The ultimate purpose of missionary endeavors is “for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: and that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8-9). Additionally, these efforts are an evidence of our love for our Lord and our neighbor, which according to Christ’s teaching on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Mt. 22:34-40). To fail to evangelize the lost, through whatever means, would be a direct act of disobedience to our Lord’s express command to “go ye into all the world.” (Matt 28:19-20) It is our joy and duty to spend our lives giving the good news of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of Worldwide Tentmakers is to come alongside and assist local churches in the promotion, preparation, and placement of either fully or partially self-supporting witnesses worldwide. A Tentmaker is a dedicated, spiritually mature Christian man or woman who views work in light of the Great Commission and as an opportunity to serve the Kingdom of God. A Tentmaker can be either someone that starts a business or someone who takes a job with a business with the intent of spreading the Gospel. We believe:
- Work is a vital aspect of Christian witness because it provides substantial means of developing relationships, credibility, and contexts for ministry.
- Work is a necessary element to our daily life but approaching it Biblically provides meaning and depth in reaching out and manifesting the Word and work of the Gospel.
- Missions is a social activity, meaning it is done in the everyday lives of individuals, and happens in the context of everyday events, in this case work
This biblical strategy was used by the Apostle Paul and his co-laborers, Priscilla and Aquila, who made tents while pursuing their primary goal to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 18:3). “Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities and to them that were with me,” said the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:34. Furthermore in I Corinthians 9, Paul after defending his right to derive a living from those that he shares the Gospel with or shepherds in a church he states that he “preached the Gospel free of charge.” (v. 18) The NT specifically reports that Paul worked in Galatia, Corinth, Thessalonica, and Ephesus (1 Th. 2:9; 2 Th. 3:7-8; Acts 20:31-35; 1 Cor. 4:12; 9:6).
While we obviously believe in the power of Tentmaking, we do not want to understate our support of the “traditional”, donor-supported mission’s philosophy. Our belief is that Tentmaking has the most impact on a community when working in partnership with a national pastor or traditional missionary. Furthermore, we also believe that Tentmaking is its most powerful when a Tentmaking missionary carries a legitimate job or business rather than a mask to access a nation or people group. Lastly, while we promote individuals taking jobs and laboring as Tentmakers, we believe that entrepreneurs have the greatest impact on a community. Entrepreneurs will be able to:
- Impact the communities they place businesses in by employing locals and raising the standard of living in less developed nations which will also open doors to accessing government officials.
- Set the culture of the business which means greater opportunities to reach employees and customers with the Gospel.
- Provide extensive resources to ministries by either employing Christians that work in local ministries, giving off the profits of the business, helping Christians provide for their families in cultures in which they are ostracized or other opportunities.
Thanks to globalization, and the desire for development in more and more nations, thousands of new tentmaking opportunities are opening up in all parts of the world, allowing Christians to:
- access most of the world’s population even though more and more nations are restricting visas.
- assist traditional missionaries in open countries by reaching people that will not come to a local church without a relationship and/or an invitation.
- fund his or her own ministry positions.
Worldwide employment in business, government, and industry opens the door to new experiences and adventures. Primarily, for the Christian, international employment lays the foundation for fulfilling the Great Commission. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Matthew 28:19-20).
WTI exists to faithfully “preach the gospel” through the channels of business or individual business people whom it supports. It will accomplish this mission:
- Through creative, culture-specific and/or traditional business models meant to reach areas that are under served.
- By coming alongside and assisting local churches in the promotion, preparation, and placement of either fully or partially self-supporting witnesses worldwide.