Tent Making

<<being financially self-supporting>>

The term ‘tent maker’ is derived from Paul’s lifestyle of financially supporting himself while full-time planting churches and preaching the gospel. His trade was making tents and he didn’t want to be a burden on the early Christians so he regularly sought to support himself and those with him while they overtly

The need to earn a living does not prevent                                 us from working for God

shared and preached Christ (Act 18:2,3, 20:33,34; 1 Thes 2:9; 2 Thes 3:7-9).

About 60% of the world’s population live under governments that restrict the entry of ‘full-time’ religious workers, however those with secular skills are generally welcomed into these countries, providing opportunities to be ‘tent maker’ or self-supporting missionaries as they obey Jesus’ command to “make disciples of every nation” (Mt 28:19). Fledging church are often pastored by a person who initially also works a full-time secular job. Sometimes a person called into ministry prefers the tentmaking approach to provide their own financial support so they can stay connected and identify with the people to whom they minister. It affords them opportunities to live out their message and model what they preach through lifestyle evangelism. 

Thus in the wider context a tent maker is a lay person/minister working in a secular job to provide for their own financial needs, while being involved in Christian ministry outside work hours.  Thus if the majority of Christians, as distinct from faith missionaries or fulltime workers, are employed in the

We can witness for God while doing our                                                            own work

secular marketplace, where they live out their faith and share Christ by being actively involved in Kingdom ministry can be termed tent makers .

See also: marketplace, ministry, mission, missionaries, self-sufficiency, support.


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