Preparation for Taking the Training: Part One
The Journey Begins
Whether you are new to this ministry model or have been trained in former editions, we are excited about your decision to begin this journey with us. This version of the training is very different from any of the earlier editions. The older versions were based upon a series of full length DVDs (about 25 total) and a text books that you were required to work through. After having fulfilled this task you could declare, “It is finished!” As a bonus, you received a “Certificate of Completion” that stated that you had read the texts and watched all of the videos. It was then assumed that you were trained in TPM.
Today, we realize that reading a block of information and watching a series of videos does not necessarily mean that you are “trained.” You working your way through the information is not the goal here, but rather that you master it. This will require a major time investment and commitment.
One time through the training will reap about a 12-15% retention of the information. We believe that the other 85% is of equal value and worth your investment. However, this will require much time and effort. We hope that you are up for the challenge.
The videos that supplement the written information are for the most part, short (less than 10 minutes each). The entire training is divided into sections that interrelate to one another. These sections include; the PROCESS, PRINCIPLES, PURPOSE, PRACTICE and SUPPLEMENTALS. The earlier versions of the training was heavily weighted on the “How to Do It” aspect of the ministry (which is the PROCESS). This version is balanced, giving emphasis to all aspects of the greater scope of TPM.
Again, welcome and enjoy the journey!
How long will the training take?
A common question that people new to TPM sometimes ask is, “How many weeks should we plan for to do this new training?” The answer to this question depends on how you approach the training itself. If your goal is to merely learn the TPM Process (“how-to-do-it”) so that you and your team can help the “emotionally wounded” people in your camp, then you should be able to learn and do the TPM Process (what occurs in an actual TPM session) within a few weeks. Once you learn the process and questions it will merely require much practice.
However, if your objective is only to learn how to use the “tool” of TPM (the Process) and you not learn and understand the Principles and Purpose of TPM, you will be lacking much in your training. Also, if you fail to equip the person seeking ministry with all three aspects of TPM (Process, Principles, and Purpose) he will likely view TPM as a pain reducer or as pain management as opposed to a lifestyle. Once his emotional pain reaches a manageable level he will probably not return for additional ministry. If people don’t understand the Principles and Purpose of TPM, they will remain dependent upon you whenever their pain becomes more than they can tolerate and manage.
Learning the TPM Process is probably the easiest part of your training. The entire TPM Process is limited to and contained on one page that we call the “MAP.” There are only seven possible places on this map a person will ever be in any given session and there are only about a dozen questions that you will ever need to ask. As long as you know where the person (or yourself when self–administering the process) is located on the “MAP” during the session, you will know exactly what question to ask.
So then, if learning to do the TPM Process is your reason for taking this training, then doing this should not take you all that long. Just work through the PROCESS section of the training. However, the TPM Process is actually the least important of the three areas of study. If all you do is the process you will forfeit MUCH of the intended benefit of this ministry.
Most of us like having a starting point and a finish line when doing something like this training. However, the focus of this training is not on completing a task, but on becoming equipped for a life-long journey and becoming proficient in both understanding and application. Reading all the articles and watching all the videos in this training are tasks which can be completed, however, neither provide any guarantee of comprehension or efficacy in application. Our goal here is not to “complete” the training, but rather to master it and become as equipped as we possible.
Most people never read the same book more than once.
Why is it that we can pick up a new book read it through and recognize that what it had to offer was worth our learning, and yet not ever read it again? Most people rarely read the same book twice. Yet most of us will only retain about 12-18% of what we read one time and we will quickly forget most of what we retain if we do not make what we learn a part of our daily lives.
If you believe that what you read and watch in this training has value and worth your investment of time, you are encouraged to revisit each of the articles and videos many times, making what you learn an active part of your daily life. No one will “get it” by working through the training one time —or even ten times.
However, the person who travels the same road ten times will be much more equipped than the person who only walks the path once. Have you ever driven down a familiar road only to be surprised to see something that you had never seen before? This is also true for this training. If you only drive down this road you will miss 85% of what is available for you.
This training is not a task to complete.
You are STRONGLY encouraged to approach this training as a journey and not as a task to complete. View it as a journey of enrichment, development, equipping and becoming more and more effective in working with God as He refines your faith, renewing your mind and transforms your life. There is a starting point in this training, but no defined finish line.
