Thanks to Ted Esler for this great analogy.
Prospecting for Gold and Persons of Peace
I recently was in a place where there are a number of movements happening. A group of organizations are working in some of the same people groups and the results reminded me that CPM does not produce a guaranteed outcome and that, sometimes, the results don’t line up with hard work, experience or effort.
Let me explain with an analogy.
Finding gold is a tricky business. You have to know where to go but even then you aren’t guaranteed success. CPM is a lot like digging for gold.
You many have a claim and a mine. You have been working for it years but have seen little gold. You study and learn all of the right tricks and methods. You do your best to be "smart" about things. You know there is gold in "them thar hills" but you don’t know exactly where it is.
Then somebody shows up next to your claim and starts a whole new effort. They are newcomers, but you each have your own place to work and you aren’t really in competition. In the late hours of the night, after a hard days’ work in the mines, you teach this newcomer all you know. They start working their mine putting your training to work. Soon after, they hit a mother lode – a vein of gold that crosses over their claim but not through yours. You watch, glad that you helped, but a little envious that you didn’t "hit the vein" yourself.
Anybody can find that person of peace. Once they are identified the movement can start to grow through them. Training as many workers in CPM as possible helps to open up more "claims." Longevity on the mission field, a highly esteemed attributes in our circles, may not be the key to finding these POPs. Rather, God directs the process. We need to work smart and do our best but in the full knowledge that He is the Lord of the harvest and we are his workers.
This highlights even more the need to train others to open up as many "claims" as possible. It also humbles us. We may never be harvesters and we had better be good with that.
- Ted Esler