Knowing where you are on the Map
Administering a TPM session might be compared to going on a journey across a small tropical island. The trip however, is not your own personal journey, but rather you are accompanying another person on his or hers. You do possess a map of the island which points out the desired destination, but there is no guarantee that your sojourner will follow it. Even though you may see a clear and direct route to where you believe he or she needs to go, you cannot dictate or even suggest this course to them.
However, if you know where you are on the map you can help the person move in the right direction by asking pertinent questions at the proper time. You will be able to determine where you are on the map because of what your sojourner tells you. When you know where you are on the map you will know exactly what questions to ask. You are not the leader of this expedition, but rather a follower, but your participation can be helpful all along the way.
Limited Possible Locations
Since this journey is confined to a small island, there are only a few possible places that you could ever be. Actually there are only seven possible areas in which you can travel. There are the areas of EMOTION, MEMORY, BELIEF, TRUTH, TRANSFORMATION, SOLUTIONS and ANGER. Even when you have no idea where you are on the island you can be certain that your sojourner will always be in one of these seven areas. Again, what he tells you will help you to know where he is on the map.
You overall conversation with your sojourner will be minimal along the way. Other than the thirteen or so basic questions, there is very little conversation needed. However, if you ask the wrong questions at the wrong time you yourself can hinder the sojourners progress and get him way off course. Nevertheless, even when he is off course he will be in one of the seven areas. It is important to know where you are on the map before asking your questions.
Therefore, your role is relatively easy as you just watch and listen and ask appropriate questions. For the most part, your sojourner will provide you a clear description as to where he or she is –even when it seems otherwise. But you must be attentive and observant so you can rightly understand what he or she is communicating to you. If for any reason you cannot figure out where you are along the way, you can always ask your sojourner the “LOST” question, “What is going on?” The answer they give you will orientate you to your location on the map. However, if you find that you are having to ask the sojourner this question often, you may need to find someone who is more experienced with the island to accompany you.
Moving Toward a Jesus Encounter
Your sojourner is on a quest to find truth. It is not your role to give him yours. Your sojourner is carrying a very heavy backpack that contains lie-based belief that he needs to exchange for truth. However, you do not have the truth that he needs. He must encounter Jesus in order to make this exchange. You can be helpful by asking good questions. Your specific questions, when asked at the appropriate moment, can help him to take the next step toward his needed encounter with the Lord. When he is in the right location, he will be able to easily exchange his lie-based belief for the Lord’s truth.
It is never helpful for you to try to speak for Jesus, tell the sojourner what you think he needs to know, or correct his faulty thinking. The truth that the Lord has for this person, you cannot supply. Jesus has a special and personalized truth tailored just for the sojourner and you do not know what it is. Only the Spirit can speak to the heart. We can speak truth to each other mind-to-mind, but only the Spirit can persuade us of the truth within our hearts.
Equipping for the Journey
It is important that you become very familiar with the questions to ask and how to read the map. You must also become skilled in “reading” your sojourner. He is always communicating something letting you know where you are on the map. Even when he says that he is lost, cannot see, feel or becomes overwhelmed with despair, all of these confessions describe a place on the map. Practice, experience and good mentoring will help you become more proficient in doing this.
It is very important that the sojourner becomes well equipped for the journey. The goal is that he will someday make this journey all on his own. You can show him the “ropes” before, during and after the trip. Teach him all about the map, why we are on the journey, and how he can cooperate with what the Lord is doing in the midst of it. You are equipping him with a life-skill he will use daily on his journey for truth.
Mentoring your mentee is the primary task set before you. (READ THIS SENTENCE AGAIN) Did you hear that? It is always good that he or she encounter the presence of Christ and find some measure of truth, but more important is that he or she become equipped for their life journey. Equip your mentee with the principles and purpose of TPM and then equip him or her with the skill of applying the process.
Each of us will travel across this “island,” over and again, throughout the course of our lives. Our backpacks are full of unnecessary baggage, but the Lord has an abundance of truths to exchange for all the lies we carry.