About this Project
For Nearly 30 years, AFM has been sending church-planting missionaries to the hardest-to-reach people groups in the world. In 2014, we expanded our missionary vision to include Tentmakers (named for the Apostle Paul’s means of supporting and enabling his missionary ministry).
Go where missionaries can’t enter.
What are tentmakers, and why are they so important to missions? First of all, many countries will turn people back at the border if they state their vocation as “missionary.” However, almost anybody can go to these countries to work as English teachers, engineers or scientists. Doors that are closed for missionaries swing wide open for skilled, educated professionals who are willing to share their occupational talents along with the Gospel.
AFM is now preparing to train and coach individuals and families who are willing to use their secular careers overseas for the glory of God. They won’t ever call themselves missionaries, but they will speak often of their love for Jesus. Where there is no tolerance for overt church work, they will make their homes secret churches. Their lives will bring the aroma of Christ into places where the Gospel fragrance has never been smelled before.
Use your professional talents for witnessing
Many Adventist lay people are looking for a new depth of richness and meaning in their lives—the satisfaction of using their God-given expertise to create eternal value. The AFM tentmaker initiative seeks to empower engineers, teachers, computer specialists and myriad other professionals—any man or woman who feels called of God—to serve in frontier mission work. AFM’s tentmaker program demolishes several barriers to service:
- Long service cycles. Instead of traditional five- to ten-year calls, tentmakers will go out for one to three years. Because they typically work with educated nationals who speak English, shorter service times still can bear fruit.
- Limited missionary-sending budgets. Instead of drawing church salaries, tentmakers earn their own support onsite.
- Fundraising time and effort. A tentmaker can launch within weeks of landing a job overseas.
- Limited division, union, and conference support. While local church leadership may lack manpower and funds to target new areas, tentmakers are free to go wherever God provides them with employment.
The AFM tentmaker program will draw on the diverse group of professionals now being educated in Adventist schools around the world—an immense, untapped pool of talented individuals on fire with mission passion. While it’s hard to find traditional mission calls for the broad range of majors our universities graduate, the foreign job market is brimming with employers eager to recruit talented tentmakers for interesting, edifying work.
Already, AFM is seeing an initial reaction hinting that great numbers of people would be interested in tentmaking. We hope to see our first wave of tentmakers launch in 2015.
Learn more about Tentmaker missions or to join the tentmaker community by visiting our GoTential website at www.gotential.org.