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Making Tents – A Way to Quick $$$$$?
By : Andrew Hamilton (Forge Director)
Rating : Average Rating : 7.33 From 6 Voter(s)
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I think I am starting to understand why Paul was a tentmaker… I used to think it was simply a need for dollars that pushed him into being a blue collar worker, but lately I’ve been realising that maybe he might have had other motivations for his choice to be what we now call ‘bivocational’ (a furphy if ever there was one!). As missionaries here in Oz we have intentionally asked people to support us financially as we do our work, and so far we have been blessed to be in place where the income has exceeded the outgoings. Life has been good and we are incredibly grateful for our supporters – both individuals and churches. However, we are also aware of the fragility of the position we are in and the dependency we have on others.

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Comments / Feedback
Ian Phillips
Thanks so much for your thoughts Andrew.

Having been a 'tent maker/ bivocational' for more years than I can guess now, it has been interesting journey. Often my early idealism has given way to the pragmatics of bills.

I gave up 'church planting' a few years ago - after having had several years leading a wonderful but small group of people. As a volunteer now (but they insist on calling me "Pastor Ian" where we worship) my focus is much more on my business; but at the same time end up spending probably as many hours each week in 'church related tasks' as I do in 'business related tasks'.

The business I developed services the needs of Churches, Australia-wide with web site hosting - and in a sense this vast network of friends (some of whom may read this post!) I have made is a ministry all of it's own anyway (ie I get to do ministry either way). I'd like to think that life is ministry - and that no matter what 'job' any of us have, that we all serve Jesus through our relationships and connections. It works that way most of the time for me (but anyone can have a BAD day :-) - especially where computers are concerned!)

Again Andrew, thanks heaps for the article - it has stirred something positive for me once again - as I go into our Wednesday mid-week church service etc.....
Jim Reiher
A great reflection thanks Andrew.

I think Paul found it "hard" (might be too strong a word) taking money from Christians for support especially when there were so many rip-off artists posing as 'super apostles' doing the rounds of the churches. He preferred to give no cause for anyone to ridicule his motives or the gospel by his actions and so he did his trade.

I really appreciate the extra insights you have provided as to the benefits and even motivation that goes behind such decisions. Thanks!
Stephen Parker
Re Ian's comments

I'm one of Ian's customers, and I've got to say he does a brilliant job. It is no surprise to say he sees this as part of his ministry, such is his helpfulness and dedication. Keep up the good work!

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