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2023-1&2

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작성자 TI 조회 809 작성일 23-01-01 17:13

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Go and make disciples
of all nations!


-Matt 28:19 NIV-
January and February, 2023
TI Editorial

Happy New Year!
Dear Fellow workers




Jonny Chun
Executive Secretary of Tentmakers International

    The year 2022 has gone, and the new year 2023 has come.

    In the last three years, tentmaking ministries and tentmaking movements around the globe were almost stopped. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our ways to communicate with others, teach and preach have changed and our friends in the fields had to spend a hard time reaching, communicating, and sharing the gospel with people in their global workplaces.

    But some of our friends began to create new and effective ways to communicate Gospel with people using their new online skills.

    TI also struggled with this unexpected crisis and tried to develop new ways to reach and educate tentmakers and TM leaders. The followings are what the secretary of TI tried in 2022.

 

<Online lectures and conferences 2022>

a. The secretary of TI taught MIGSM (MI Graduate School of Mission in India) students for one semester (12 weeks) on Tentmaking and Pre-evangelism last year.

 

b. A few months ago, the TI secretary gave a lecture via Zoom on Tentmaking for tentmakers (most of them were foreign teachers and business people) in Thailand.

 

c. Johnny held a ministry workshop for 28 Christian Professors last August and has been teaching one semester on Pre & Post Evangelism at schools for 15 professors nationwide in Korea. At the same time when the Fall semester began, 13 professors invited students and have been teaching students in the program on pre-evangelism for 12 weeks in their laboratories. The outcome was very positive (14 College students believed and received Jesus as their Savior).

Happy New Year!!!

Tentmaking Seminar via Zoom – Thailand
 
TI- Pre-evangelism Conference for Professors, Korea
Tentmaker's story


A Tale About Planning



                by Phill Sandahl  from tentmaking today

    Martha’s story of how she overcame obstacles and moved ahead with her life after losing her husband is instructive. The time proven principles she used can be applied to a tentmaker seeking God’s direction in his life as well.

    Martha was a successful business woman for many years and used these principles to guide her work. When she lost her husband things seemed to come unglued for a time. Then she re-focused on what had worked in the past. It all started to come together.
 

Accept Responsibility

    In addition to faith, prayer, and Bible study, she took actions to get where God wanted to use her. Her process was simple:

    Accept RESPONSIBILITY. The root of the word comes from the idea; ‘Am I able to respond, or how do I respond?” If you want something to change it is up to you to accept responsibility – to respond. Martha decided she needed to take action to change her circumstances and hence her outcome.
 

State the Problem or Issue

    Clearly state the problem or issue. She reflected on why she was in a “funk,” and what needed to change. For a tentmaker it might be a little different. Perhaps  the tentmaker is pondering where God wants to use him, or how can he find employment in his field in a place he does not know?

    Once the obstacle is defined it is easier to focus ones thinking on generating options. Sorting through the options leads to the formulation of a goal and a plan to get there.
 

Identify a GOAL and a PLAN

Martha related the oft told story relates about a Harvard study in 1979 that asked entering students, “Did they have clearly defined, written goals?” The outcome was not surprising. 84% had no goals. 13% had goals, but not a written plan.  A mere 3% had written goals and a PLAN to accomplish them.

This was a longitudinal study which meant that they followed the careers of these students for the next 10 years. At the end of the study the 3% group had made 10x more money than the other 97% combined.

MARTH’S STORY

    When I went to research the source of the story I discovered that it was probably apocryphal – that is there is no record of such a study ever being conducted. However, the conclusion of the story has not been challenged. The wisdom of committing to a written plan and goals has been shown anecdotally to be true over and over again.

    For a tentmaker a plan could be very detailed or just an outline for the major milestones and how to get there. More detail is better, but just the act of committing to a written plan is a major improvement over no plan at all. Your tentmaker journey begins with a God-given plan. As progress is made you revise your plan out into the future. Always bare in mind that you are seeking to align yourself with God-s plan, not simply create something of your own wishful thinking. Commit your ways to the Lord and he will direct your paths. Psalm 37.5 “promises, “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
 

Moving Ahead

    If you are struggling to get past “stuck,” consider reaching out to the Tentmaker community of Tent International. We have centers around the world with experienced staff ready to walk with you along your journey at whatever stage you are in the process. You may just be wondering is God really asking me to do this? Or at the stage of now that I’m here what do I do?

