Missionaries on deputation

What should you do when a missionary comes to speak at your church?

Caring for visiting missionary speakers

Most missionaries spend a portion of their time back home among their sending churches. That "home assignment" time is given to speaking about their work and explaining their vision for the future of churches where they work. Their presence helps local churches become missionary churches. Prayer support is mustered, offerings are taken for specific needs of that missionary and a long-term commitment to praying for and giving to world evangelism is emphasized. [ Praying for missionaries ]

How do you get a missionary to come to your church? Many Nazarene missionaries use the scheduling services of the Deputation Secretary at the Global Ministry Center. Or, check with your district's NMI president about upcoming available missionary speakers. If you're a Nazarene, those are two good places to start.

Deputation services with missionaries

How does your church rate when you host missionary speakers?

Take this easy "how to care for missionaries" test. Then, grade it yourself.

1. When the missionary comes, I feel and act like it is a privilege to have him or her, rather than an inconvenience.  Always       Sometimes       Never 
2. I contact the missionary in advance. If we are planning a service with a special emphasis such as Faith Promise, I write or call ahead so he or she will not be caught off-guard.   Always       Sometimes       Never 
3. I advertise, promote, and plan special events to get the maximum number of people involved. In other words, I do some creative planning.  Always       Sometimes       Never 
4. When a missionary speaker comes to town, the whole church has opportunity to hear him or her. Youth, choir, or children are not dismissed to other activities.   Always       Sometimes       Never 
5. I take an offering after the missionary talks (not before!).   Always       Sometimes       Never 
6. I make sure the people know what the offering will be used for. As pastor (or missions president), I take responsibility for promoting a good offering.   Always       Sometimes       Never 
7. Even if we have something in our Faith Promise budget for missionary speakers, we still take a love offering to add to that amount.   Always       Sometimes       Never 
8. Our treasurer has been alerted to have a check ready for the missionary before he or she leaves (It's tacky to do it before he or she speaks).   Always       Sometimes       Never 
9. I send the missionary to a hotel or a home in which I myself would enjoy spending the night.   Always       Sometimes       Never 
10. I spend personal time praying specifically for the missionary service.   Always       Sometimes       Never 

What's your deputation grade?

Take the points shown for each of the categories and multiply that number by the number of times you seleted each of the three answers. Total those three scores together to get your final grade!

10 x ____

Pts. ___
7 x ____

Pts. ___
0 x ____

Pts. ___


Total points earned: _______

"So many churches do not take advantage of the opportunity to have a real, live missionary in their church! They are missing such a blessing."
   -- Vicky Mullins, Perry, OK

Seven steps to a successful deputation service

  1. Pray
  2. Prepare the congregation mentally and spiritually to embrace the missionary as "their missionary"
  3. Plan carefully the format of the weekend or details of service
  4. Promote well ahead of time
  5. Publicize using a variety of media (bulletin boards, worship folders, skits, PowerPoint slides, announcements in Sunday school classes)
  6. Pamper the missionary while he or she is with you as well as giving generous offering for their ministry
  7. Provide opportunity to challenge young people and children seize

Note: Deputation offerings for the ministries of Nazarene missionaries should be sent to: General Treasurer, Global Ministry Center, 17001 Prairie Star Parkway, Lenexa, KS 66220. They should be clearly marked for the deputation account of the specific missionary. Otherwise, the money may wind up being reported as taxable personal income.

A humorous look at missionary deputation travels

Home Assignment is a period of time that missionaries spend back in their homeland doing missions motivation and mobilization in what is often called deputation. For some Nazarene missionaries, it's one year out of every five. Others do a schedule in which they go on home assignment (or furlough) for seven months after three years on the field or even for three months every two years.

Secret scribblings of a missionary on home assignment

What follows was discovered in the belongings of a missionary who had to be carried off mumbling incoherently in a strait jacket in the eleventh month of his home assignment year.

What is home assignment?

Home assignment is being away from your wife and children almost all fall, winter and spring.

Home Assignment is being cooped up all summer with your wife and two kids in a cramped car.

Home Assignment is a speeding ticket for being careless in the 18th hour of a 26-hour nonstop trip from the California coast to keep a commitment in Colorado.

Home Assignment is having a service or two canceled and foolishly beginning to think nobody wants you.

Home Assignment is having seven requests for services on the same date and wondering how to keep all your friends happy.

What is Home Assignment?

Home Assignment is watching your video presentation 200 times and seeing something new on the 137th time.

Home Assignment is having a friend get up early, sneak your car down to the service station and fill up your tank without saying anything to you about it.

Home Assignment is giving the same story on 50 consecutive Sunday mornings and getting blessed yourself every time.

Home Assignment is learning how large and how big-hearted your spiritual family really is.

Home Assignment is answering the same questions night after night, but getting excited because people are really interested in your work.

What is Home Assignment?

Home Assignment is having a pastor assure you his amply-windowed sanctuary will be dark enough for a slide presentation at 6 p.m. when the sun doesn't even set until 7:30 p.m.

Home Assignment is discovering that Glad trash bags make ideal "darkeners" for sanctuary windows.

Home Assignment is having spend thirty minutes every night catching insects to feed the land turtle your 6-year-old caught on some church lawn.

Home Assignment is having something go wrong with video projection equipment as well as with backup unit in the same service.

What is Home Assignment?

Home Assignment is being with old friends, sharing your prayer burdens, even unloading some frustration, hurts, and disappointments.

Home Assignment is finding out where your friends are on their spiritual pilgrimage, sharing their prayer burdens, letting them unload some of their frustrations, hurts and disappointments.

Home Assignment is 250 beds in one year.

Home Assignment is spending a semester in graduate study and wondering how those young whipper-snappers know so much.

Home Assignment is an opportunity for your wife and children to get involved in a strong local church in your native country for several months.

Home Assignment is having people take you to a lot of nice restaurants.

Home Assignment is getting a delicious home-cooked meal after a couple of days of nothing but truck-stop cafés and McDonald's.

Home Assignment is meeting people who say they've been praying for you by name every day for years.

What is Home Assignment?

Home Assignment is all of the above . . . and more. And it's all of that crammed into a few months.

    -- Howard Culbertson


Home Assignment devotional reflection

Ten ways to to ruin your mission trip    10/40 Window explanation and map   Nazarene Missions International resources