A Few FAQs
Q: Are people who join assigned to serve GLS projects?
A: We do not take a cookie cutter approach and assign tentmakers to places and ministries. We counsel and connect tentmakers to jobs and ministry opportunities, but they enjoy considerable freedom in choosing what they do and where they serve.
Q: If I am open to serving as a tentmaker but unsure about my China calling, what should I do?
A: If you’re unsure of your calling, or haven’t gone to China before, explore by first going on a short term programs. If you have gone to China before and sense God's prompting, then we suggest setting aside at least two years to explore. Why two years? Our experience has shown that it takes about a year to adjust to living and working in China. By the second year, you would have made some friends, engaged in some form of ministry, and be in a better position to consider the viability of staying longer. We will help you in the discernment process.
Q: What if I want to go to China but have yet to choose a career or am open to a career change?
A: Many people consider teaching as an entry point. Teachers are employable around the world.
Universities prefer to hire teachers with MA degrees in education or a related field of study. Many young singles have gone to China to teach English with certification from intensive courses in TESL–Teaching English as a Second Language or TEFL–Teaching English as a Foreign Language. They teach in private language centers, after school programs for children and business people, etc. The pay is very modest and contracts are one year but renewable. If you are not Caucasian, it is harder to find English teaching appointments for lack of “face validity”.
On the other hand, experienced and credentialed teachers are well paid at international schools. Some schools offer free or discounted tuition for the children of their teachers.
Overall, entry level jobs in business are harder to find now. The better your skills, work experience and language abilities, the more job opportunity, security and sustainability you have on the field.
Tentmaking is not just about getting a work visa to stay overseas and support yourself. It is about being an effective witness at work where people spend most of their waking hours. Carefully consider how God has shaped and gifted you, and prayerfully choose and develop your vocation.