What Is Wrong With Deputation?
I have heard and once thought that there is a problem with deputation. But since talking with people on deputation and experiencing it myself I can tell you this: there is nothing wrong with deputation! Many people would say there has to be an easier way to do it. Many people would say that churches should give more and do more. Many try to find ways around deputation or try to fix it. But honestly it is a system we have been using for at least a hundred years and it has sent countless hundreds if not thousands of missionaries overseas. It is a system, that although may not seem effective, is in all reality profitable and effective. I have seen and have written below reasons I believe deputation still works and is profitable for us to continue using.
- It prepares you: Deputation is not easy. It will test and try you. But it helps prepare you for the mission field. You face difficulties and trials, but also joy and rejoicing. It helps to get you prepared for the things you will face on the field. If many skipped deputation and its preparation, they would return home rather quickly because they were not prepared for the task that was before them.
- It grows your faith: While on deputation your faith grows. You trust God to provide for your needs and you see God answer time and time again. It helps your faith grow even stronger because once you get to the field you will again face difficulties and hardships that will require big faith. Skipping deputation, you would miss out on having your faith tested!
- It builds relationships: Traveling to churches all over the US helps you build relationships with pastors and church members. It helps build a group of people who will pray for you and care for you. It helps you learn how to communicate with people and build relationships with them. These things are key on the mission field as you will be communicating the Gospel to people and trying to build relationships with them. Skip deputation and you would miss out on all the wonderful relationships you will build, as well as missing out on a team of prayer warriors who will be praying for you while on the field.
- It lets you learn from the churches and places you go: As you travel to different churches you observe how they do things. This gives you ideas for when you get to the field and start your church. It lets you see churches in all different stages. You learn what to do and what not to do. Deputation is a learning process and by skipping it you would miss out on many valuable lessons you can learn.
- It helps you be self motivated: No one really watches and makes you set a schedule on deputation. But if you want to be productive and see God work you have to be motivated. It helps teach you to be motivated to work, to call, to study, and to prepare! On the mission field it is all you. You are the boss and in charge. It is up to you to get out and work each day. If you do not teach yourself to be disciplined and self motivated in the states, you will have a hard time when you get to the field. Skipping deputation you miss out on helping yourself to be self motivated.
- It grows you: Since starting deputation I have grown. Spiritually, mentally – and sometimes physically, deputation will grow you. It will grow your faith. It will grow your understanding and love of God. It will help you grow mentally as you learn to overcome obstacles and are put in new situations. I am looking forward to how God will continue to grow me while on deputation. If one was to skip deputation they would miss out on all the growing God can do in their life.
- It gives you more of a passion for people and souls: As you travel on deputation you see people from all different walks of life. You see their hurts and their needs, their victories and their testimonies. As you see these, they should give you an even greater passion for reaching a lost and dying world. Seeing hurting people should motivate you to love them and show them the love of Christ. Skipping out on deputation, you would miss out on increasing your love and passion for people and souls!
- It helps others see God’s call on their lives: I remember that the biggest thing that impacted me toward missions was missionaries on deputation. Seeing their hearts and burdens for their countries and then sharing that need with a young man, helped direct me towards missions. As you travel around the US preaching, young men and women see your heart and your passion and see the need of the Gospel being preached around the world. They see the need and then God works in their hearts to call them to missions. Without missionaries showing the need and burden, the laborers would be even fewer! If we skipped out on deputation we would miss out on the impact we have on boys, girls, men and women for getting involved in world evangelism!
Deputation is hard work and should help you grow. It is an important and needful thing for missionaries to do. Maybe there are ways we as missionaries can work harder and better on deputation, but I believe that for raising funds and sending missionaries, it is the best system we have! It is effective and helps prepare one to get to their field! Instead of complaining about it, lets step out in faith, trust God, work hard and see God work in our lives through deputation! So, what is wrong with deputation? Absolutely nothing!