Turn your work from being just a job into being an integral part of the mission.
As the world becomes more religiously polarized, many nations have closed their borders to church-based missionaries. Mission organizations call these nations “restricted access countries,” a term that applies to places where it’s politically or religiously challenging to share the gospel or worship openly.
Simply put, tentmakers who are part of Total Employment are devoted believers who use their profession to work in a restricted access part of the world for the purpose of sharing God’s love in both word and deed.
Paul used his craft to support his passion for mission. In Corinth he stayed with Aquila and Priscilla and made tents because they were tentmakers. This work became his ticket to planting churches all over Asia. Paul spent years travelling among the major cities in Asia Minor and Europe, where he shared the message of Christ and planted churches.
Global Mission is using this same method to reach people for Christ who might otherwise never hear the gospel. By using tentmaking as part of Total Employment®, there is no limit to mission, no boundaries where God cannot be seen or heard.
Tentmakers work at legitimate jobs and support themselves entirely by their work, just as Paul did in Corinth. But in the process they make friends and meet people’s needs. They find ways of helping others understand important questions such as, Who is God? Did Jesus die for me? Will Jesus come again? They may even start a worship group in their home.
Today there is a need for tentmaking missionaries coming from every nation and going to every nation. There is a need for Africans, Asians, South Americans, Europeans, and North Americans. There is a need for people who speak English and Spanish, Arabic and Urdu, Mandarin and Bahasa.
Use your career to take you where traditional missionaries cannot go.
Anyone can be a tentmaker by being part of total employment, but it takes a high level of commitment to leave your home, career, and extended family in order to live and work in a restricted access country. Teachers, carpenters, engineers, doctors, nurses, housekeepers, and accountants can all serve as Christ’s ambassadors where traditional missionaries cannot go. Most tentmakers live and work in large urban areas of the world that are centers of commerce, industry, communication, and travel.
Today, as the church seeks to be faithful to its calling to prepare all nations for the second coming of Christ, there is an urgent need for thousands of tentmakers—men and women who are willing to use their profession in another part of the world for the purpose of sharing Christ.
Tentmakers make a difference!
The Bible is filled with wisdom and encouragement for tentmakers. Here are just a few scriptural tips:
God constantly seeks to reach out to others through us.
To be a coworker with Jesus, you should have all patience with those for whom you labor, not scorning the simplicity of the work, but looking to the blessed result. When those for whom you labor do not exactly meet your mind, you often say in your heart, “Let them go; they are not worth saving.” What if Christ had treated poor outcasts in a similar manner? He died to save miserable sinners, and if you work in the same spirit and in the same manner indicated by the example of Him whom you follow, leaving the results with God, you can never in this life measure the amount of good you have accomplished.” — Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 132.
You will never know the extent of your influence on those who live and work with you, but you can determine the quality of that influence as you interact with others. Let God lead you in every aspect of your life.
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