Aahhh… Deputation. It is one of those words that gets many reactions from those who have gone through it. Within the small circle of people who actually do deputation, there are varying opinions on it’s effectiveness. Those who do it well say it works great. Those who don’t do so well say that it is broken and we should be looking for something new to replace it. Some people have great stories of blessings and others have stories that… aren’t… so… great.
I have written about deputation before on this blog. I have written about why I think deputation is good: “Blessings of Deputation” and have written a few blogs giving practical advice: “Deputation Tips: Die“, “Deputation Tips: Presentation“, “Deputation Tips: Random Advice“.
So why write about deputation again? This time I want to write about deputation from the point of view of seeing deputation for what it really is and to set what I think is a good standard to follow that will help prospective missionaries count the cost before jumping into deputation full-time.
What is deputation? Deputation, as we are using it in this blog, is a system of money-raising. More specifically, it is the process of a missionary to raise money from local churches.
There are no “set rules” for deputation but there are “unsaid rules” that a missionary must do to succeed at raising the funds needed. You have to learn the “deputation culture” so you know the do’s and don’ts. For most of this information, you can read: The Deputation Manual for Missionaries.
Who is raising money? A missionary. A missionary, as I would define it, is someone who is going to live in a foreign country, learn the local language, actively disciple believers, plant multiple local churches and train men. Therefore, this blog is written to help them (and to help pastors better understand, so stick around).
Why is a missionary raising money? A missionary needs to raise money so he can accomplish the goals he has set out to do (mentioned above). He desires to live of the gospel and since he is starting churches, there is no full-time salary from the church because it has yet to be started. Once he starts the church he will be training men to take over the church and will be working to start more churches and train men to start more churches. Therefore, a missionary raises his personal salary plus a ministry fund that will accelerate his work on the field since he doesn’t have to find other employment but will be free to work 60-80 hours a week for the Lord.
Note: Most of this is based on my opinion, research and experience… so if this series doesn’t help you, leave it and find something else that does.
Now that we have stated the basics of what deputation is, we are going to tackle the hard question…