Tools of the Trade: Deputation (by Ben Johnson)

As a missionary on deputation, there are many tools that make life much easier. My pastor talks about when he was on deputation over 20 years ago and the change from then till now is amazing. The tools we have at our disposal are truly helpful and make planning, scheduling and driving to churches much easier than in previous years. Here are some of the tools we use while on deputation.

1. A Laptop

This is a not a surprise to anyone but we use a laptop both at home and on the road. It is beneficial because it is portable! We use the computer for making calls over the internet, keeping track of our calendar, keeping track of income and expenses and many other tasks that have to be done. Since wireless internet is usually easy to find somewhere, it helps because work can be portable!

2. Google Calendar

Google calendar is a wonderful tool for a very simple reason: it is highly unlikely you will lose your calendar. Also, you can set up your calendar to sync with your computer and phone so you always have it with you. I know a paper calendar copy can be extremely helpful since it cannot be lost in the digital abyss but after a year of deputation, I have not had this problem using only a digital calendar.

3. An iPhone

No, I did not just say a smart phone but specifically an iPhone. I have had both Android devices and an iPhone and I know that the latter is better when it comes to deputation. There are two features that make it stand out. The first is Siri. I use Siri to keep reminders, make phone calls, add things to my calendar and more. As a personal assistant, Siri is great. Secondly is reminders. The reminders can be set to alert you not just at a specific time but a specific place. This comes in handy when a pastor says to call him when you reach a certain destination.

4. Google Maps

I thought about including this in with computer or phone but it deserves its own spot. When booking meetings (especially on Sundays), distance is important. No matter how hard you try, distance limits where you can go. A simple Google search of one place to another gives a very accurate travel time. It will even include traffic into the equation. Also, the majority of the churches we have been to, even the small ones, are already mapped onto Google maps. Pairing this not just with a computer but with a smart phone makes it easier to find where you should go.

5. A GPS

Last but not least is a standalone GPS. They are relatively inexpensive and really help out when traveling. Data is limited on many smart phone plans. This makes using your smart phone as a GPS impractical with the amount of traveling that is done on deputation. My GPS typically gets me within a mile or two of the church but sometimes it is off by several miles. That is why it is helpful to have my phone to fine tune where we need to be.


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