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Members in Action

Tentmaker Evangelism

Byard Parks

02/21/2016

GoTential is a new initiative of Adventist Frontier Missions to strategically place hundreds of Tentmakers in unreached cities. (Yes, there are hundreds of cities of over 100,000 people with not one Seventh-day Adventist.) GoTential is helping engineers, businessmen, medical professionals, journalists, chemists, English teachers, and others to participate in mission by obtaining salaried jobs in North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

insideasi-winter-2015-pdf-for-print_page_22_image_0003A Tentmaker is someone who, like the apostle Paul, earns a salary from secular labor and uses that labor to the gospel’s advantage. The professional work of the Tentmaker builds trust relationships among skilled working class people; their expertise validates their role in the country; and their work is their gateway to forming hospitality-based home church groups.

There are some places on this earth where people bearing the label “missionaries” just aren’t welcome. These last frontiers are only being reached in creative ways.

In many places a Tentmaker can accomplish what it is impossible for church employees to do. For example, an Adventist dignitary took a job in an embassy in a city of five million where Adventism has had zero presence. Today, three years later, by his influence a small group of 15 legally meet every Sabbath.

insideasi-winter-2015-pdf-for-print_page_22_image_0004Professor Saul T. retired from a college in the United States. With a vision for mission, Saul and his wife, Maria, moved to Turkey to teach English in a university. Saul actively talked of his faith in class and he and his wife’s hospitality and warm friendship evangelism was a vital help to the Adventist Frontier Mission team who had formed the first legal church in Turkey.

GoTential appeals to talented individuals who love Jesus, love making friends, and want to live their faith while working their expertise for the glory of God. GoTential’s “secret sauce” is its online community, now in beta phase. Tentmakers join GoTential and are given secure access to specialized evangelism courses, including how to successfully build friendships in an Islamic context, and how to disciple a foreigner into a faith relationship with Christ. GoTential is working together with church entities in MENA and the GC to best serve and coordinate efforts.

insideasi-winter-2015-pdf-for-print_page_22_image_0002In many unreached cities of the world, life is modern and salaries are high. The only reason the cities are unreached is that no one has yet gone. Perhaps you can go and become the start of the Advent movement in some unreached city around the globe.