Preparing for Full-Time Deputation

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It’s incredible to watch the Lord work as He prepares us for full-time deputation.

Last summer when we got back home from Candidate Seminar, the two of us started talking about what our journey to full-time deputation would look like. We took an honest look at our budget, and began cutting back.

We knew we needed to get out of debt (which the Lord helped us to do in early 2019!), and find enough side-hustle income to pay the bills on the road. After our analysis, we selected a number that we thought our committed monthly support should be at before Bryan could step down.

In the meantime, he juggled a full-time job and tried to fit ministry calls in when he could.

But during our first year of deputation, progress was slow. In fact, even after Bryan was able to start taking Mondays off and working four days a week, we still haven’t cracked the two-digit mark for committed support.

Needless to say, we are not yet at the number we came up with last year.  And it has definitely been discouraging at times.

But, despite not achieving our plan, God has made it abundantly clear that the time to begin full-time deputation is drawing near.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Move to Full-Time Deputation?

This was a question we asked last summer. Many times.

And we didn’t like the answer we got. It was always:

You will just know.

That didn’t seem good enough for us. Our worldly side wanted a formula. We wanted a path to follow that laid out  all the steps.

The answer we were looking for involved a plan and a checklist. We wanted to achieve a target number of monthly support and KNOW that everything would work out financially.

And yet, God’s plan doesn’t depend on us having it all figured out. It just depends on us trusting Him and being willing to follow His leading.

Having all the answers, and every penny of the budget accounted for doesn’t require faith. It’s saying, “We got this,” instead of forcing us to depend more fully on God.

There isn’t “one right way” to get to full-time deputation, because all of us are different. God leads each of us along the path He’s designed for us…Pinterest image that reads: How we are preparing for full-time deputation (as the Tanners to Missionary Acres)

Stepping Out in Faith

The more we learn about deputation, the more we have come to realize that complete submission to God is essential. And lots of faith is required to make the leap into full-time deputation.

Yes, we need to take care of our family and make sure there’s food to eat while we’re on the road. But, that doesn’t mean we need all the answers before we trust God.

A recent incident drove this point home for us and caused us to lean more on God, and to trust that He has a plan for us. We could see clearly that He is calling us to step out in faith and have Bryan resign from his full-time “day job.”

It will open up so much more time for contacting pastors and scheduling churches. We are anticipating filling our schedule for next spring and hitting the road.

But, honestly? This step is a little bit terrifying.

It doesn’t make sense to our logical side.

Winter seems to be a slow season on deputation. So many churches are doing their own thing with all the holidays. Plus the roads aren’t always in the best condition for travel. In some ways, it seems like having Bryan work through winter with the plan of going full-time in the spring would be better.

It makes more sense…

But, we know that the time is now. You see, without time to call and follow-up, there will be no meetings next spring. Those need to be scheduled this fall.

We KNOW that God will provide. We trust that what He has ordered, He will pay for.

But…we are still human and have doubts.

So to help us bridge the gap, here are a few steps we are taking to prepare for full-time deputation.

Cut the Budget

Looking at the budget, we know we can cut some things out. We made some additional cuts in anticipation of this move, and have a prioritized list ready to go for areas we can cut if needed.

Find Additional Side Ways to Bring in Money

It’s important to have some income coming in. So, we made a list of ideas for ways to earn additional income if needed. These are just ways to bring in extra cash, not the main side-hustles we’re already doing.  Our ideas include:

  • Cutting and selling firewood
  • Substitute teaching (Lisa has a current certificate)
  • Babysitting
  • Selling stock photography
  • Creating customizes Excel spreadsheets for companies to help them streamline (as a consultant)
  • Manual labor with a temp agency

Are we going to do all of these? Probably not. But, it’s nice to know we have a few ideas for cash generation should we need them. And, we know that God will provide the perfect income generating opportunities if the need for one arises

And as we make plans, we also pray that we will continue to see our support level from churches and individuals increase.

Draw Closer to God

Whenever a change is being made, it’s important to draw closer to God. He will sustain us through this transition (and beyond!) One of the biggest lessons we have learned on deputation is that WE cannot do this.

We have been told over and over again that if we get to Missionary Acres, it will be a miracle. We’ve been told that our family is too big. And our oldest son too disabled.

But God…

God is not surprised by how many children He’s blessed us with. Or by Owen’s Angelman Syndrome.

He is not asking us to figure this all out. He’s just asking that we are willing to trust Him. And step out in faith.

So we are going to…

And we are looking forward to this next step in our deputation journey!




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