Back to main magazine page now!!
One of my many roles as the General Director
of BIMI is to assist our missionaries with their
deputation ministries. It is a privilege to preach
in missions conferences, challenging God’s
people to give so our missionaries can raise the
funds they need to go to the field where God
has called them. Although it is not unusual
to hear someone say deputation is antiquated
or a necessary evil, I believe deputation is
beneficial to both the missionary and the
church. The more I watch the deputation
process, the more I become convinced it is a
tool greatly used by God.
The Apostle Paul serves
as a biblical example of a
missionary who traveled
to numerous churches
and received support from
several of those churches.
It would have been easier
for Paul to only write to
these churches rather
than sacrificing time and
money to personally visit
with them. Paul knew
David H. Snyder
President/General Director that
face was the best way to begin and develop a
relationship. The internet and social media are
ways for churches to get to know missionaries
(and for missionaries to get to know churches).
2 BIMI WORLD
Number 2, 2017
However, the best way to build strong
relationships is time spent together one-on-one.
As a missionary travels, the Lord will use the
missionary’s time in meetings to build personal
relationships with individual Christians and,
even more importantly, with local churches.
This allows God to create a bond between the
missionary and the church. Hopefully, the final
result will be a church that desires to support
the missionary with finances and prayer and a
missionary who wants to effectively represent
that church on the mission field.
Another important aspect of the deputation
ministry is the personal development of the
missionary himself. It has often been said
that if a missionary cannot pass the test of
deputation, he will not be able to succeed on the
mission field. He learns to be flexible in many
different—and sometimes uncomfortable—
situations. Meeting and interacting with
many different people and personalities help
to develop the interpersonal skills essential to
church planting. Also, as a missionary presents
his ministry, teaches, and/or preaches week
after week, he is being trained to be instant
in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).
Furthermore, deputation allows the missionary
to observe many different types of independent
Baptist churches. He can learn what to do
as well as what not to do. In other words, he