Tentmaking Missions

MISSIONARY CALL — WHAT INSPIRES, INFORMS & CONFIRMS IT

What constitutes a missionary call? A deep inner feeling? A burning bush experience? Something just for the spiritual elite? Popular but misguided notions can confuse and hinder your discernment for God’s call. Drawing from Rev. Mack Stiles’ message at the 2013 Cross Student Missions Conference, let us clarify the fundamentals, then illustrate them with Mitch and Zoe’s story

JOINING GOD’S WORK IN THE WORLD FOR HIS GREATER GLORY

A Long But Rewarding Journey

By the time Dave and Elsie got married, they were certain about their call to bi-vocational missions.

During Dave’s post-doc years, he underwent additional training in a related field to broaden his career options. His mentor connected him to an opportunity to consult for an international organization on their China projects. Dave and Elsie began to pray for an overseas assignment with this organization. They were headed in the right direction, but there were many bureaucratic obstacles.

TENTMAKERS FROM BTJ MOVEMENT DAYS TO BELT & ROAD ERA

Despite suffering and chaos, spiritual revival spread among young people across China during WWII and the Civil War that followed.  Brave bands of evangelists felt called to reach the poverty-stricken Northwest. Without knowledge of each other, they went out from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong and Shaanxi.

Understanding Our Times

Every day we read disturbing headlines from around the world: radical factions escalating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from both sides; IS jihadists massacring Christians in Iraq; Islamic terrorists kidnapping school girls in Nigeria; militant Buddhists persecuting Muslims in Myanmar; the government taking down crosses from church buildings in China … and the list goes on.

HOW TENTMAKERS SURVIVE AND THRIVE

The current global economic malaise has made it more challenging for donor-dependent missionaries and job-dependent tentmakers to stay on the field.  While there is a place for short-termers, the work of missions to impact lives and transform culture requires long-term investment.  There is no short cut to building relationships and gaining influence.  So it is important to consider what it would take for workers to serve on the field beyond a few short years.