Myths about Tentmakers


              by  Phill Sandahl from tentmaking today
* The photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY.


Tentmaker Myths and half-truths:

    I was talking with a sincere believer who opposed the idea of having tentmakers. This person raised several objections based on a false understanding of what tentmaking is or should be. Sadly, many of her concerns were based on cases she knew where people calling themselves tentmakers followed these practices.


Myths

  • Tentmakers do not listen to the nationals and learn from them. Tentmakers are invited to their host country because of their expertise or skill the country needs more of. However, to apply their specialty they first have to become learners of the of the context and culture of their hosts. They should approach their responsibility as learners. They need to understand the people and context before they can share their expertise. Good tentmakers follow this principle.
  • Tentmakers are just in it for the body count – to chalk up souls. This concept is a distortion of the Gospel which is common in part of the western church. Some believers may take this baggage with them when they go overseas. A tentmaker who has been properly prepared recognizes that his role is as an ambassador for the Kingdom of God. He is responsible to bring God’s love into that community and be an obedient model of “Christ in me.” It may, or may not, result in “conversion,” during his time in the host country. Bringing people into the Kingdom is the role of the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us “…some prepare the soil, some plant, others water, and to some is given the privilege of participating in the harvest. (1 Cor 3.7)
     
  • There are countries that prohibit talking about Jesus. This is an overstatement. Some countries prohibit proselytization. But talking about your friend Jesus is a natural part of being who you are. And it would be rude not to answer questions from your new friends if they asked you what you believe about Jesus. You cannot tell him he has to believe the same. But if the Holy Spirit prompts him to that conclusion that is not proselytization.
     
  • It is unethical for a teacher to talk about his faith with a student because that student is under pressure from the teacher. This could be the reaction of an ill-trained tentmaker who abuses their role. Rather, the true tentmaker demonstrates Christ-like behavior that invites the student to learn more about the teacher and why they are the way they are. Live a life that invites questions.
     
  • The term closed country is inaccurate. Closed to what? There are no closed countries. Some countries are more difficult to enter than others. Not all countries welcome all types of people. We have yet to find a country that is not open to believers who bring value to the country.
     
  • Tentmakers enter countries under false pretenses. This is sometimes called the “bait and switch” tactic associated with unethical salespeople. I always encourage tentmakers to be honest about purpose. They are there to do the job that was the basis for their visa. That does not mean that they have to hide their faith. It is part of who they are. Christ in you should shine through and introduce people to what it means to be a Jesus follower based on what they observe and hear from you.
     
  • Tentmakers have a stealth agenda. I have heard of such cases. It is dishonest and not the conduct of a tentmaker living an integrated faith in his work Some people mistakenly believe that if they are open about their faith, they will not be able to stay in the country and share with people about their love of Jesus. Their fear is generally unfounded. In any event, if people do not know about their faith, they are unlikely to find opportunity to share.

    Generally, it is better to acknowledge your love of Jesus and that He is important in your life. That will often prompt questions and conversations.  Mark Russell’s research in The Missional Entrepreneur shows that tentmakers who are more open about their faith make a bigger impact on their community. They are more accepted because they are open, and they are freer to interact because are not fearful of revealing their “stealth agenda.”


What tentmaking is/should be

    Ruth Siemens, the founder of Global Opportunities (now Global Intent) reminds us, “Tentmaking and regular missionary work are not just two different means of financial support, but two quite different mission strategies for different people in different situations.”

    The term tentmaking comes from the description of the work of the Apostle Paul. The approach actually pre-dates him as we find examples in the Old Testament of God followers testifying to His faithfulness while pursuing their vocations in the marketplace. Abraham, Joseph, and Daniel, among others, come to mind.

    Tentmaking is part of God’s strategy to infuse his Kingdom into all parts of the world and make His presence known to those who have not heard of him. All believers are called to this task. Not all are obedient.


Food for further thought

    For Tentmakers ACCESS = available to seekers as they are directed by the Holy Spirit. You have to be present to be available. From there the Holy Spirit orchestrates the communication.