I want to introduce you to a diagram called four fields. This is taught by a lot of people and I find that it is a helpful tool, but normally I don’t introduce it to people very early in the training process or the coaching process.
The reason for that is that it starts to deal more with strategy issues, and I find that for most people, strategy issues can be a distraction. For most people, they need to master the tactics, the grassroots approaches, before they start addressing the big-picture approaches, and just in terms of being fruitful implementers of what they learn, for most people, that’s the case. I want to mention it because a lot of people put this in first level training. So I wanted you to at least be aware of that.
The four fields refer first to the empty field, so that deals with issues related to people groups or places where the gospel has not penetrated. The second field is the seeded field, that’s aspects related to evangelism. The third field is the growing field, so that’s aspects related to maturing people, and then the fourth field is the harvesting field where or the gathering field, so that deals with things related to church formation. Then in the center, there’s an aspect of multiplication or reproduction and that actually affects all the fields. We’re constantly looking for how can we multiply people or places where the gospel is newly being made available, multiplied evangelism, the disciple making, the gathering, or the harvesting, we’re wanting to multiply all of these.
We just talked about how important it is to not think in a linear sequential fashion, that’s another reason why I like to delay the introduction of this because it can lead people to think in a linear sequential fashion. The fact of the matter is, we don’t want these 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.
This tool, I find it to be helpful for planning, for reporting, for accountability, for coaching, and when I train people how to use it, we 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, so that’s the four fields.