Often, when people ask me "what I do" for a living, the next question is, "what's that?" Deputation is a strange word to most ears. Some missionaries call it pre-field ministry while others opt for the more understandable term support-raising. But what, exactly, is deputation?
The root word for deputation is deputize. According to Webster's dictionary, deputize means "to empower to act for another, to appoint as deputy." We all know what a deputy sheriff is. He's the guy that the sheriff enlists to help him get the bad guys, or in a more literal sense, to help him do his job. In a sense, every Believer is a deputy of Christ, sent and empowered to do the work of Jesus Christ.
Michael and I are on deputation. This means that we in a period of time where we visit churches, asking them to empower us to act for them on the mission field of Georgia and to appoint us as their deputy. It is the church's job to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8) Therefore, we are simply enabling churches (bodies of Believers) to fulfill the command of Christ to be witnesses to the whole earth. Pretty cool, really.
What do we do, practically speaking?
Well, we research churches in different areas. Then, Michael calls churches and pastors, trying to schedule meetings and make a database of contacts to work from. We travel to churches and present the ministry. We attend mission conferences. We teach Sunday schools, Bible clubs, and junior church, and help out churches in their regular ministry or whatever they have need of. Michael preaches, I sing or play violin. We meet lots of people. We spend a LOT of time in the office or on the road. Sometimes, especially in the fall or early spring, it seems we live out of our car. When we are home, then I have unpacking, laundry, repacking, shopping, and preparing for the next trip. (Right now, we are also preparing to move to a bigger apartment to make room for baby Hinson.) It's a crazy way to live, but a good one; for we are serving the Lord and doing His will for us right now. Really, I wouldn't trade it for a quiet, boring, "normal" life. Not at all!