This weekend is our 7th in a row to be out on the open road… and there are a few more to go! We’re racking up kilometers on our 2007 Ford Freestyle and changing the oil more frequently, but there are a number of benefits that outweigh any cost.
Benefits?! …to deputation?!
Up until 2012, I’m not sure I’d heard anyone talk overly positively about deputation. At the worst it was somewhat of a “necessary evil” and, at best, “something to be put up with ’til you get to the land of your calling.” But today I’m going to give you 5 benefits that I’ve experienced.
Although pastors frequently see each other at conferences, the contact is often “in passing.” Less frequent are the opportunities to sit across the table from each other, as families, often in the home.
Also, not having grown up in this fellowship, I had never been in many of our churches, nor did I personally know many of the saints as is the case when you spend the majority of your life in a given group.
Deputation throughout the Atlantic District, and elsewhere, has given us opportunities to connect with fellow ministers and their families… and we’re LOVING it!
Part of getting to know the churches is discovering that things or methods that I might have taken for granted in my church may be entirely different elsewhere, attributable to:
- urban vs. rural cultures/priorities
- the age, size or stage of growth of the church
- the number of pastors in the history of the church
- the calling or priorities of particular pastors
I realize the extent to which I’ve been blessed and, as the old Scott Wesley Brown song goes… “We are blessed to be a blessing.”
3. Family Time
This may seem counter-intuitive… Family time? While we do spend much time with others, we have to GET to where the others are, so we’re spending a fair bit of time together in the car, in the hotel rooms and sometimes stopping for “mini-adventures” along the way. Like when our annual Gagetown apple-picking outing happened on the way back from Upper Kent & Ste-Anne-de-Madawaska.
4. Memory Lane Moments
As a kid, I often went on drives with my grandfather. A plastic-wrapped roll of peppermints was on the dash of the 1978 Chevy Suburban and we’d find a country road to follow. Sometimes he’d be headed rabbit or partridge hunting and sometimes it’d just be for the drive… but he always had his eyes open for bottles or cans that could be traded in at the local bottle exchange (that’s how he paid for my first 5-speed bike).
Heading down some of these country roads (in particular the top one on the right, with it’s patchy, uneven pavement – between Stanley & Juniper), affords me time to sift through some of those memories, and smile at the simplicity of great moments spent together.
5. Support & Supporter Raising
Of course the main purpose of deputation remains the fundraising aspect. Obviously it’s beneficial, indeed necessary to do this, but even in churches that are unable to give financially at a given time… we have the opportunity to raise supporters (see Wednesday’s post).
We’re thrilled to take part in Missions Conference at Capital Community Church in Fredericton, NB with Rev. Raymond Woodward and Rev. Jack Leaman. These men were leaders in the Saint John church when we came into Pentecost in the mid 1990’s and both have been important influences in our life and growth. We’re honoured to be with them and with Rev. Bruce Howell, General Director of Global Missions for the UPCI.
Our house will be going up for sale Monday. We decided to sell in order to:
a) …have one less major asset to manage during our time overseas.
b) …be able to give a portion in the #IAmGlobal offering.
The market is not great but we believe that we heard from God concerning the sale and we trust him completely. Why not pray for two buyers that bid against one another, upping the price rather than it being bartered down!
Thanks for reading me again today.
Let what you read inform your prayers.
Fredericton… We’ll see you tonight!