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Tentmakers Are Born

“Where do babies come from?”   That question tends to stop any young parent dead in their tracks.  “Where?”  The parent answers slowly, stalling for time to ponder their next artful words.   Everything knows it’s an important question.  It even has a clear answer. But, prudently, a clear answer is seldom given.

“Where do Tentmakers come from?”   That question, on the other hand, has no clear answer.  Yet it is often answered as if there was one!   Based on wrong assumptions, some say, “Tentmakers are sent by the church.”  Or “tentmakers are part of the mission department.”  Or “tentmakers are launched by their home field.”  Or “tentmakers are self-appointed apostles.”   The truth is, unlike babies, tentmakers have no predictable starting point.   Every tentmaker has a unique story as to how they came to the realization of their calling and the beginning of their mission.

However, we may recognize some themes in the process of a tentmaker’s birth.

Tentmakers are born out of conviction.    Whether they fall into the role by chance or have spent nights awake pondering their duty to the the Lord and His lost sheep,  every tentmaker begins their personal ministry because of conviction.   Conviction is how Christ intended the gospel to be spread.   Tentmakers are convicted of several things: a) the beauty of salvation, b) the power of truth, c) the value of their profession, and d) the usefulness of their work for reaching people.

Tentmakers are born out of necessity.   Tentmakers are in the heart of the action among lost or confused men and woman daily.   The tentmaker yearns to see a friend hear or know the Bible . . . and by situation they likely recognize that they are the only chance of those men and woman ever meeting Christ.  

Tentmakers are born because God adds pleasure to their witness.   I know a tentmaker in Paris.  She is an industrial engineer and is faithfully sharing truth daily.   Why?  It’s her pleasure!  Usually tentmakers not only love their job, but they love the mental and spiritual challenge of bringing Bible light into daily interactions.   It is stimulating, sometimes risky, and quite addictive to bring Christ out in the open.   Tentmakers are born from the adrenaline that the Holy Spirit gives them for this task.

Where do tentmakers come from?    Some come looking for jobs, some come with a job secured, some come with a business plan, some come with strong mission motives and some begin with no special motive at all.  There is no single profile of the tentmaker– accept that they are believers who fall under conviction, make themselves available to the Spirit, and repeatedly step forward for Christ.  And it is all for the sheer pleasure that comes in being an agent of the Holy Spirit.

That’s how tentmakers are born! –BP