|Tentmaking Briefs is published on the second Wednesday of each month||
I do a lot of traveling. I mean more than most but not quite as much as George Clooney in the Hollywood film “Up In The Air”. I am constantly in conversations with people who are doing business all over the world. They fly about from country to country. They work for multi national companies. They often have to travel to the same cities several times a year with their jobs.
They want to be intentional as they travel and do business abroad. They do not simply want to go on a trip to do their business and see a few sites. I know one businessperson who is what I would call and “Intentional Traveler.”
Take a look at some of the things he does to be purposeful and intentional with his trips:
Though this guy will probably not live overseas he knows that a real part of his life is to travel abroad. He is committed to making it intentional.
Do you travel internationally? Do you travel frequently? Can you think of some practical things you can do on your next trip to be more intentional?
A few weeks ago I was able to speak to a group of educators about how God uses students to spread the Gospel across the Earth. Although students often have many opportunities to do short terms missions trip or summer long missions trips, we can’t forget that students also have other alternative paths to mission.
Study Abroad Students - Many college students will spend a summer, semester or even a year abroad. What are some things we as churches are doing to equip these students to spend their time abroad with intentionality and with kingdom purpose? If your church has a strategic partnership to a specific people group or place have you considered finding out if the university in your city has any official relationship with an university there? Can you encourage your college students to study there?
College Internships - A lot of college seniors must complete some kind of internship. If you are a student, have you explored internships abroad? These internships can give great connections for future full time employment in the country.
Graduate Students - Getting a graduate degree at a partner university abroad is a really easy way to connect with other global professionals in your line of work. Besides the Gospel opportunities you would have in classes, it is a great networking opportunity.
College is more than just a time to earn a degree to land a job. It’s a time when a student makes pivotal choices that can impact their future. If you are involved in a college student’s life, I’d encourage you to help that person think wisely about his/her choice of major, language study and internship opportunities. God could be calling that student to live abroad some day with his current career pursuit. You will also want to check out Skybridge Community
Larry McCrary has lived in Europe since 2001 leading teams of church planters amongst immigrants, students and business professionals.
He is the director and co-founder of the Upstream Collective which helps churches think and act like missionaries.
You can follow him on his blog or on Twitter @larrymccrary
We will be reviewing books related to tentmaking business as mission in upcoming Tentmaking Briefs.
If you have a book for us to review, please let us know.
Slow train from China
As we were returning to Europe from Australia and Taiwan, we decided to make a once in a lifetime train trip from Bejing to Helsinki Finland. We would be arriving a day before the course in Finland was to begin. I thought the 7 days on a train would be a good time to prepare for the courses coming up in Finland, USA and Norway. My thoughts kept wandering back to the biggest challenge ahead, which is seeing a tentmaking movement started in Sweden. Trying to figure out how to find all the connections and introductions with key people in churches and organizations. This seemed like the best strategy to move forward. Make and follow a tight task list, keep pounding on doors, ask for divine and man made appointments with right people.
As the train kept rolling over endless terrain, China, Mongolia, Russia, Finland and then Sweden, I felt a stirring to simply pray. It seemed at odds with my task list, which was based on utilizing as much time as possible TO DO things. Prayer is always a good idea, but the more I thought about this, the more convinced I became that prayer was to become the focus and central part of the work. Part of me did not want to take this step of faith, even though it felt like a great plan. Somewhat hesitantly, I agreed and told myself to do this.
Once we got to Sweden, we were met at the train station by a man with whom we would be staying until the summer. Within minutes he told me about an early morning prayer meeting he was a part of, on top of a mountain in the center of Gothenburg, praying with people over the city asking for God to pour out his spirit upon it. I am not a morning person, but immediately told him I would like to join them.
When we got to the mountain a few days later, right about sunrise, I met the man who has had it in his heart to pray on this rock for the past 22 years! After short introductions, he told me that God was telling him to connect me with key Christian leaders of the city, and would be taking me to an All City pastors prayer group in a few days. He proceeded to tell me of another group of Christian businessmen who met for lunch on Fridays, and invited me along to meet these well connected people.
Before the first week was over, I had connected with more people than in the many months preceeding. I am now meeting with these men regularly, able to share the vision God has given for Sweden, and we are seeing a new excitement and energy to the process. And yes, they are also praying for the vision.
Lesson learned: Prayer does not steal time from getting the job done, but puts your life and work in the right perspective, and allows God to move in ways you did not think possible.
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