What’s Good About Deputation Pt.1

When it comes to deputation, we should work like it is all up to us, but pray and trust God like it is all up to Him. New and veteran missionaries alike all have different experiences with deputation.  For some the deputation trail is long and arduous.  Traveling long distances, poor receptions, the stress of phone calls, long winded questionnaires are all common complaints against the deputation model.   Many of these problems can be improved or avoided all together if one sticks to a few principles of doing smart deputation. This is an article was written for the missionary to deal with the common complaints against deputation and offer advice for a less stressful and more fruitful experience.

The Good About the Endless Phone Calling

The meeting begins over the phone. There are a number of factors that pastors give for their reason to take on a missionary. One pastor told me that it simply was my persistence in calling after many failed attempts in reaching him. Before scheduling us, over the phone, one pastor said, “You sure sound excited about getting over to China.” But also on the same note, my father who is a pastor told me a certain young man called him, but his excitement seemed less than genuine, “he was a little over the top, it sounded fake.”

There is something good about having to call pastors 8-10 hours a day during deputation before getting to the field. You may not have a natural knack for talking to people or presenting yourself in charismatic way, but all of us can use the practice. You’re ability (or lack thereof) to talk to people, motivate them, persuade them will be carried with you onto the field. People will respond to an emotionally engaging leader over one who has difficulty remaining positive, being friendly, and showing love.

Having to sit in a room all day dealing with countless answering machines, disinterested pastors, and secretaries has a way to simulate the need for special kind of discipline. This discipline no doubt plays over into the mission field where you must deal with disinterested people. People you are loving and serving will look to you to be a leader, and so you must start being that leader before your first phone call.

Don’t lose heart, stay focused. Deputation works if you do. We must pray as though our support is all up to Him, but we must also do our part and do the work as though its all up to us. The work you do on deputation will set a precedence for the discipline and persistent work that is needed on the mission field. If it is necessary to get out and beat the bushes to have people come to the church you are starting, then the same is true about raising support and getting meetings. So don’t be discouraged, God will bless the persistent diligent work.

The same factors of church planting are also at work in calling and getting meetings. You will get tired, you will want to quit, you will want to call off early, but the only way to get meetings is persistent calling, just as the only way to get people to come to church is persistent inviting. Let me use the last portion of this section to share some tips that worked for me:

  • Buy a voice recorder. A part of the discouragement comes from wasted time on making dozens of calls only to get an answering machine. So what do you do? Leave a message or get the next call ready? The answer is both. In the 20 seconds it takes to prepare the next call, you can use a voice recorder to leave a simple “exciting” 20 second message. In the message tell them your name, rank, and serial number as well as where to find your information online. Using Cluster Maps (or something similar, Google analytics) you can track who visits your website, and be ready to give them a call back when they do! This way those answering machines won’t feel like a waste of time.


  • Keep accurate notes. Everything just seems less frustrating when you know who you’ve called and what was said and what the Pastor’s name is. Part of being friendly and personal with people is to bring up things in conversation that was said last time. It doesn’t have to be all business. Practice talking to them as though you are talking to a friend, but keep it professional.


  • Especially if you are based out of the north east or south east United States, you should focus 80% of your calling to a 6 hour driving radius of your home base.  There are plenty of churches in that radius to raise whatever your recommended support level is and more.  This will significantly reduce uneccesary stress of who to call and driving too far.  If you’re like me and don’t like to stay in people’s houses, prophet chambers, or budget inns, then you will enjoy being only 6 hours or less from home.  You can always make the drive. Also, you are setting yourself up for a less stressful furlough when you need to visit your churches once again.

Intern for Missions in Taiwan

Opportunities are availabe for those entering in missions to gain valuable training experience .  The Walz family will be happy to what we can to make your future ministry start off with the necessary experience and training one needs to make it on the field.  Irreplaceable lessons can only be learned on the job, but  we all approach your training with a systematic program one would expect to see in a formal institution.   I would like to invite our churches and friends to consider the opportunity in front of you.  Many have already benefitted from 6 to 12 month internship before beginning deputation.


Short term missions opportunities are also available for churches who would like to visit and take part of our growing ministry in Taiwan.

For interns our recommendation is to raise 2,000 dollars per month of your internship.  We will set up your accommodations once you arrive.


Once here you may expect to begin language learning.  Perhaps you do not plant to working a Chinese speaking country, but you will learn the principles to communicate effectually in any language within two years.

