Posted by: richard | 1 October, 2009

LifeShapes – The Triangle

Balancing the Relationships of Life

We move onto the triangle which is all about how to balance the different relationships in life.

Micah 6:8 explains what God requires: “to love mercy, act justly and walk humbly with your God“.  Three dimensions of relationships: up to God (walk humbly), in toward your community (love mercy), and out to the world (act justly).

In Luke 6 we see Jesus going up the mountain to pray to the Father, then calling his disciples to Him, then going down to minister to the crowds that had gathered.  So Jesus had the balanced pattern of relationships illustrated in the Triangle:

  • Up – time with the Father was the underpinning of all He did
  • In – he didn’t minister alone but devoted himself to deep relationships with fellow believers (the disciples)
  • Out – strengthened by the “up” and “in” aspects, he brought love and healing to the wider world

So the triangle reminds us to develop all three relationships in a balanced way:

  • Up – consciously inviting Jesus into our daily activities (not just a “quiet time” detached from the rest of the day, or a church service divorced from the rest of the week)
  • In – building meaningful relationships with fellow believers with whom we can share our spiritual journeys and support each other in love (Jesus said that by our love for one another we would be known as His).  Building community – that the world is in fact very hungry for!
  • Out – developing loving friendships with people in the wider world, serving the world as Jesus did.
The Triangle of Relationships

The Triangle of Relationships

Often we (as individuals or as groups/churches) can get out of balance, neglecting God, Christian community or service.  Either we are all Up & In (holy huddle), or Up & Out (lone ranger) or In & Out (busy in church and in serving, but forgetting to spend time with God).

Up – Out – In. That’s the triangle.  So simple it seems obvious.  But just because it’s obvious it doesn’t mean we’re not out of balance!

If you found this post helpful, I strongly suggest you purchase Building A Discipling Culture by Mike Breen (buy from Amazon here).  The book goes through Life Shapes in detail and explains how best to introduce them to a Christian community.

— Continue the discipleship and mission conversation ! —

Thanks for visiting! We have found Life Shapes really helpful in creating a culture of discipleship and mission as our home group has made the transition to an outward-focused missional community.  Why not follow our new adventures on (or via Twitter or Facebook)


  1. […] Bible Study and a bit of prayer.  Easy, simple.  Lots of UP, some IN… but not much OUT (see here if you don’t know what I’m on about with […]

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