"God created us to do good work and called us to make disciples. Too often we see those two things competing for our loyalty unnecessarily. Glenn invites us to see the ways vocation and mission meet authentically and beautifully."
- RUTH HUBBARD | Vice President, Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
The term "tentmaking" is based on the Apostle Paul's example of frequently covering his own ministry and living expenses through his learned trade—making tents from goat skins.
Rather than diverting his time and energy away from ministry, tentmaking enabled him to identify closely with the people he aimed to reach.
From Paul's day until now, ordinary believers have used tentmaking as a sustainable way to cross geographical barriers and share the gospel while meeting their financial needs.
Discover answers to these 12 common issues faced by anyone embarking on a tentmaking ministry:
Finding Employment Abroad
Obtaining Prayer Support
Securing Visas and Permits
Settling on Housing and Schooling
Discovering Fellowship in the Host Country
Seeing Opportunities for Outreach
Confronting Issues in Language Learning
Relating to Existing Ministries
Benefiting from Local Employment
Identifying Provision for Medical Care
Having Income on Extended Home Stays
Facing Unpredictable Material Crises and Retirement
Working Abroad with Purpose covers twelve practical steps for a tentmaker including finding employment abroad, discovering opportunities for Christian witness, and preparing for retirement. Author Glenn Deckert illustrates the steps from his personal experience in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East.
Having employment not only preempts unhelpful suspicion but embeds one in the society for deeper cultural understanding. Contracted employment, whether in a country easily accessed or one called limited-access, facilitates essential permits and entry. The handling of disruptions foreigners sometimes face in faraway places due to political developments, the need for further study, or family needs is illustrated.
Some of the steps overlap with those of a traditional missionary such as securing prayer support, settling on appropriate housing, and tackling a new language. By contrast, the tentmaker’s approach largely bypasses fund raising and avoids the awkwardness of long-term residence in the host country without any apparent source of income.
Glenn is happy to talk with you regarding tentmaking-as-vocation or other related topics.
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