Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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The Art of Deputation

  • Jim Townsley
  • Nov 28, 2017
In most cases a new church planter must raise monthly support to help finance the starting of a new church. The importance of proper funding cannot be overstated. The old days of, “I’ll just go and get a job and start meeting in a store front” are all but over. Recognizing the importance of raising support behooves every new church planter to learn how to undertake this important task. Deputation is a learned process in which some men know how to do it and others do not. You, the church planter, must learn the process of obtaining the confidence of churches so that they will provide you with support. Failure to do so will dramatically reduce your prospects for success. 
You must be spiritually prepared and financially prepared before setting out on this new adventure. Deputation could take one to two years and it should not be commenced until you have finished your education and paid off your debt. If you are in debt, get out of debt before trying to raise support. If you have not finished your education, finish it. Prepare your family. If your wife is hesitant, help prepare her for this great undertaking. You will need your wife’s support because you will both be starting this new church. 
Supporting churches will want to know where you intend to start the church so you must determine the region or area prior to raising support. The need of your area should be conveyed to the churches you visit. 
Scheduling the meetings will require that a significant amount of information be prepared. A web site must be designed. The web site should contain photos of the church planter and his family, along with a brief biography.  Other information should include: how to contact the pastor, a doctrinal statement, a target date for the first service, and general information about the new church. This site can be converted to become the church web site after the new church is started. 
A packet of information should be prepared to be mailed to prospective pastors. The packet should include a cover letter clearly explaining your plans and goals to start a new church, a prayer card, a doctrinal statement, a personal testimony of salvation of the church planter and his wife, and a letter of recommendation from the pastor of the sending church and reproducing church. A monthly prayer letter should be written to all supporting churches and a copy can be included with the packet of material. All printed material must be designed and prepared professionally. The only impression some people will have of your church is the material you prepare, therefore it must be “first class.” Professional materials are expensive, but losing support is even more expensive. After completing the packet of information, it should be sent to prospective pastors with the cover letter explaining you will be calling in two weeks to speak to the pastor. Therefore, you must keep excellent records so that you follow up within two weeks to speak to the pastor about presenting your burden for church planting to his church.           
Obtaining meetings and filling your schedule is difficult and requires a lot of phone calling. You may need to call several times before you speak to someone. The best churches to schedule are the ones who have mission money and a vision for church planting. You don’t just want meetings; you must schedule churches that have a high probability of supporting you. Take the time to fill your schedule with these kinds of churches. 
Develop a data base of probable churches. Start with churches with which you are familiar or that your pastor is familiar, that would be inclined to support you. Make inquiries with new church planters who have recently raised support. They will know who to avoid and who to call. Attend mission conferences which will give you the highest probability of support. Attend church planting fellowships. Some of these special meetings will be attended by men who are burdened for church planting and they are prepared to help you. Go to new churches that have recently been started; they will have a burden for church planting.  New churches often have mission money and they already are convinced of the need to start more churches. 
Work hard to schedule a meeting on every available date. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and a few other dates can be difficult to schedule. The more meetings you schedule the higher probability of the church supporting you. 
Gaining support in a reasonably short period of time is crucial. You will be seeking temporary support; therefore, you don’t want your support ending before you gain all that is necessary. Usually support should be sought for a period of four years depending on the area in which you intend to start the new church. Keep in mind that if you do well starting the new church it will help subsidize your finances from the very beginning. 
Your presentation should be a brief video of about ten minutes. The pictures should be sharp, clear, and convey your burden. You and your family should be well dressed, shoes shined, children obedient and everyone should look sharp. Your car should be clean and your display table well organized and attractive. A display board can be purchased that is very reasonably priced and attractive.  
Your preaching should be within your time-limit and be directed toward missions and church planting. Keep a list of needs that can be presented upon request. Christians cannot give unless they know your needs. Prepare a prayer list that can be distributed upon request. It is your responsibility to convey your burden to possible supporters. Finally, don’t forget that some individuals may support you, primarily friends and family. Please don’t seek individual support behind a pastor’s back. If a member asks if he can support you, speak to the pastor and follow his protocol. Deputation requires a lot of preparation and planning, but it is rewarding to know many people are praying for you and have given financially to further the gospel.