You will also have ample opportunities in a variety of ways to create meaningful relationships with people who need Jesus.  We will help you use your talents and abilities to reach those who otherwise would remain unreached.

We will also share with you our philosophy of missions. We will answer questions as what to look for in a mission field, where to start, how to start, how to reach people, how to mentor, how to plant multiple churches etc..


So if you are interested, get with your pastor and contact us for more information: walzinchina@gmail.com

UPDATE: Compass Baptist of Kaohsiung Needs Your Prayers!

Our Grand Opening Flyer

We’ve enjoyed about a months time of “soft opening” at the new church site.  These pre-opening services has given us time to iron out the kinks of the PA system and has given Pex a valuable time of practice and preaching before this weeks opener and dedication service.  This Sunday the 20th of September, Compass Baptist Church will host its “grand opening”.  Within just a few days 60,000 flyers will make their way into the surrounding mailboxes.  I’ve encouraged our people to invite all their friends.  The only thing left to do is pray and ask the Lord to bless the work that He has commissioned.

Our pre-opening phase has proved to be a wise use of the time, and I plan to implement the same strategy in future church plants.  Our pre-oepning was only a little over a month before our dedication service, but in some contexts, it would not be unwise to extend that to as much time as you needed. Here are a few strong points of a pre-opening period for your new ministry/church plant:

  • It gives the men you are training time to practice formal services and prepare them for the big leagues.
  • It gives time for you to get comfortable with your locations logistics, especially if you are in a major city where parking and transportation is an issue.
  • It gives time to ground the few people you have and prepare them to invite their friends.  In turn when you have an opening day, they will be instrumental in providing a friendly comfortable atmosphere.
  • It gives time for you and your small group to plan a comprehensive evangelistic strategy, such as passing out flyers and implementing activities that will continue to draw contacts.  It also gives your group time to plan the next several weeks following the grand opening day to help people find their way back to church.
  • For those ministries starting in foreign lands like ours, it gives valuable time to preach in the foreign language with friends who are willing to help you to improve.  Because of this, I feel I can now manage my nervous fears of preaching to large crowds in Chinese.
  • As I mentioned, it gives time for the kinks in your technologies to be ironed out and improve for the big day.

Thank for reading, if you have any comments or tips to add of your own, please do so.  Contact me about coming to see us, or doing an internship with us if you are considering full time ministry!  God Bless.

Undeniable Evidence

Does God give evidence that we might believe in Him?  While in Taiwan and China we ask questions of religion such as, “what do you think of the after life”, or “what do you suppose the relationship between God and human beings is like?”.   Young people have commonly given an answer like this: “I must see some sort of evidence before I could believe in God”.  The evidence they obviously mean here is some sort of observable scientific evidence, perhaps a miracle or a Hubble snap-shot of God’s throne in heaven.  But the God of the Bible has quite frankly revealed Himself in a more thought provoking and astonishing way.

My first instincts to answering questions like this was to find some sort of Creation Science hand book that could give insights or “evidence” to convincing skeptics of the possibility of a created universe rather than a naturalistic origin.  What I found is that these conversation with people were often arduous, conflicting, and unfruitful.  At best I could arouse some mild curiosity or perhaps stump a novice, but I have never been able to change someones mind through providing enough physical evidence of God’s existence, let alone His call to the Gospel, repentance, and discipleship.

But another question arose that challenged me, “If God was so concerned with people believing in Him, then why doesn’t He just provide them with the undeniable evidence they are all crying out for?”  What some people are essentially saying is they are wanting some sort of Monty Python appearance from God out of the clouds to reveal Himself and speak to them directly before they’re convinced.   So why doesn’t God do this?  Won’t allowing people to see His majesty in the clouds hovering over the earth convince them?

I’m afraid not, not at least this type of faith.  Let me explain.  Lets suppose you are the world’s wealthiest bachelor, seeking for your one true love.  But the problem is your wealth is well known and sifting through a sea of love letters, emails, and prospects leaves very little hope of finding true love, a sincere and sacrificial love.  It’s probably a safe bet every single email and love letter is just an attempt at your money.  The true value of any marriage is trust, and trust in each other promises made to one another, particularly at the altar.  It is conceivable you might somehow disguise your wealth and only reveal yourself through your words.  It is in the revelation of the words you say where people learn the real you and therefore pledge themselves based on trust and sincere love.

