In the 20 years that I have been involved with mobilizing and training tentmakers, one of the more frequent discussion topics among agencies and groups is to get rid of the term tentmaker.
Here are some of the alternatives that have been either suggested or implemented.
- Kingdom Professional
- B4T (Business for transformation)
- Self-supported missionary
- Pauline missionary….and many more.
I attended a think tank on tentmaking and it was really interesting to note how people went out of their way to not use that term. Seemed like a lot of work.
Here are some of the objections to the term tentmaker.
- It needs an explanation
- It translates poorly to other languages.
- It’s passé
Well guess what? So are all the other alternatives! Try smoothly translating B4T or even Kingdom Professional into other languages. And yes, they will need an explanation too, probably a longer explanation than tentmaking!
We at Global Opportunities, Tent International, GoTential, MoveIn etc. are committed to keep using this Biblical term that always brings us back to Apostle Paul, who argued well for being a self-supported missionary and business person.
See our simple graphic on how we understand this term, with tentmaking being the concept worked out in three different categories.
The common factor is that none of the three require financial support, as all are self-supporting.