—and where it ends—Christians building the kingdom of God here on Earth. Use this study and the clever drawings to share a better understanding of the gospel message.

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1-3; Matthew 6:12; John 3:16-18; Acts 17:22-28; Romans 5:1-2; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:8-9, 11-22; Colossians 1:15-20; 3:1-17; 1 John 3:11-15


• Identify the Current Issue

• Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: People ache for a better world.

Teaching point two: We were designed for good.

Teaching point three: We were damaged by evil.

Teaching point four: We can be restored for better.

Teaching point five: We were sent together to heal.

• Apply Your Findings

• Recommended Resources


• "From Four Laws to Four Circles," interview by Andy Crouch with James Choung

You may also purchase this study as a part of our six-session course Is Our Gospel Too Small?.

Total number of pages

  • Acrobat PDF Document
  • SMG-CVP012-D