Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Deputation Thoughts

The following are just a couple of thoughts that helped me when we were on deputation from 2009-2011. There are varying views on how to approach deputation, and there are good men who hold to all of these views. I certainly don't claim that my view is in any way superior to anyone else's; these are just some approaches that proved to be successful for our family.

1. It is not necessarily a bad thing to be in one church for the a.m. and p.m. services. I found that it gave me a better opportunity to know the people and spend time with the pastor. I enjoyed the Sundays when the pastor required me to be there for the whole day. Usually, I would teach Sunday school in the morning, and preach and present in the evening. Also, most of the time in these situations the pastor would take us out for lunch, and we would get more time to get to know him. I really enjoyed these types of meetings, because if this church is going to be a partner with us in ministry for decades to come, I would like to spend at least a little quality time with the pastor and the people. Sometimes when a missionary is only involved in one service, it seems like a "roll in, roll out" situation with no real connection. Not always, but sometimes. You just have to feel the situation out. There are times that it is obvious that the pastor only wants you in for one service. In those situations, you don't want to push yourself on him to stay for an additional service.

I would say that our meetings were broken down into three categories:

  • Regular meetings for only one service, either Sunday morning, Sunday evening, or Wednesday evening- about 38 percent of these churches partnered with us for financial support.
  • Regular meetings for both morning and evening services on a Sunday- about 50 percent of these churches partnered with us for financial support.
  • Missions conferences- about 81 percent of these churches partnered with us for financial support.

2. My preference was to stay in a missions conference from the first service until the final service, without missing a day in between, even if I was not scheduled to do anything. Why? First, it gave us an opportunity to really get to know the pastor and the people. I made good friendships all over the country with people that we met at missions conferences. I never felt that I was wasting my time by staying for the entire missions conference. I loved walking away from a church with the feeling that we had gained true partners in ministry, not just support money. Second, it gave my family a few days in one place where they could get some rest and get into a routine, at least for a few days. This was especially helpful to my wife, since we traveled with two children under the age of three. Third, when we were in a missions conference from beginning to end, we felt that we made some wonderful memories with the pastor, the people, and the other missionaries. We were in many conferences where a real spirit of camaraderie was developed amongst the missionary families. Fourth, it gave us an opportunity to serve and be an encouragement to the pastor and the people. Fifth, spending more time with people naturally endeared them to our hearts, which makes it easier for us to pray for them. Sixth, the more time we had with the people, the better opportunity we had to influence them for the cause of Christ. We were in some conferences where I believe God used us to really help some people take steps in the right direction.

These are just some thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. God is blessing you greatly on deputation. I love you and am very proud of you. Give my love to your family.