Wednesday, August 30


Insights from a CPM practioner by Curtis Sergeant has been a helpful document for me personally. One of Curtis' ideas that I keep going back to is his IYKDWYBDYKGWYBG idea.

Wondering what the letters represent?

If You Keep Doing What You’ve Been Doing,
You’ll Keep Getting What You’ve Been Getting.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results. Also, if you just do the same thing you have been doing but do more of it, you will probably get the same thing you have been getting, just more of it. So, if you are dissatisfied with the current results, then you need to consider altering your approach or changing the methodology that is currently being used. Constant ruthless evaluation is an important habit if you are seeking maximum effectiveness. Never be satisfied with the status quo. Always seek to improve...

I have found this advise to be so true. We get stuck in our ruts and just keep ploughing away hoping somehow that if we just do more of it and work harder at it we will somehow get the desired results. Even when something is obviously not working, we have the tendency to not change what we are doing.

For us nothing seems to work for very long. It seems we are always in a stage of transistion. What worked three months ago no longer is getting the job done. The "perfect materials" were perfect for about two weeks, now they are shot full of holes. Our "Superstars" have moved on to something else and we are back to square one with finding God-called church planters.

It amazes me how desperate I can get for stability and order. We want a plan, a program, a tried and proved formula that we can put into operation and sit back and watch the results pour in. Yet ministry (the world for that matter!) doesn't seem to operate that way. I suspect a lot of our personal frustration with CPM is due to the fact that it is not a formula or step-by-step plan. The IYKDWYBDYKGWYBG idea is encouraging to me in that it is a constant reminder that WHAT we do and HOW we do it matters. We need to constantly evaluate and measure what is working and make the needed changes.


mr. t said...

Thanks Guy. You are right, there is no step by step plan. God is too awesome and grand for us to formulate His ways. We are invited to follow Him and be part of HIS plan.

I am learning that the HOW is just as important as the WHAT. I think you have stated before that we are too content oriented. We need to look closely at our process for making disciples, the HOW is important.

But the WHO is most important. Hang in there, God has great things planned for you and your people group.

Darrell said...

That saying is one that has served me well in my life. I learned it as the definition to insanity,” If you keep doing the same thing expecting a different result". I tell people all the time, "NOTHING changes until something changes!"

However I have never had to change as much as you are. How do you do it? How do you know what to change, and how to change it? What triggers the thought that it is time to change? How long do you give a change until you know it was a bad idea?

I agree Mr. T, the How as important as the What. I believe the How IS inseparable from the What. The manner in which a truth is dispensed IS part of the truth dispensed. Methods are truth telling just as much as the truth.

abrasseau said...

I don't always comment but I enjoy reading your posts.

As far as the Bible study, I will be using a book from a class I had in college called Christian Life and Evangelism as a basic outline. A friend sent me some materials from Herb Hodges on discipleship. I hoping also that they will become leaders for the English church. Most of them at least speak a little English.

Anonymous said...


Without realizing it, I think you contradicted yourself. If this often repeated adage were always true, then the times your methods were working, they would keep on working.

For me, the important thing is to do what you are doing because you are led of God to do so at that moment. Period. The results are up to Him.

As a alternative viewpoint to your adage, I like the story of the man who God told to push the big rock. Day after day he pushed and it didn't move. Finally he was getting discouraged because God had told him to push the rock and it wasn't moving (Somebody probably told him he was in danger of insanity because he kept doing the same thing expecting different results.) Then God said, "Look at what you have become because of your obedience. Your arms, back and legs are strong and well-developed. Now you are ready for some other tasks I have been preparing you for."

Bottom line: I don't like the "definition of insanity" adage because it only takes into account the human perspective.

Ken Sorrell said...


I concerned that if I or others responding to your comment offend you in some way, your anonymity prevents us from following a biblical model of reconciliation. Matthew 5:23-24-- In any case, I hope you will seriously consider the possibility that you may have missed the intent of this post. I cannot and will not attempt to speak for Guy, but I can share with you from my perspective.

First, more times than not, most missionaries will find themselves implementing strategies and plans hoping to see fruit. When we don't, instead of stepping back and evaluating what we are doing, our first response is to work harder and faster, expecting to see something different take place. Provebs 12:15; 15:22-- It is also true that there are many practices that when we do them we know that they will work and they most always do. Fro example, we know that when we do a Gospel saturation project in a neigborhood we will ALWAYS find people of peace. I believe it unfair to say that if the "If you keep doing what you..." is not 100% then it is not valid is in and of intself not a valid point.

Second, I would agree that we should be following in the steps of our Lord and His leadership. If he tells you to do something, not to do it is disobedience. No one would argue with you on this point. However, God gets blamed for "telling people to do things" that He never told them to do. If a missionary tells is supervisor that he is not going to church anymore because God told him to stop going, would you say that he has a right to stop attending church? I feel we have gotten to free with the "God told me to" reason for doing things. Scripture says that we are to be judged by our fruit. The true test of obedience is fruit.

Third, your story or adage breaks down at several points that concern me if I were going to use this as a parable or analogy.

