Deputation affords us the unique opportunity to learn from pastors and church leaders from all over the country. The truth is, deputation is all about raising funds. This is the reason a missionary goes on deputation. We go from church to church to church sharing our hearts in hopes that God will raise the needed funds for us to plant churches on the mission field. I can say that our time on deputation has been a blessing. The reality is, you have some meetings that go very well and some that do not. One pastor gave me some advice about deputation. He said, “you will have some meetings where churches will partner with, some will not, and some cannot. You should resolve in your heart to be an encouragement to that pastor and that church, regardless if there is a chance to partner with a church or not. God gave you that meeting with that specific church, you called but God gave it to you. He has you there for a purpose, be an encouragement.” This is advice I have tried to live by. I strive to be an encouragement in every meeting we have with every church and with every pastor. Even though this is in context of deputation, we should really try to be an encouragement in each encounter God gives us. Here are a few ways I try to be an encouragement with every meeting God gives us…
- God loves and cares for you. As in any church you don’t always know what is going on in each individual life. But, whether in the valley or on the mountain top it is good to remember that our God loves and cares for us. It is all about who we are in Christ. If you are in Christ you are loved, forgiven, accepted, and saved (Just to name a few things). The wrath of God no longer abides on you. Your God is not out to get you. He loves you. You are His child. He is not waiting for you to mess up. He is interested in you. He loves you. (There are many verses in the Bible that explain this, read Ephesians 1-3 to learn about our wealth in Christ.)
- The Bible is God’s Word. With every opportunity I am given, we look to God’s Word for encouragement. For those in Christ, God has not only saved you, but He has a plan for your life as well. You may have missed out on something in the past, but God still desires to use you. If you have a pulse, He has a plan! For those who are not in Christ, God has a plan for them as well, and that is for them to believe on Jesus for Salvation. (See II Timothy 3:14-17)
- In each church we are in I try to encourage them by challenging them. The challenge is three fold.
- World Evangelism, getting the Gospel to every soul in our generation. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, II Peter 3:9)
- To step out by faith, believe God and step out further than you have ever before. (Hebrews 11 is a great chapter to challenge us to live by faith.)
- Serve others, this is in the context of the local church, but can be manifested in other parts of our lives. (See Ephesians 5:21)
There are also specific ways to be an encouragement in the lives of others. Some people may be going through a tragedy (we have seen that), some may be going through times of uncertainty (we have seen that too), some may have lost their job, loved ones, or may be losing their health (we have seen this too). Others may be experiencing prosperity, every life has specifics and many times there is not a way to know until you spend some time with those people.
We all need encouragement. We all can be an encouragement to others also. That Pastor’s advice to be an encouragement to others has stuck with me. Who can you be an encouragement to today?