If God were to go ahead and give everyone their undeniable evidence, and God should appear in the clouds above then I suspect a few things would follow.  Firstly,  nearly everyone after being sure what they’re seeing is not some expensive trick would eventually “believe” there is a God.  Everyone would probably watch what they do and say, at least for a while.  But the problem is that this undeniable evidence of God would not deal with people’s sin nature, the nature to rebel against God and eventually someone will slip up and do something wrong.  Once they see God He does not immediately punish them things will quickly spiral to the way the things were before.  Just this time, their condemnation is even more severe as God’s undeniable revelation still hovers in the sky.  This undeniable evidence would only make people believe the way Satan believes God, unrepentant and condemned.

God has chosen a more loving and sure way to reveal Himself to those who truly are His people.  To assume who belongs to God is to assume the greatest thing you want from God is God Himself and not some wish or material blessing.  God here is the rich bachelor in our parable revealing His character in His Word.  There is more evidence in God’s word than people might think.  Certainly it is not the kind of evidence that may reduce God to a simple science experiment in the lab, but the Bible is a 1,500 year experiment of God revealing Himself to people in the context of Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, and finally defeated and conquered nation.  Even modern science fails to provide many experiments of this magnitude.  At the end of the experiment we find God’s Word is finally trustworthy.  Not only the biblical records of history, prophecy prove to be irrefutable, but the real power to change lives lies in the revelations of God’s person, and that of God’s ultimate self expression in Jesus Christ.

I made a later personal “discovery” on how God operates in the Bible, which in fact was no real discovery at all, it was always there in Genesis 1:1.  I just failed before to see that in the very first verse of the Bible God reveals that the rest of what follows in God’s word all hinges on an important presupposition that God expects us to just accept: “In the beginning God.” No explanations, no experiments, no evidences, just a promise that God wants believed.  The end purpose of God’s word is not convince people of God’s existence.  Suppose for a moment there is a God in heaven, and how silly it would seem to Him to harbor this unfulfillable wish for people to only acknowledge He exists… No, no,  God is revealing His character to a people whom He will make undying promises of sacrificial love.  It is through these promises and through His word people’s lives are changed and through faith become the heirs of God’s goodness.  If trust in a loving marriage is the foundation for everything else, then trusting God in what He says is the foundation for our access to God, specially trusting God promise to bless is through believing Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate expression of God’s; to believe what Jesus said is true, what He did happened, and that He is alive from the grave after nailing our rebellion to the cross.

Moses asked see God’s glory once, God replied by saying, “I’ll show you my goodness”.  This is to say God’s glory is most reflected in His goodness, because He is good.  Fifteen hundred years later God’s goodness was ultimately displayed on a sinners cross…  God’s ultimate Word, His final self-expression, became flesh and lived among us.  So it is inconceivable that mere “evidence” will ever be enough to turn a sinners heart to repentance.  They need to see His Word, they need to see Jesus.

Big City or Small Town Missions?

It is not a matter of right or wrong where an individual sets up camp to evangelize. There are things to consider objectively that the evangelist should consider however.  First lets briefly summarize the purpose of missions. Evangelize as many people as possible.  There are a number of people in the world that have never heard the gospel.  The church’s missions is reduce this number to zero. So with this in view, where can a missionary go to be the most effective in this goal?  What are the pros and cons to urban and suburban evangelism?  Are certain locations going to result in evangelization more than others?

Ask anyone on our team and we are all going to recommend the larger cities over rural missions.  Since we believe the goal is reach as many as possible with the Gospel, the clear decision where to go is then where the people are.  The city in Taiwan where we are now working has incredibly dense population.  Homes are literally stacked on each other reaching up into the city skyline.  We think that evangelists in the early church would agree with our assessment going to places like this is where we should be starting.  Paul, during his missionary journey, stopped in three cities for a significant amount of time: Ephesus  (2 years), Corinth (1.5 Years, multiple visits),  Antioch (at least 2 years). Each of these cities were relatively largest cities of the world of their time.  Philippi would have been considered a small town where Paul only spent about a week. The correlation of time spent in some of these places also depended on the kind of response he received after the giving of the gospel.

Also the public forums of larger towns would have especially drawn the interest of Paul.  Larger cities are plentiful in public forums, they could hold larger audiences. He understood the importance of a public forum where people did nothing else but listen to him talk, such as the ready made forums of public square markets and Mar’s Hill. Once in these places, he spoke the content of the gospel.  Once he felt a certain level of evangelization had been achieve, Paul was driven toward other cities with  greater numbers of the unevangelized.  At no time do we see Paul laying down roots for years and years, he always maintained an attitude of mobility.  It is conceivable that in a  modern city of millions of people, one may spend a lifetime evangelizing in that city, but Paul almost certainly would not remain in the same area of that city for an exaggerated amount of time.  For Paul, whether it was reasons of persecution or receiving a vision or a great burden of debt to a group of people, he was never stationary while on the mission. Paul’s missionary example was undeniably nomadic.

