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Sep 08, 2011 | The Rev. Jeff Fisher

Commentary: What is Greenfield Evangelism?

Jesus teaches us: “Look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. (John 4:35)”


Last year, Bishop Doyle asked me to lead an exciting new venture, a “Greenfield Initiative,” by chairing a new Greenfield Commission. I have been leading this Greenfield Commission, a creative bunch that includes 8 clergy from all over our diocese. Yet our name - “greenfield” - brings about many questions as to the meaning of that word.


Evangelism in the greenfield means looking around you and seeing how the fields are ripe for harvesting. Greenfield evangelism does not mean knocking on unknown doors and passing out paper pamphlets about Jesus. Greenfield evangelism does not mean staying inside our churches and waiting for people to come to us, just because we have an attractive sign out front with our worship service times.


Greenfield evangelism means looking around at the places where you gather right now – and then seeing how the field is ripe for harvesting. Your greenfield might be a yoga class that you have attended for years. Your greenfield might be the group of guys that you go deer hunting with every fall. Your greenfield might be: a book club, the parents on your son’s football team, the college students on the floor of your dorm, the early risers with whom you power walk with every morning, the people who you meet for happy hour after work.


These are the greenfields that are ripe for the harvest. Then, in your greenfield, just open your mouth and share your story. And the harvest will come, in ways that we could never ask for or imagine.


Bishop Doyle is hosting a Conference on Evangelism at Camp Allen for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The conference will be Friday, November 11 – Saturday, November 12. The Rev. Jimmy Abbot and I will be there; please come and join us. You can register at If you come, I believe that you will learn to look around you, to find the greenfields in your life. You will learn how to share your story more effectively, so that the harvest of Jesus’ message of love will come, in ways that we could never ask for or imagine.


A video will be shown at the conference, highlighting the exciting challenge of the Greenfield Initiative. Our St. Alban’s Bible Study at Barnett’s Pub will be featured, an example of harvesting outside of the church buildings and into the ripe fields.


Where is your greenfield? Just look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.


- The Rev. Jeff Fisher is the rector of St. Alban's, Waco