The following post is adapted from Nathan Shanks Four Fields.
And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
From the above parable that we find in the book of Mark, a very effective church planting training material has been produced that has proven successful in many countries, especially in S. Asia. In this parable we discuss how there are five parts to Kingdom growth which occurs that result in the planting of healthy reproducing churches.
1. Entry Plan
- Field must be ready before seed is laid.
- Farmer has a plan and prepares the soil.
- We too must have a plan for entering our field where we will church plant.
- Farmer must know what he is planting.
- We too must have a plan, a Gospel plan, that results in a church.
- In the parable God causes the growth and the farmer does not know how.
- The farmer does have a role in water and fertilizing the field.
- We too must have a plan of Discipleship for the growing field.
- Both short-term and long-term discipleship plans.
- At the right time the harvest occurs.
- The farmer must have a plan for the harvest so that it does not spoil.
- We too must have a plan for the harvest God will bring, a Church formation plan.
- In farming the process continually repeats itself.
- The harvest provides two things:
- Multiplied supply of seed
- We too must have a leadership multiplication and development plan in place to ensure continued reproduction of healthy churches.
The five parts must be in place in order for growth to occur, but it is important to remember that it is God that works and allows the growth to occur, resulting in church.