1. It is not based upon reality. It does not make sense. It may sound good, but it does not provide the hearer with enough information or life connection for a truth to be explained. If pushing on the rock is allegorical, then more explaination needs to accompany this story. God does not tell people in real life to go push on a rock to build up their muscles. He may, however, put them in a place where they see little results to their efforts in order to prepare them for a greater work. My point is all of this needs to be stated.

2. If you are going to interject your own commentary in the story, at least appear to be unbiased. If someone did approach this man and claim that he was in danger of insanity, the man should be replying, "I am doing what God called me to do." Then you at least have a point of reference as to why this man is pushing on a rock. Otherwise, how does anyone other than this man know he is doing what God told him to do?

I reallly do not mean to sound critical of you especially since I don't even know who you are, your background, your current place of service in God's Kingdom. I guess I was just taken back by what appeared to be a very strong reaction to a post that for myself only states the obvious and what we have seen on the mission field for many, many years.

Lastly, I like the insanity definition because it "does" only take into account the human perspective. Do you want a insanity defintion that takes human failings and God into account? If I am obeying God, then I am not insane, rather I am obedient no matter what others might think or say. But if I am doing something that in reality God did not tell me to do, then I may indeed be bordering on insanity.

Bottom line: We do not live or serve God in isolation from others. What God tells me to do will always be compatible with His Word and what He is telling others to do. Conflict arises when we do not hear clearly or when we do not obey His desire. Matthew 5:16

George Klineberg said...

Rendir cuentas...

Accountability is one of the things that is missing from missions work.

A question that we may want to discuss here is how to begin accountability in locations where there has never been any accountability.

GuyMuse said...

Mr. T -- You are exactly right, the WHO is first. The WHAT and HOW come next.

darrell -- You ask, "how do you know when to change?" One clue is when what we are doing becomes a "program" and what we teach/train becomes in a sense institutionalized (one size fits all.) Usually though the biggest red flag is that there is no fruit coming forth. When something is working, there is fruit. When it is not, there is not fruit.

abrasseau -- hope your new Bible study goes well. One thing we have learned from Bible study is that whatever is studied must "make disciples" of people, not just give them information. After every five lessons we do a "Stop" and make sure everyone is obeying and doing what it is they have studied before continuing on with the next set of lessons.

anonymous and Ken -- I appreciate both of your comments. I am not claiming to have all the answers. Quite the contrary, I have a lot more questions about all these things than I have concrete answers for. I too have read a lot of things in books, articles and elsewhere, but out in the real world I have found that there is a lot of "trial and error" that goes on. We live and learn. My experience is that things seem to be always in motion, very little is solid ground. We have to move/adapt with the situations rather than insist that "our ways" are the one and only way of doing things. Anon. come join us on the field and help us figure these things out!

george -- Sounds like you have your next blog post with your question about how to begin accountability where there has never been any! I look forward to reading your thoughts on the matter!

Darrell said...

There are things that God has told us to do like:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”

Now I am either obeying this command or I am not. If I am not, WHY? Am I trying? Am I trying, but what I am doing not working? One thing I know that if I am not obeying God I need to change.

I have 9 children, I tell them to clean their room. If I come and their room is not clean, but they tell me they have been trying to clean it for the last hour, I will tell them they need to try something different because they still have not obeyed me.

In my opinion this is no where more evident then in America. This is what Barna wrote:

“although Protestant and Catholic churches [in the USA] have raised - and spent – close to one trillion dollars on domestic ministry during the past two decades, there has been no measurable increase in one of the expressed purposes of the church: to lead people to Christ and have them commit their lives to Him.” Barna

In my opinion this is insane, and it is disobedient, and it needs to change!

abrasseau said...

by the was, if you have some beginners/ others Bible study material (already in Spanish) you can lend or recommend, please pass it own. any and all tips you can give will be appreaciated. this group in particular are not new Christians.

GuyMuse said...


Check out for all kinds of Spanish materials. Specifically for discipleship click on the drop menu for "Discipleship".

Our own discipleship material can be downloaded at

Darrell said...

Guy your answer may make sense to you in your context, but as a beginner to this it scares the snot out of me. You wrote:

“One clue is when what we are doing becomes a "program" and what we teach/train becomes in a sense institutionalized (one size fits all.)”

Hu? What did you say? I understand program and institutionalized, but I am trying to imagine you training 20 to 30 people at any one time. How can you have 20 to 30 different training methods going on at the same time and changing them as you go? How does one become so equipped to be able to do that?

I understand:

“Usually though the biggest red flag is that there is no fruit coming forth. When something is working, there is fruit. When it is not, there is not fruit.”

How long do you wait to see the fruit before you change things? What parameters guide you as to what to change?

GuyMuse said...


My reference point in saying what I was saying is the training process. When we begin to just follow the program and expect everyone to fall into place and accept what is dished out, we fall into the danger of becoming "institutionalized."

We don't have 20-30 different training methods. The one we use is constantly being refined, updated, modified, adapted to fit the changing situation we find ourselves in when training each group of individuals.

How long do you wait before beginning to change things? We tend to adapt on the spot. What matters is that they are "getting it" not that we fulfill our obligation to train.

Hope some of this makes sense! We too struggle much with these things and certainly are not any kind of experts that have all the answers. We too are learning as we travel the road.