Return to deputation?

Mar 3, 2016 | Missionary Care, New Wine: The future, The Way I See Things

I remember watching Westerns as a kid where the sheriff had to form a posse to chase down the bad guys. He deputized a group of men who rode with him to apprehend those dastardly dudes in black hats. It was exhilarating. My inner superhero yearned to be riding with them.

The deputized posse did not launch a fund-raising campaign to finance the effort. They did not rally the townsfolk to cheer for the heroes and pray for their success. Those may have been good things, but the hallmark of those who rode with the sheriff was the fact that they were hands-on involved in the job at hand.

They were as likely to get shot as the sheriff! They rode their own horses and brought their own guns. They laid everything on the line in the hopes that justice would prevail. They were sworn in so they could pitch in. They came together for a common goal so they could share in a common benefit.

They were partners.

Although we in North America talk much about partnership, in reality we’re talking about sponsorship.*

We don’t use the term deputation anymore. That term gave way to support raising, which has morphed into partnership development.

I wonder if we need to recapture some of the concept behind the original term.


*Ron Blue, quoted in The Sending Church Defined, by Zach Bradley, p. 112


  1. Anna

    Love the picture 😉  It’s a great comparison.  What if we saw “deputation” as raising partners?

  2. Dave

    Indeed, Anna! Wait until you see Wednesday’s post. I’d love to hear your thoughts.