Paul also knew the gospel itself is nomadic and we see the gospel spreading across Europe and Asia from these larger cities.  In our next post lets look at Paul’s basic process of evangelization and some practical applications for the missionary.

What Sort of Relationship Do You Have with God?

I have traversed the two China’s for enough time to now to make some simple observations of people’s different views of God.  I cannot continue to write this without making some generalizations however so please forgive if the broadness if my words unfairly depicts your individual experience.  What I wish to communicate not only has implications for those who wish to serve in a missionary capacity but for any Christian who wants to know the God of the Bible.

God indeed is a person, and He has discoverable traits that can be known to those who have a relationship with Him, but what kind of relationship? Granted an infinite God cannot be fully known, and thankfully that is so, because I would imagine that in the course of eternity we would become rather bored with a finite god that can completely understood in every minute detail.  Our God always has more that can be discovered and each discovery points to His goodness that fills up the hearts of His people.  If you are on this path to know God, you are busy reading His story and thankful for each discovery you make.

In China and Taiwan, perhaps more so in Taiwan, exists a view of God that is common in poly-theist societies, a belief in many lesser finite gods.  The main idea here is that god enters a bargaining relationship with you, because he is finite, that must mean there is something that god lacks.  It is therefore an opportunity for the worshipper to produce whatever it is that god needs in return for a supernatural blessing from that particular god. The greatest thing of value in this relationship to the gods are not the relationship itself but the material blessings one hopes to achieve.  All throughout Taiwan are these temples dedicated to this and that god known for some particular interest they have.  People can be seen worshipping in hopes to earn the blessing from the gods.

The sad thing is though, this is how many people view God of the Bible, wanting material blessings more than wanting God.  This leaves the worshipper in a self-centered view of the world and frankly unrepentant.  In Athens, Paul teaches a very strange message about a God who has no needs, an infinite Creator that cannot be reduced to a temple or bartered with.  The God of the Bible doesn’t need our worship, therefore there is nothing we might give in exchange for some blessing we want. How does one approach a God like this?

In our life we have different degrees of relationship with people.  With your grocer you may have rather common bartering relationship.  As long as your grocer offers good deals and convenient service, you’ll continue your business there.  But perhaps someone opens up a closer shop with better deals, better service, and better quality.  Our loyalty easily sways to the better deal.  On the other hand we have intimate relationship with people such as our spouses and children.  The success of those relationship depends upon a type of sacrificial love and promises to fulfill the needs of the other.  The most fulfilling of these two is the latter.  The most joy, happiness, and sense of fulfillment exist when we uphold a promise to meet the needs of the other, even at the expense of what is best for us.  This best explains the dynamics of a covenant relationship.

As you read the Bible, one should take notice which sort of these relationship God desires with the people He deals with.  An example of this is the “covenants” God makes with Abraham and David.  Here I will only discuss God’s dealings with Abraham however. The culture of our day struggles to find something similar to describe the Biblical covenants we see played out with Abraham.  I would appeal to the covenant of marriage, but suffering of marriage of our day cannot guarantee a close understanding of the biblical concept of covenant.  Unfortunately, marriage has been replaced by a contractual agreement where the “promises” go from
“no matter what” to “as long as you are this, then I’ll be this”.  But rest assured, the relationship God wants from us is a full -on, all-in covenant relationship with God.

Genesis 15

When we refer to the Old and New Testaments of the bible, the word “testament” actually means “covenant” and they both describe the commitments God made to Israel and Christ’s church. In Genesis 15 we see a bizarre scene between God and Abraham play out, a kind of ceremony for finalizing a covenant.  Abraham wants a little more legal proof from God that He’s going to hold up His end of the bargain by provided Abraham with a son despite he and Sarah’s old age.  Abraham is told to prepare the ceremony by butchering a calf, a goat, a ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon.  The animal pieces were placed facing each other in two bloody piles on the ground.  Abraham seems to be preparing the ceremony with the understanding of what is about to happen.  He is about to enter a formal agreement with the Almighty.

