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Are You a Marketplace Christian? A Tentmaker?

The term "tentmaker" refers to a Christian missionary named Paul who worked amidst others building tents as he fulfilled God's calling in his life (c.f. Acts 18:1-3, Acts 20:33-35. Are you a lover of God (a Christian) who is called to the workforce? Then you, too, are a tentmaker. Today, God seeks and uses Marketplace Christians like you and me to disciple others and accomplish things beyond our imaginations.

At its inception, the Church was never a sedentary activity scheduled for once a week. The Church always involved mingling with others, not isolation, as we may see today. The Church made significant impacts and influence on people's lives by encouraging them and giving them hope (c.f. 1 Corinthians 4:20 and Acts 2). You, too, are called by God today to influence many people through the way you live and your faith in God.

Tentmakers are called, especially at a time like this, because:

  1. You are in the world, but not of it. (c.f John 15:19). That refers to your ability to easily mingle with Christians and non-Christians alike and show the love of God.
  2. You are financially sufficient so that your mission is not hampered due to having too little, and you can even give to others because of what God has given you (c.f. Proverbs 30:8-9)
  3. You hold influence. Especially as God puts you in positions of leadership, many would be willing to follow you and your faith. (E.g. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and many others.).
  4. You have the ability to reach people that those in religious settings cannot. As entrepreneurs and professionals, you can easily connect with anyone for the sake of work, subcontracting, partnership, etc. Additionally, you may travel to different countries where Christian missionaries may not be welcome and transact business there. You may even be able to live among Hindus, Muslims, and people of other faiths, just as the early Christians did.
  5. You are a child of God foremost. God has placed you where you are so that you may fulfill His great calling for your life. The purpose of your work and life is not to make money and get by. You are the light of the world that is called to be an influence (c.f. Matthew 5:14) and demonstrate His power in love (c.f. 1John 4:7-21).

How can I be more effective as a tentmaker?

We live in busy times with many distractions. The problem is with our priorities. The Great Commandment (c.f. Matthew 22:37-40) says that we ought to love God and others foremost. Due to many distractions, the world is focused on themselves and their busy lives. For example, today's marketing is focused on individual segmentation because "I" is king. Our cellphones lead us to be isolated and be frantic about every notification that pops up. Even video games and social media separates people to their own rooms. The question is, do you have relationships? (or for some of you, do you know what it means to have relationships?)

Your relationships with others is a reflection of your relationship with God. Do you have true friends that you can rely on and can rely on you? Do you love your spouse so much that you would die for them and do you submit to him/her? Your responses to these questions may be how you respond to God (c.f. ). You may not have a relationship with God at all. When was the last time you had a comfortable conversation with God?

The call is to come back to Him and make Him your greatest priority. Only then will you be able to fulfill the great calling He has for your life.

So, how can you help?

I, too, am a Christian who is called to the marketplace (read more about me here). Having been both a pastor and a corporate leader for over 15 years, I have learned that our calling is to discipleship, that is, walking together (mingling, connecting, being in small groups) with other believers. It is through deeply-built relationships that we can grow and make other disciples (c.f. Matthew 28:19-20. I also wrote my Doctorate dissertation on this topic). It is only through life-on-life discipleship that we can let go of our pride and sincerely confess that we cannot do anything without God's providence. That is when we will be able to see God do great things. This can occur as we support one another in fulfilling our callings. As many of us know, when God acts, mountains are moved and seas are parted, but with our own strength, experiences, abilities, we will only see human-based results, which amounts to nothing worthwhile.

I also lead a Christian mission organization whose purpose is to enable Christians to be disciples and therefore make new disciples. I have learned that there are many people seeking God but only a few Christians can share their faith and love with them. Check out "Prayer Tents" in App Store and in Google Play. More info available at www.prayertents.com.

I am daily in New York City looking forward to conversing with other tentmakers. I would be leading webcasts, gatherings, and other presentations along the way. If you are a Christian who desires to fulfill God's calling in your life, I hope I can encourage you through our interactions. Send me a message using the link below so that I may send you invitations to various online or local gatherings. I look forward to partnering and growing with you.

Dr. Sang Sur, PCC

I am an Executive Leadership Coach who seeks to work with people in the business world to fulfill their God-given callings. We need more influential people of God in the marketplace to lead and impact the world. I help them make that impact in their business, rise in leadership influence, and accomplish their great destinies. I know many do not finish well.

I hold a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Management, a Master of Science in Aeronautics, a Bachelor of Science in Physics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I also hold two doctorates and masters from Christian seminaries (Th.D., D.Min. and M.Div.). I have served as a pastor for over ten years. (Yes, I am a tentmaker, and so are you, Christians who are in the marketplace !).

I am an expert in technology, an owner of multiple businesses, and a Veteran Air Force Officer who has been highly successful in Engineering, Program Management, Cybersecurity, DevOps, and Business Strategies in both domestic and global operations.

I find great joy in seeing that my interactions with people like you have made a difference in their life's directions and pursuits. My ideal clients are Christian leaders in the marketplace (executives, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders) who recognize that they have a great calling from God.

I look forward to life-on-life interactions with you.

You can find out more about me at sangsur.com.

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
Proverbs 20:24 (NLT)
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1Peter 2:9 (NLT)
1Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 6And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Hebrews 11:1,6 (NLT)