Discussions about tent making

Here is another conversation:

Well Brendon, I for sure am not an expert, but looking a the NT model Paul did some tent making, but it seems to have been when the churches were not taking care of him as they should have. Seems to me it was his back up plan.

Also he was single when he was tent-making. Sewing tents could have also lent itself to discipling as it is a pretty stationary task.

Deputation should not be viewed as drag or something that will just take forever. I think it does for most because they approach it that way. People need to hit the Deputation trail with a very dynamic plan of what they plan to accomplish and how they want to accomplish it.

Church leadership does not want to throw their hard to come by mission dollars to someone who is just kind of floating along. Deputation is a tremendous time to minister to churches. Never look at it as hoping to see what they can do for you but go with the mindset I want to be used of God in this next church.

My deputation days i never spoke of money or needing support, I went to serve in a new location every week. I saw many saved and many other discussions that were made during those days. Some of those people have become very good friends.At the end of my presentation, typically the question would arise as to how much support I needed to raise and how much I had.

Maybe I’m not normal, but I almost never speak of financial needs. I would rather make my request known to God and watch Him work. By approaching deputation this way I was out 2 years, 1 and a half full time and got my full support. I loved deputation, I was still a single guy,so by rule it was supposed to be harder to raise the support.

Another rule i broke was that 90% of my support came from my home state. I only lightly spilled across state lines into MI and MN. Being single was another advantage doing deputation. I traveled with my mt bike on my car, a backpack and camping gear, and various guns and bow for hunting during season. Redneck deputation!

O another note i know a guy that was a tent planter for 6 years in Turkmenistan. finally he blew his cover and was thrown out. I met with him as he was leaving back for the US. He said, “I’m glad that’s over, I felt like I was living a lie for the last 6 years. I had to be so silent that I had barely any witness. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders”.

I asked him what he thought his greatest accomplishment there had been. He thought for a bit and replied mastering the language, and putting curriculum in print for others to use. He and his wife had lead 3 to Christ, which is what led to their being kicked out of the country. Those three have fallen of the map into the precipice of fear.

He tried to encourage them to find a church and attend, but they refused as they never saw he and his family do so. His fear and secrecy was magnified in the lives of those 3 he reached. Were they truly reached???

Again, I am not an authority on this, but these are some observations I’ve had.

oh, on another note, After having dumped over a million dollars into his business, it failed as Muslims would not give the infidel business.

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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