We use the term "tentmaker" to describe a person who obtains a job in an unreached community, a job that he or she enjoys and is trained to do, for two purposes: first, to earn money to support themselves financially and second, to engage in an intentional disciple-making or church planting effort in that community. This is in essence what the apostle Paul did--making tents to support himself as he traveled from city to city to proclaim the gospel.
Tentmakers are not "missionaries" in the traditional sense, but they are missional. They are chemists, teachers, accountants, sales reps, IT professionals, project managers, and the like who are committed to learning and growing in their profession and to sharing the gospel with those who have not heard. They live and work in unreached communities because they understand that living and working as a "regular" community member is the best way for them to be Jesus Christ's ambassador in that community.
MDE partners with tentmakers to:
- Assist them as they search for jobs for which they are qualified and that they would enjoy in unreached communities.
- Connect them with others who are seeking to make disciples and plant churches in their chosen community.
- Obtain the training and support they need to live life cross-culturally and to be missional.
- Develop a ministry plan that fits their gifting and passion.
- Help them be held accountable to their goal of pursuing Jesus and proclaiming his truth to those God brings their way.