Over this past weekend, a couple friends and I went camping on Max Patch. Everything was grand except for two things. First, the hike up to Max Patch. If you don’t know, Max Patch stands at 4,600 ft. tall. Although the car helped us up 3,280 of those feet, we had about 1,320 ft. left to hike at a 45-degree angle. This led to a burning feeling in my calves and a loss of breath–obviously due to the elevation and not my addiction to Fruity Pebbles. Secondly, I learned that making a fire is easier when you have kindling to start it.
Something that consistently happens before I go camping is that my mom will send me helpful videos and blog posts. You know, stuff like camping hacks and people getting mauled by bears. When I was watching one of the camping hacks videos after the trip, I saw that Doritos can be used as kindling. Also, what just so happened to be in the cheesy chip pack I brought camping . . . was some Doritos. I was the idiot that watched the video after the trip and wasted a bunch of papers trying to get a dumb fire started. I had what I needed; I just didn’t know how to use it.
and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
– Acts 18:3
Paul, a slave of Christ, who worked all day spreading the Gospel, made tents when he had the downtime in order to support his ministry. When I read about Paul, I hear the great stories about how he was beaten and died, then woke up and marched back into the city that threatened him. I hear about all of the churches he has planted. I hear about the time Jesus made him go blind so that he could really see. Yet, I never really hear much about his tentmaking.
Honestly, I know why I never hear about it. Tentmaking isn’t exciting. It isn’t eye-catching nor fun. When it comes to the day-to-day grind, we all must put in, then it becomes something old, something normal.
Tentmaking was something to support what Paul knew he was meant to do. Paul had the skill to create something other people needed. It doesn’t matter if Paul loved it or hated it. Tentmaking provided a way for Paul’s ministry to reach others. This wasn’t easy. He had to pump out enough tents to keep his reputation up and allow himself to keep traveling. It was the mundane, tiring task of simply making money.
Each and every person reading this page has a skill, a talent. Each and every person reading this page has a ministry, an influence. Where in your life do they overlap? Your talent and your ministry must collide to create an opportunity that you might reach others for the Gospel.
CHALLENGE: Be a Tentmaker
Now, unless you work for Coleman or Ozark Trail, then you will not literally be making tents. When you become a tentmaker, you take the challenge to overlap your talent and your ministry.
This means that your vocation is not just a way to support your family but a place to grow your Heavenly family. This means that if God gives you Doritos, then you start a fire. It may not make sense why you have been given certain talents but you can be sure God wants you to use that to start a fire in the hearts of non-believers. Devote yourself to plant seeds in people where God has planted you.
God has given you talents to give to others. (Click to Tweet) Be a tentmaker and find a home for your talents.
For Your Name is my name and my name for Your Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.