We just finished another GO Equipped tentmaking course in Fort Myers, FL. Great people—great course. During our closing sharing, several students expressed being freed and empowered by tentmaking—the Biblical model of integrating discipleship and ministry into all of life. Instead of spiritual life being torn apart from the rest of life, it can all be lived for God. Instead of ministry being an activity or program, it can be integrated with every aspect of life.
The husband of one couple started breaking into tears of joy from how the tentmaking model had freed and empowered them. They had been working for years to raise funds for their support. And they were told over and over that they needed more training, so they took more—many programs including Masters degrees over six years. Going for more training undermined their support.
The course reversed this. They realized that they had been doing some very effective ministry through hospitality, workplace evangelism, and friendship. They had some real effectiveness when they were integrating work, life and witness. In fact, all the training and fundraising had squeezed out this natural ministry. “We were so much better before” with opening our home, being friends with people and witnessing. “We’ve gotten terrible. So we are going to ‘re-open” our home and lives.”
[blockquote align=”right”]Of all the training I’ve taken, this course is the most practical, inclusive, and real life. If I could redo it, I’d take this course first and forget all the rest. I am so ready to go. I am qualified and do not need people to certify me. This course has shown me that I am ready to do this.[/blockquote]
The GO course freed, affirmed, and empowered this couple and others to move forward both to reach people where they are in their natural relationships and cross-culturally.
Why? Because tentmaking re-integrates life, sanctifies all of life, and shows the way to making disciples among all the people God has already put in our life and in our path.
It is simple, but not easy because it requires changing our model of discipleship and ministry. Instead of doing programs, we do relationships. Instead of bringing people to church first, we relate to people where they are, where we work, live, and recreate. Instead of church buildings, we use our homes. Instead of event connections, we care for people personally. Instead of bringing people to professional Christian leaders, we invite people to investigate Jesus with us in the original record. Instead of running a classroom discipleship class, we pour our lives into people who are growing. Through our work, our families, our friendships, people see Jesus and the gospel in us. They see it reality and power in a way they never will in our church programs.
Simple, exciting, powerful, transforming, yet challenging to switch and learn. But totally worth it and fulfilling.
To pursue this model, begin with Tentmaking 101.