• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Ministry practice 2.4

What is that we actually do as cross cultural workers? The CPM Roadmap (like the WT Continuum) makes an attempt at ‘painting a picture’ to describe the ministry in which we are engaged. It is a good model, a good framework from which to work. Could we look at cross cultural ministry from another perspective or outlook in order to help better grasp the task or the journey that we are on?

The first step is to engage others in spiritual conversations. The second step is to encourage others to read God’s story contained in the Bible. The third step is to journey with people in their discovery of God. We live in a world that is hurtling forward at light speed. Every day, businesses as well as we as people are confronted with a multitude of decisions that must be made seemingly within microseconds. However, the shifting of the spiritual framework that directs our lives will not happen in a nanosecond, a microsecond or even a few minutes. That is why we must journey with people.

People are not ‘projects’ for our cross cultural work. People are relational beings, created in the image of God, but ostracized from Him by the disruption of sin. Our work is to call people back to relationship with the Creator God. Relationships are a building process; they are a journey that has its highs and lows.

This is why prayer is so critical to the journey. In prayer, we recognize that people are set on this journey, and ultimately only discover God because He works to open their hearts.

So what do we do? We pray boldly asking God to open people’s eyes to discover Him. We depend on the Spirit for the patience to journey with others well, not dragging them to God, but allowing them to discover God for themselves. We trust God’s Spirit to lead many to see the outcome of that journey to be the discovery of the God of grace and of His unfailing love.

2 Responses

  1. Prayer is crucial in the task of facilitating CPMs since apart from the Lord’s working we can do nothing worthwhile. Relationship building is also fundamental to the task, However, even with prayer and and building relationships in our ministry of reconciliation between a holy God and sinful man, philosophy of ministry is also of great importance since poor principles can often be CPM killers. (However, our almighty sovereign God often works in a mighty way to accomplish His purposes in spite of our faulty ministry practices for which I am extremely grateful.)

    I believe David Garrison is correct in his writings when he points out how sequentialism is deadly to facilitating a CPMs. Sequentialism refers to thought and practice that adheres to linear, step-by-step approach and processes. We all naturally think this way: –first engage in learning the language and culture of the people, then develop relationships with the people, then you share the gospel, then you teach and train and form a congregation, then you train leaders, then you start over again. The sequence is logical. CPM movement thinking is not waiting until each step is complete before the next begins but begins from the beginning by planting the seeds and modeling of steps 2 to the end from day one. When C-Ps are wedded to sequentialism, they lose their sense of urgency. (This is even more important today seeing the hostile contexts in which we must work to reach the masses of of the unreached and consequently the often short windows of opportunity available to us.)

    I am not familiar with what is called “the CPM roadmap” but I was surprised how many after hearing about “the WT continuum” understood it in sequential and linear terms, which I believe to be a CPM killer. The WT continuum has value if used along the lines proposed originally by by Ken Blanchard from whom this concept of “different strokes for different folks” was borrowed and applied to developing believers and church leaders as we facilitate CPMs.

    I would like to know the thoughts, observations, and experiences of other related to this.

    Ed Walker, Retired WT missionary

    • Good comments, Ed. The CPM Roadmap is a guideline for assessing CPM skills needed, and developing a plan to address those developmental needs. This series of blog posts was meant to describe the context of what we do, not a ‘step by step’ approach. Your encouragement to remember that these are elements in our work was very helpful. Yet, we should not lose sight of the fact that we need to work these elements in our lives as believers. This should not be a ‘linear approach’ to ministry, but we do need to be active in what the Lord has called us to be and do as believers.

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