Practical Points for a Missionary Meeting

Deputation is a part of the way we do missions. God uses deputation to prove the missionary for the foreign field and to promote missions in the local church. Here are a few practical suggestions that will help a missionary gather support effectively and efficiently on deputation.

Procuring a Meeting

Much has changed since the days I did my deputation to go to Samoa. What I hear from missionaries and what I have experienced recently is that it is VERY difficult to get in contact with pastors. There are several reasons for this. Many pastors are bi-vocational; some pastors work from home or are out ministering; while others have shielded themselves by answering services and staff. Unfortunately many pastors, for whatever reason, do not return missionary calls.

Mass mailings are relatively ineffective as well. There is just so much information that comes to churches. Unless a pastor is looking for the information, a missionary packet will more than likely end up in the trash.

The answer to this, I believe, is for the missionary to build relationships. The cold call may not be effective anymore, but dropping in at a church for a service and meeting the pastor may get the missionary a cell number and a connection. Fellowship meetings are always a good way to meet pastors. Any way that a missionary can establish a relationship is a plus.

Websites and social media are another way to establish relationships and get information out about your ministry. Many of our missionaries are posting their letters to Facebook. This isn’t necessarily my generation’s way of communicating, but it is effective today. If a missionary can establish a friendship, and get an email address or cell number he or she is well on the way to getting a meeting.

Once a meeting is procured it is wise to send the pastor a confirmation letter. This should include all the details for your meeting. It is also a good thing to call the pastor a few days before the meeting. This reassures him that you are, in fact, coming, and it gives another opportunity to confirm any arrangements that have been made.

A successful deputation ministry begins with a full schedule. It can still be done today!

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29

Presenting at a Meeting

A missionary presentation should be 7-10 minutes. It is good, if possible, to have two video presentations—a long version and a short version. The missionary could also make a presentation for children to show in a junior church or a school chapel.

There are six essential elements that a missionary presentation should cover.

  • It should introduce the people on the field (nation, geography, culture, language).
  • It should describe the spiritual needs of the people clearly.
  • It should itemize the goals and how the missionary plans to meet these spiritual needs.
  • It should make a soft appeal for participation with the missionary in reaching these goals.
  • It should have references from a pastor, other missionaries, or directors testifying how they believe this missionary is ready and equipped to carry out the outlined plan.
  • It should show association (local church and mission board).

Here, then, are some questions that a missionary presentation should answer.

  • Who are you?
  • What are you called to do?
  • How are you going to accomplish what you are called to do?
  • How can others be involved?
  • Who are you associated with?

A missionary presentation should be done with excellence! Whether it’s a PowerPoint-type presentation or a video, it should be focused and succinct. You should write the script first and then choose the pictures, video clips, and music that will support the script. A picture is worth a thousand words! A presentation should not be a tourist commercial or an aimless series of pictures. It is also important that the pictures or music selected for the presentation be tasteful. They should not offend or shock anyone.

Finally, it is important to have the presentation packaged in a way that can be used at any church with any kind of equipment. One church may have a state-of-the-art media center; another may have nothing more than a pulpit and a platform. Have your presentation available on a USB drive, CD/DVD and through a downloadable link. It should be in as many file formats as practical (mp4, m4v, mov, wmv, etc.).

Present yourself with excellence. Be clear and concise. Be prepared!

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might… Ecclesiastes 9:10a

Preaching and the Meeting

Churches vary on this topic. Some congregations primarily want to hear a missionary preach, while others may wish for a more personal connection with the missionary. Be that as it may, a missionary will be called on to preach often.

The missionary should preach missions. That is his calling; that is his specialty. He is an ambassador for the Great Commission while on deputation as he represents his people. It is the pastor’s job to preach standards and to teach doctrine. Hobby horses and pet doctrines will not edify the church in missions or effectively get a missionary to the field.

A missionary should not preach long. “You preach short; you get support,” said a well-funded missionary. Hone your craft. Be concise, illustrate and apply. Preach with passion and intensity! Preach Mark 16:15,

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Deputation does not have to be a chore. It can be a time of blessing and fruit that results in lifetime partnerships and friendships. If a missionary will procure meetings diligently, present his burden clearly, and preach missions concisely and passionately deputation will be completed effectively and efficiently.

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