I didn’t intend on writing this last post when I originally thought about this series. If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you should have noticed I strongly encourage people to give their lives to take the gospel to the foreign mission field. Today, I am doing the opposite.
I want to talk missionary-to-missionary with those on deputation.
I want to ask you to consider resigning as a missionary; to voluntarily leave your job. Or I want to ask you to work harder than you have ever worked in your life, and become consumed with the task of world missions.
Here is why I am pleading with you to reconsider:
Deputation is hard, but the mission field is harder. A lot of deputation is accomplished through organized, consistent hard work. If you find yourself struggling to make phone calls to book meetings with churches and preach or present 3+ times a week then maybe the mission field isn’t for you.
Life on the mission field is considerably harder than deputation. If you are not a hard-worker now, don’t expect to be on the mission field. Learning a second language is not an easy task. Learning a second culture is even hard.
As a missionary you have to be your own boss. Deputation is the first step of being your own boss. If you can’t manage yourself on deputation, get out of bed and get to work without someone else telling you what to do, then resign today.
Don’t waste your life for money. I presented a formula in this series that sets a reasonable amount of time for raising the financial support that one needs to leave for the field. If you find yourself looking at my formula and saying, *“That is impossible, “I can’t schedule that many meetings, and make that many phone calls,” “There is no way I can raise that amount of money in that time frame,” then consider a new occupation. My formula is not perfect. But there are only two options, you can beat it or go slower than it. If you do your own math and think that it is going to take years longer than what I proposed (5-6 years of deputation), then consider doing something else. Your life is more precious than money. Money will not make you happy. It makes life more comfortable, but it doesn’t bring joy.
Deputation is a transitional phase from training to the field. It is never meant to be a way of life. It is meant to be a short transition. Therefore, the deputation environment is good for two things: raising awareness and financial support. It is not the best environment for your kids to be raised up in or to be schooled in. If you aren’t working hard to accomplish deputation in a reasonable time frame, then find a job that can give your family more stability. Your family is precious. Your time is precious. Your money is not. (For some, they go slow because they are guarding their families time etc., but this turns into years of wasted missions money.)
Let me note, this doesn’t mean you should just go under-supported. It means raise a reasonable amount of money in a reasonable amount of time.
A person who isn’t a hard worker, but has a lot of money is recipe for disaster.
I know what I am asking is almost impossible. The hardest thing is to look at yourself and say, “I have a problem with working hard,” or “I’m lazy and it’s a problem.” But it is a plea, from me to you.
Like many, I deal with laziness and it is a battle of every man. But some of us give into it more often then others.
I didn’t want to write this post. I know it is mean and sounds self-righteous. Who am I? Just a guy with a blog who writes about missions. I have a million short-comings, so I am not writing this thinking I am something or that God can’t use those who take longer on deputation. That is not my intent at all. My plea is simply: If you want to be in the ministry, work hard, otherwise do something else.