5: Four Fields Overview


All movements advance in four stages:

  1. The vision
  2. Proclamation
  3. Making disciples
  4. Multiplication

Jesus’ entire ministry across all of Galilee advanced in these four distinct stages.

The local church he planted among the Samaritans in John 4 also advanced rapidly in these four stages.

The concept of the four fields (actually four stages of a single field but we call it the Four Fields) helps us understand what Jesus these four stages of growth and how he wanted us to interpret the story of the sower in Mark 4:26-29:

This is what the kingdom of God is like: A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain; first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.

There are four parts to this illustration:

  1. There is the empty ploughed field that the farmer decided to sow into.
  2. That field is then sown with seed.
  3. Then there is the growth phase.
  4. Finally there is a harvest and multiplication.


A large and detailed Four Fields online manual can be found here.

Here is a youtube video of the Four Fields concept The Four Fields

Unpacking the Four Fields

1. Ploughed field: God’s vision for souls

Vision and faith


Dying to self

Finding God’s heart

A belief in our future victory

Strategy: Who do I reach?

Listening to the Holy Spirit

2. Seeded Field: Spreading the Gospel

Intentionally sowing Gospel seeds

Acts of kindness, praying for needs

Loving the lost with a servant heart

Being bold

Be led by the Holy Spirit like Jesus was

Where to go, what to say

Looking for a person of peace

4. Harvest Field: Becoming Church

Gathering together in community

Obeying the 9 commands of Christ

Multiplying the faith in others

Raising up leaders

Sending out more sowers

Starting new churches

3. Growing Field: Discipling Believers

Salvation and discipling begins

Obedience based, not head knowledge

Immediate reproduction if possible

Growth into Jesus

Renewal of the mind

Understanding scripture

Being led by the Holy Spirit


 1. The Ploughed field: God’s vision for souls

Genesis 1: Gods vision is relationship

Genesis 12:1-3: Abraham’s blessing

Psalm 22:27: Universal worship

Isaiah 9:7: Universal government

Isaiah 11:9: Universal glory

Daniel 2:44-45: Universal victory

Daniel 7:13-14: Universal sovereignty

Malachi 1:11: Universal honour

Matthew 6:10: Your kingdom come

Matthew 13:32: The mustard seed

Matthew 28:18-20: Great commission

John 4:35: The harvest is ready!

Acts 1:8: To the ends of the earth

1 Corinthians 15:24: Victorious ending

Ephesians 1:18-21: Jesus has all authority

Revelation 7:9-10: Every nation

Revelation 14:6: Gospel to every nation

Revelation 21:24-26: Every nation

2. The Seeded Field: Spreading the Gospel

Ephesians 1:3-2:22: Defining the Gospel

Matthew 28:18-20: Great commission

Luke 9:1-3: Sending the 12

Luke 10:1-5: Sending 70, person of peace

John 4:4-42: Samaritan church plant

John 5:19, 30, 37: Hearing God’s voice

John 13:34: Loving people

Mark 16:17-18: A Gospel of power

John 14:12: “You will do greater works”

2 Cor 5:16-21: Ministry of reconciliation

Colossians 1:6: Bear everywhere

1 Timothy 2:4: Everyone saved!

1 Cor 9:19-23: All things to all men

1 Thess 4:11-12: Witness by example

Ephesians 2:4-10: Definition of salvation

John 14:15: to Love Jesus is to obey Jesus



4. The Gathering Field: Becoming Church

Matthew 18:20: “Where two or three”

Hebrews 10:25: Regular assembly

1 Corinthians 16:19: Can meet anywhere

Ephesians 4:11-16: Leadership gifts.

Luke 22:7-20: Communion

2 Corinthians 8:1-7, Mark 12:41-44: Giving

Matthew 28:19, Acts 8:26-39: Baptism

Matthew 28:18-19, John 4:4-42: Evangelism

John 15:18-19, Acts 5:27-42: Persevere

1 Timothy 3:1-13: Qualities of leaders

1 Corinthians 12:1-11: Spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 12:12-31: Church as a body

I Corinthians 13: Live by love

1 Corinthians 4:15: Need fathers not teachers

Galatians 6:1-2: Carrying others burdens



 3. The Growing Field: Discipling Believers

1 Thessalonians 2:7-9: Disciples need mums

2 Timothy 3:16: Importance of scripture

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6: Model and copy

Colossians 1:10-12: Fruit and knowledge

Colossians 3:17: Living for Jesus, not self

Philippians 3:12-15: Defining maturity

Galatians 5:16-26: Fruits of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:1-11: Spiritual gifts

2 Corinthians 3:17-18: Transformed to glory

2 Corinthians 10:4-5: Renewing the mind

Ephesians 6:12: Defeating Satan

Matthew 6:5-15: Patterns of prayer

Matthew 22:37-39: Love God, love others

Ephesians 3, 4, 5, 6: From old life to new life

John 14:15: to Love Jesus is to obey Jesus



The church leadership gifts are Apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, pastor (Ephesians 4:11)

1. Western traditional approach to growth

Western churches mostly use Teaching and Pastoral leaders.

This creates lots of depth and good care but little growth.

The emphasis is on doctrinal teaching, lifestyle and Bible school.

Pastoral care is strong because church members are often weak through lack of obedience.

Church planting often creates transfer growth from within the existing Christian community.

2. The Discipleship Model and the Four Fields

The DMM model creates much more space for the apostolic ministry.

Much more scope for the prophetic and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Much more scope for the evangelist.

Depth and width are combined because of obedience.

Converts immediately become doers not just hearers.

Scripture is the only textbook: “What does the Bible say about that?”

Church plants can be immediate and local.

There is no transfer growth. Growth is always from starting new groups with new believers.

Teaching and pastoral care take place in deep relationship, it’s not shallow.

Multiplication happens before the pastoral and the teaching phase. This is the opposite of the traditional model.

3. Another way of thinking about the Four Fields

Field One: Pregnancy

Apostle, prophet (pioneers)


Field Two: Birthing

Apostle, Evangelist (midwives)


Field Four: Maturity and Children

Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher (Multiplication)

Field Three: Growing

Teacher and Pastor (parents)



  1. Teach the Four Fields to at least 4 people so it sinks in.
  2. Start ploughing and sowing. Dig the weeds out of your own heart.
  3. Pray for a vision to reach out to your local area.
  4. Ask God to show you his heart for the lost around you.
  5. Begin to walk around your area asking for souls.
  6. Start dying to yourself and live for the Kingdom.