So much is being said in the apologetic community right now about bi-vocational “tent makers.” I agree with the sentiment over all, even if I have my own thoughts about it that may be unique.
We’ve been doing Tactical Faith for 3 years now and have worked with tons of speakers and lots of great people. We’ve seen all the sides: full-time, academic and bi-vocational. And, it’s no secret that these tent makers often go unnoticed, yet have fantastic things to say, and work to share with the church.
So, what does making a tent look like in the real world? Let me share a snapshot of Matt and Scott’s schedule last week:
- Drive 2.5 hours to Montgomery to do radio interviews at Faith Radio for the upcoming SALT conference.
- Drive back to Birmingham afterwards and pick up Scott from the airport.
- Load up all of the gear and drive 5 hours to New Orleans.
- Set up and stream each of the conference speakers for 6 days.
- Get sick in the process, toss your cookies a few times and not get any sleep.
- Drive 5 hours home after the week is over.
- Get 103° fever and end up in the E.R. (he’s out now and ok.)
I couldn’t go to New Orleans because I’m an I.T. guy for an accounting firm and we’re gearing up for tax season right now. Taking time off wasn’t really possible last week.
And, the schedule this week:
- We have a meeting on Monday after work to nail down the logistics for the SALT conference.
- Thursday night we are hosting James Harleman at Mt. Chapel United Methodist Church here in Birmingham.
- Friday we’re all driving down to Montgomery to launch the SALT conference.
- The SALT conference is Saturday and Sunday at FBC Montgomery.
Then two and a half weeks later will be the Medicine and Miracles week here in Birmingham. There will be multiple events each day of that week. No rest for the weary.
So, what am I saying?
A busy schedule like that is not necessarily different than something that could happen to a person who goes on a lot of business trips. The getting sick part definitely happens when you travel a lot too. But, this is a side-gig for us. Nobody takes a salary here at TF and maybe we never will. The bulk of our budget still comes from our own pockets. I’d love for that to change and we’re trying to, but that’s up to God. **
If you decide to start a ministry on the side, the above situation is going to be far more likely than being fully funded and having flexible hours at work. That’s rare. This is what tent makers all over the world are doing with their lives. Tactical Faith isn’t unique in that regard. We know lots of people doing ministry who work hard and never make a dime from it. They use their steady job to fund their ministry. Are you ready for that?
Are you ready to basically lose a lot of your own money for the kingdom?
Are you ready to be gone a lot?
Are you ready to be frustrated a lot because you have multiple work and ministry priorities?
Are you ready to beg a thousand people for money and only have one or two step up?
Are you ready for God to use you in ways that you can’t imagine yet?
Because, along with all of the frustration and hard work comes a sense of working for the kingdom. Ninety percent of the time I have no idea what God is doing with the stuff we do. But, I know He is doing something.
You should know that too.
I’ll have more to say to you women and men that want to be tent makers soon. I’ve got some heart felt advice for y’all.
** We’re currently taking applications for sugar daddy’s. Feel free to contact me. 🙂