We are deliberately redundant with the central concepts and ideas presenting them over and over from many different angles. We will offer a suggested study path to follow, but we do not assume or expect that you will stay on course. We want you to travel all over this training re-visiting every area over and again. Mastery of the training is the goal not just getting through it.
Mastering the Bible
We might compare this training with studying the Bible. None of us would say we have “mastered” the Bible. Who can know all that is there? When do we get our “certificate of completion” for our Bible training? If we read it cover to cover, have we completed it? Do we really know it? Of course this training is not on the same level as the Scriptures, but the same learning principles apply. Reading the Bible one time through will never do, nor will going through this training once (or even five times) make you “trained”, but you will become more equipped each time through.
So then, how many times will we need to go through the material before we can honestly say we have mastered it? The answer to this question is obvious; as many times as it takes to master it. This training will not be something that you will start and finish, like the refining and renewing process God is doing in each of us. It will be a lifelong journey of growing and learning.
Set your sights on becoming well equipped and getting better, but not on “checking off” the “COMPLETED” box. After you have applied TPM for a time, go back and reread the articles and watch the videos again. I believe you will be surprised at how much you missed and how much more you will gain once you have some experience behind you. Keep building and growing.
If the thought of spending so much time working through the training stresses you or seems daunting, then you are approaching it from the wrong perspective. There is no hurry or time limit for this journey. You are not running a race, but are taking a trip. Enjoy the ride and stop and enjoy each point of interest. If you are traveling with a group, you can stay in pace with them if you choose or you can run ahead at your own pace. No one will be left behind since we can return to the same place as a group and discuss and process particular points together.
Daily Revisions Being Made
We are continually revising and editing this training that is posted online on the internet. We are listening to the comments and questions that the TPM community is proposing. When some area of the training raises questions, we will quickly revise, clarify and bring restructure. This training is a community effort that is always changing and improving.
It is our hope that those who take this training will become highly equipped for the journey that is set before them in faith refinement, mind renewal, and transformation. With this training, completion is considered becoming the very best tool that you can be, in the hand of God, as He goes about His refining and renewing work not only in those that He brings across your path, but more importantly what He is doing in you personally.
Learning vs -Completion
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No One is EVER Certified in TPM
So unlike training courses you have taken in the past, you will never need to say, “I am certified, verified,” or “I have completed my training in TPM.” Hopefully you will be able to say, “I am becoming more and more equipped for the task. I am growing in my knowledge and understanding of the principles and purpose. I am walking in more and more freedom as I apply the process to my daily walk. I am more free today than I was yesterday. I am looking forward to the freedom that I will soon receive.” Your training is a lifelong journey that will evolve into a lifestyle and daily exercise of spiritual discipline.
Now that the training is online and therefore, always current, there is no end in sight, but there is more than enough posted to keep you going for a long time. We are learning as we go and we keep recognizing where particular issues need correction and new insight needs to be added. Without question, what we have today is FAR superior to what came before. Your participation in making comments and asking questions is very helpful as we continue to make improvements. We cannot wait to see what the “2025” version is going to look like.
So we will continue to make revisions, augmentations, and deletions, hopefully making a good thing even better. It is safe to say that this training is in progress and will continue to be so for a long time to come. Nevertheless, there is much available now. The PROCESS (what we do in a ministry session) is clearly explained with examples, practice sessions and role plays. Initially the training may seem a little disjointed and disorganized —because it is. Many of the building materials are setting out in the open lot yet to be fully assimilated into the final structure. However, this will smooth out as we continue to build and add to what is there and as you start connecting the dots and assimilate the overall understanding of TPM.
In the next part of this article we will look at a suggested study path you and your group can follow. We will offer ideas and suggestions as to how you might order and format your training. However, we are leaving much latitude in how you approach this training and are not setting any boundaries as to what path you may choose to follow. Our desire is that you learn the principles and purpose of TPM well and become experts in the application of the process. As we have stated, there is no completion or finish line. Until you can say that we have fully mastered the information and are highly proficient in application, there will exist the need to continue in your pursuit toward excellence.