Everyone’s situation going into deputation is different and many times the factors leading up to starting it are out of your control. But if you are able to control some of these factors, here are some suggestions to help you get started…
Start Part-time Deputation Six Months Before You Go Full-Time. If you know around the time that you want to start deputation full-time, start planning for it six months before you actually quit your job and go full-time. This will give you a proper amount of time to accomplish all the logistical side of things and book enough meetings to have a strong start. I fear that many people who do minimal planning before they start full-time end up wasting their first few months doing things that could have already been done.
Here is a suggested time line:
✪ 6 Months Before: Talk with your pastor and make sure he agrees with you starting deputation on such and such date. Then talk about which mission board you would like to go with and start the application process.
✪ 5 Months Before: Start working on all of your needed material, such as: information packet, prayer cards, website, blog, video presentation, display, etc. Collecting and writing all of this information for the first time can be time-consuming. Also, if you don’t know how to do design, websites videos, then you will need to recruit someone to help you. Again, this takes time and money. When you start calling, pastors are going to ask you for information and if you don’t have anything ready, it will just be that much longer before you can book a meeting.
✪ 4 Months Before: Finish the application process with the mission board and, Lord willing, you will be accepted. Have all of your material finished and proof read. Start raising funds to print the material that you need for meetings, such as, prayer cards and display. Put the last touches on your video presentation.
✪ 3-1 Month Before: Start calling. If you can work in the evenings and call during the day, everyday, you should be able to book a good majority of your meetings for the first year of deputation. If your pastor approves, you could start traveling to some meetings to get experience on how to conduct yourself at meetings. These would obviously be meetings nearby. The majority of meetings you are booking are for when you go full-time.
A key to booking meetings is getting your information out there to pastors, meaning when you first start calling you won’t book a lot of meetings right away; but after you have sent your information to several hundred pastors and call them back after they have received it, you will start booking the meetings.
Calling Suggestion: When I called churches, I would started calling all new churches. Then I would send a packet of information. After the pastor received the packet I would put them on a call back list. Every morning, I would start with this call back list. When I called through it, I would then call new churches. Sometimes I would mix this up, to call the “call back list” in the afternoon etc.
Calling is still the foundational step to book all your meetings. It is often the hardest because it is monotonous work. But if you spend the 3 months calling before you quit your job and go full-time, you should have several months filled with meetings, including your first month.
(If you can’t do part-time before, then I suggest calling in the daytime and doing the other things, like design prayer cards in the evening once you are full-time.)
Once you go full-time, go all in. Don’t work another job, mow grass or anything else. Give it all you got and don’t look back.