People tell us their company is assigning them to work overseas. “Since I am a Christian, that makes me a tentmaker,” they say. No, sadly, they are just a Christian working overseas I tell them.
So what’s the difference, they ask.
The difference is that a tentmaker is someone who is INTENTIONAL. Any believer living overseas can, and I believe, should be a tentmaker. Just being a Christian and living in a different culture is not enough.
Let’s unpack this idea.
When one works with intentionality everything he does has a purpose. It is not enough to just drift through life and react to what comes one’s way. Intentional people choose their actions to accomplish their goals.
To make sure they stay on goals they hold themselves accountable for achieving results.
It creates a lifestyle they pursue in all their everyday activities. They are committed to make a difference in the world through their lives.
To be intentional is to have a purpose, a plan, a process and to be accountable for the results.
People who live intentionally are deliberate about their calendar, their actions, their relationships and their lifestyle.
I like how Kalinowski puts it in one of his Verge teaching videos. When one lives with intentionality he doesn’t add more activities to his calendar. Instead, he makes sure that the things he does in his daily routines provide opportunities to share his faith.
He asks, “What if God gave us a way to see everything in life as an opportunity for discipleship and mission? He has! It’s the rhythm of life he has placed us in.” He then gives some practical examples:
- You eat 3 times a day. Make a point of eating with non-believers and building relationships with them.
- Participate in the festivals and celebrations that are part of routine life. The ones you choose depend on the culture you are in.
- Listen to others for clues. Listen to God.
The principle of intent applies to all of life. It is especially important for the tentmaker to practice intentionality in sharing his faith.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3.17