The intention is for two parties to make promises to each other that are to be fulfilled no matter what the consequence, and regardless of the other parties behavior.  The fundamental value of a covenant like this one is faithfulness to one’s word.   Along with a covenant are pronounced curses that exist if one should fail to uphold their promise to the other. In this case, the bloody pile of animal carcasses serve as the background imagery for these curses, as though they are saying, “If I fail to uphold my word to you, let me be cursed, let me be butchered like these animal carcasses.”

But this is where something miraculous happens.  God’s intentional delay leads Abraham to fall in a sleep.  God’s presence is represented by a “smoking furnace and a burning lamp”.  One should fight the temptation to get lost in the details of what exactly is representing God’s presence here.  The extraordinary thing is that as God is walking between the halves of the animal pieces, Abraham is absent from the ceremony!  One would assume the ceremony was to be an exchanged of promises between God and Abraham, but what we see here is God substituting Abraham’s place.  This means two things:

First, it means no matter what God will bless Abraham and if God should not keep His promise, He will accept the curse of being ripped apart.  But secondly it means, if Abraham, who has been substituted by God Himself, should fail in remaining faithful to God, then God, not Abraham, will take on the curse for him.  The rest of the Old testament depicts the continual betrayal of Abraham’s descendants against God, but when was God ever ripped to pieces?  How can a transcendent God die? God became a human to died on a cross.  Jesus kept His promise to Abraham. Recall Jesus saying the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I AM”

The New Covenant 

If the kind of relationships in our life that give us the most satisfaction are those covenant like relationships such as marriage or parentage, then this is what we must have with God.  This is the purpose of the “New Testament”, the “New Covenant”.  Unlike the many rules and regulations of the Old Covenant, all its conditions have been reduced to one work, “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29). God sent His Son into the world that through believing all He said and did we might enter in a covenant relationship with God.

In any covenant relationship the greatest thing of value is the relationship itself and not what external blessings there may be.  With our grocer though, the most important is the groceries, but with God it should be God.  Jesus makes impossible things possible, a covenant relationship with God, apart from our belief He fulfills all conditions on our behalf.  With this in view, Christians may view the world with all its temptation in a proper perspective. Just like in marriage, we must fiercely defend against all things that might damage the intimacy of the relationship, and so we have the same attitude with God.  When selfish desires become more important to us than our spouse, the relationship suffers and intimacy is broken, so we combat these things with a promise.  The promises we make give stability and value to the relationship much greater than the value of the kind with our grocer.  How much more value should we give to God who sealed His promises with His own blood?

We are not waiting to find out if God is faithful, He has already proven it!  Anyone may enjoy God now through believing His promises He makes to us, this means believing Jesus is Who He says He is.  

The Taiwan Ten

5 updates from John
5 updates from Alisha

His: I’m blessed to report that Leo, the young man I baptized just after our arrest has come forward to begin a formal internship at the Branches Church in Harbin. I will be continuing training with him over Skype.

Hers: Language classes have started back up once again and I’m excited to share that my language learning is increasing. My tutor, Amy, speaks no English which forces me to use Chinese and learn quick.

His: “Throne Baptist Church” will Lord willing have its first service on the 28th of this month. Praise God for using us this way after our expulsion from the mainland.

Hers: I have personally made 8 contacts and while be meeting with each girl this week for coffee, volleyball, having our sons meet, and baking banana bread. Please pray the Lord will begin to work in their hearts and they will be open to study the bible.

His: A second church plant follows tentatively for July 2015, Lord willing. Both church plants are great giving opportunities that will lead to people getting the Gospel!

Hers: Every time we head out to meet new people Ian draws a lot of attention. Thus giving us the opportunity to invite people to church or have an one-on-one meeting with them, to personally ask about studying the bible.

His: pray for our Chinese tutors, they are first time hearers of the Gospel. They hear the gospel everyday in class, and are indirectly seeing how God reveals Himself in the Bible verse by verse. We have been invited to their home for dinner this Sunday, presenting us with our first opportunity with them outside of class.

Hers: Dec 21st we will once again have dinner with our tutors family at our house. We will celebrate an early Christmas with Thanksgiving turkey and with all its fixings. During this time we will ask the question about studying the bible with us. They are a Buddhist family.

His: We are working hard each day to fill out 25 personal contacts needed for our first church service. Each team member is responsible for 25 personal invitations before first service begins. All Harbin churches had their start this way, we just pray the Lord will bless the effort.

Hers: Please pray with us in finding a babysitter for Ian.