4-Fields training… the roadmap I did not know I needed. I never thought I would be in this situation. All my training and my upbringing had encouraged me to tell people the Good News about Jesus. I was now a missionary in New York City and I envisioned telling people the gospel at every opportunity.
What I did not expect is that they would accept the gospel and I would have no idea what to do with them. I know, I know. Obviously, I wanted them to accept Jesus. But I focused so much on getting them to that point, I never thought about what to do next! So when the woman in front of me said she wanted to follow Jesus, my thoughts were not “Praise God” or even “Yippee!” No, my only thought was, “Now what?”
And this is where the 4-Fields training comes in as my knight in shining armor.
The path to follow
The 4-Fields training plan is a simple diagram-based method to help you train new believers others to share their faith. For those who are not “fly by the seat of your pants” kinds of people, this step by step visual game plan is exactly what they need.
Field 1: Go
This is your entry plan. How are you going to find people of peace? Who are you planning on reaching? This field is based on Mark 1:17:
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’”
Once you know who you are going to and how you will find people God is already preparing, you can move on to Field 2!
Field 2: Gospel
Aftere you decide where you want to sow your gospel seeds, you have to think about how you want to plant those seeds. Which methods of evangelism are you going to use? Are you going to share your testimony? Stories from the Bible? Share the 3-circles? So many possibilities! The best thing to see a church-planting movement happen is to focus on reproducibility. This field is based on Luke 10:7-9:
“And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”
This field is easy for many to get stuck in. They tell people the gospel and see them accept it, but then what? Thankfully, this is the 4-Fields training method — not the 2 Fields. So let us continue.
Field 3: Grow
This field is about making disciples and growing the sown seeds based on 2 Timothy 2:2:
“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
Here, you train those you are discipling to follow the commands of Jesus, learn the Bible and share it with their friends and family. Discovery Bible Studies are a great way to engage people in discipleship at this point, which leads us to our 4th field…
Field 4: Gather
Once grain matures, we gather it together in bundles — or in this case churches! Disciples are not meant to go it alone for a church-planting movement to happen. Field 4 is based on Acts 2:32-47 which tells us what a healthy church could look like. As disciples go and tell people about Jesus, many new believers will pop up. They should be gathered into small reproducible churches. Again for church-planting movements to happen, there must be rapid reproducible growth. These small groups of people can then go back into Field 1 and start the process anew!
4 Fields training — A final note
In most 4-Fields diagrams there is also a middle circle which is about leadership based on Titus 1:5-9 which tells us about the marks of a good leader. In all of church-planting movement work and evangelism, we are looking out for potential leaders and guiding them through the process. Not everyone is a leader, but it is good to invest in several people for leadership, never knowing what God has in store for them.
Please also note there are many different names or terms people use for each of the 4-Fields, but the general idea of what each field represents remains the same. For more information see www.4fields.net.
All in all, the 4-Fields training is not the only method, but it is a method that I find very user-friendly and helps us to have a game plan for when we arrive at our mission field and think, “Now what?”