Let’s get this point out of the way first. If you are a follower of Christ, you are called to go and make disciples. It’s not optional. The only question is where, and perhaps how.
Tentmakers are disciple-makers who intentionally cross cultures with their profession to share Jesus with those who do not know him. Often they work where vocational religious workers cannot go. They come from all walks and many stages of life: students, marketplace workers, singles, couples, families, and even retirees.
Many people erroneously disqualify themselves. Don’t be one of them. If God is speaking to you – listen to him. Then take a look at this list of qualifications.
Ask yourself these eight key questions:
- Am I a follower of Jesus?
- Am I growing in my relationship with Jesus?
- Am I practicing personal godliness?
- Do I have Spiritual alignment? – I understand my unique personal gifting and how it aligns with God’s purpose for my life?
- Am I committed to Jesus and to taking him to the nations? Do I have a passion to share my friend Jesus with others?
- Am I part of a local church? Do I have a healthy relationship in the local church?
- Do I have a profession, or proven skill set valued in the marketplace? Or, I am a student willing to pursue studies in another culture and show the life of Christ while doing so?
- If married, do I have a healthy, godly family relationship? If not, get your house in order before going to someone else’s house.
Congratulations, if you answered YES to the previous questions, you qualify to become a tentmaker.
There are many other qualities and habits that are valuable for a tentmaker. Among them:
- Open-mindedness and prepared to learn from others.
- Higher education. A college degree is generally preferred.
- Hobbies and diversions one enjoys doing with others.
Being qualified is obviously the first step to being ready to be a tentmaker.
There is more to readiness. As an athlete trains and prepares for his competition, one must prepare to fulfill his role and calling.
We often over-complicate this part. Readiness is as much a state of mind and attitude as it formal education and training. Still we need some preparation to get started.
Life is a process. One is always growing and maturing. God starts with us where we are. As we mature we put into practice what we know and learn from it. Now that you know you can be a tentmaker, read the next article to take the next steps.
By Phil Sandahl