Article: Tentmaking I

International Journal of Frontier Missions: Tentmaking I

International Journal of Frontier Missions

Volume 14.3

Although tentmaking is not a new concept, perhaps it is just now being realized as an important strategic development by which the unreached peoples of the world can be reached by the Word of God. The articles in this issue of the Journal cover the essence of tentmaking from the beginning when Paul earned his own support, through its historic development until today when businessmen and professionals are witnessing in the social and business worlds of the unreached peoples.

Controversies have come and gone over what a tentmaker is and whether or not the term is suitable for personnel who have the goal of sharing their faith in a different culture. The term tentmaker and its Biblical basis is discussed at length in this issue by tentmakers of the 20th century. Many of our forefathers, both clergy and lay have ventured into new areas of the world for the express purpose of spreading the Gospel. They normally took their own social mores with them and lived a different life style from the peoples of the indigenous society to whom they were called to witness. The question of what is a tentmaker and how do we distinguish them from any other type of missionary is fully addressed in the articles in this special issue on Tentmaking.

The full potential of tentmaking is just now being realized by the Christian community. Churches are beginning to support lay persons who are moving into the 10/40 Window to share their love for Christ and the message of the Gospel. Many of these lay persons are going with large families and the children also become effective agents for the Lord as they live their Christian witness in the ordinary scope of life. What greater testimony can there be? The importance of family and social relationships is discussed in this issue on the experiences of a tentmaking sending agency.