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January 17, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

What is a Christian Tentmaker | Christian Business Ethics

Business as Mission and Christian Business Ethics

A resource from Tentmaker highlights:

The apostle Paul carried on his trade as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3) on some of his missionary journeys. Many people since have followed his example, taking their businesses and professions to other cultures and continents. Thus the word “Tentmaker” has passed into Christian vocabulary.

A tentmaker, simply put, is a disciple of Jesus Christ who is called by God to a cross-cultural ministry using marketable skills and services. It is recognized as a valid and important aspect of world mission and is, in no sense, inferior to any other type of service.

Not too many people are actually sewing tents together as part of missions strategy today, but there are some who have set up small craft businesses. Those who go overseas today are more likely to be teachers of English, administrators, business people, bankers, water engineers, medical professionals, mechanics, students in overseas universities or secretaries. Their jobs may be offered by companies, Governments or international aid organizations and arranged before they leave their home.

The whitepaper continues:

Paul provides us with a good model. His primary motive as an apostle was to preach the Gospel, whether in a lecture hall, matted living room or smelly backstreet. But his workbench was also a “platform”, as he was able to demonstrate his faith through hard work, integrity and business ethics. At the same time he could avoid being a financial burden on the infant churches. (Acts 20: 32-35; 1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3: 6-10).

Continue reading this document on Tentmakers, their missional role in the world, and concluding pages contain a great checklist for the qualities of that make great tentmakers. You can also choose to find Christian tentmaker resources on Google or my recent post on Kingdom business principles and Christian business ethics or my resource on what does it mean to be a Christian. Enjoy!

What is your favorite Christian tentmaker example, model, or resource?

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