The Four Fields Diagram

The Four Fields Diagram is a training tool used to reflect the status of Gospel efforts and the Kingdom activity around them.

Four Fields

Here we’ll explain what the Four Fields Diagram is and how you can use this Disciple Making Movement Tool in Kingdom expansion efforts.

The Four Fields Diagram
The Four Fields Diagram

What are the Four Fields?

In summary, the four fields refer to different stages in the disciple making progress.

  1. The Empty Field
    This first field deals with issues related to people groups or places where the gospel has not penetrated.
  2. The Seeded Field
    The second field deals with aspects related to evangelism.
  3. The Growing Field
    The third field deals with aspects related to maturing people.
  4. The Harvesting Field or Gathering Field
    The fourth field deals with things related to church formation.

What is the Center Part of the Four Fields Diagram?

The center of the Four Fields Diagram is an aspect of disciple multiplication or reproduction and it affects all of the fields.

  1. The Center Part of the Empty Field
    We’re constantly looking for ways to multiply the amount of new people that hear the Gospel for the first time. We also seek to reach new places where the gospel is being made available.
  2. The Center Part of the Seeded Field
    We also strive to find ways to multiply evangelism.
  3. The Center Part of the Growing Field
    Exponential growth in the disciple making process is also very important.
  4. The Center Part of the Harvesting or Gathering Field
    We’re also looking for new ways to multiply the gathering, or the harvesting.

In short, we say that the center of the diagram affects all four fields because every area can be positively affected with multiplication.

Is the Four Fields Tool Important?

The Four Fields Diagram is taught by a lot of people. I find that it’s a helpful tool, but I don’t normally introduce it too early in the training or coaching process. This is because it deals more with strategy issues.

For most people, a disciple making or church planting strategy can be a distraction. Instead of dealing with strategy, we need to master the basic tactics first.

After that, we can address the big-picture approaches of church planting.

I want to mention this because a lot of people put the four fields diagram in the first level training. Consequently, this causes people that want to be fruitful implementers of what they learn to focus on it first.

The Four Fields Diagram Isn’t Sequential

It’s important to not think in a linear sequential fashion. I also like to delay the introduction of this tool because it can lead people to think in a linear sequential fashion.

We don’t want each field necessarily taking place in order. We just want to see that all of these aspects are being addressed, so that’s something to be aware of.

What is the Four Fields Diagram Useful For?

To sum up, I find the Four Fields Tool to be helpful for planning, reporting, accountability, and coaching.

When I train people how to use it, we will use it and apply it in all of those different aspects of the work.

So it’s a helpful rubric, but one that I find it can be distracting before people get the basics down.

Further reading