Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Funny question: Have you ever seen a wheat plant? Have you ever seen just one all alone in a field? No of course not. Typically thousands of seeds are planted at the same time. Similarly we are not meant to serve God in isolation. We are meant to be a family on mission. We are stronger when we are linked together with others. This is a benefit of biblical multiplication. Believers grow best when they are growing together.
Every wheat seed can grow a wheat plant. Each plant can produce up to 8 heads of wheat. Each head houses up to 50 grains of wheat. Unbelievably each wheat seed in one season can produce over 400 additional seeds. This is a simple law of multiplication we can see all over the agricultural world.
This is a principle that Jesus used to demonstrate the explosive nature of God's Kingdom among the nations of the world. We find a string of agricultural parables in Mark 4, that help illustrate this simple truth. In Mark 4:26-29, we find the parable of the growing seed.
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
This gives us a vision of how the kingdom expands. It happens as a sower goes to the empty field to sow seed. He scatters the seed and waits to see what will grow. As the seed grows, the sower tends to it. When the plants have matured he harvests the crop.
In the graphic to the right we see the diagram of the 4 Fields. We will label them as follows:
Top Left: Field 1/Empty Field -
Sower must GO
Top Right: Field 2/Sowing Field -
Sower proclaims GOSPEL
Bottom Right: Field 3/Growing Field -
Sower GROWS new disciples
Bottom Left: Field 4/Harvest Filed -
Sower GATHERS new disciples into church.
Center Circle: Training Sowers -
Sower GUIDES next generation of Sowers.
This gives us Jesus strategy for disciple making in a nutshell. Jesus goes to the lost and proclaims the gospel. He invites new disciples into close community and trains them to do the things he did. Then he models for them how to gather around this gospel. Trains them to lead others, and eventually sends them to the lost. Jesus GOs, GOSPELs, GROWs, GATHERs, and GUIDEs his disciples.
This is what multiplication looks like. The beautiful thing is that Jesus modeled this for his disciples. He taught them with his words, but he also showed this to them with his actions. He modeled for them this cycle over and over throughout his ministry with them. Look at Matt 9:35
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness"
There were over 200 villages in Galilee. Jesus visited them all. Amazingly he did not visit them alone. Who went with him? Yes it was his disciples. Jesus created a group that joined him in his mission, and later multiplied that mission through generational disciple making. Today we call this Jesus' family on mission. His spiritual family was so much more than his natural, physical, nuclear family. It was his extended family on mission.
Today we are challenged to do the same thing. We are challenged by Jesus words to Go, make disciples... teaching them to obey all that I (Jesus) have commanded you." We are challenged to create an extended family on mission that obeys Jesus and makes disciples who do the same!
Watch the video below to see the 4 Fields Overview. (7:38 min)