Types of Tentmakers: T1-T5

Patrick Lai, in his book, “Tentmaking,” helpfully describes five types of tentmakers. Using a scale from T1 – T5, Mr. Lai clearly lays out the different kinds of tentmakers

The T1 tentmaker is a Christian who is employed abroad in the course of  his career without any initial commitment to cross-cultural evangelism or church planting.
The T2 tentmaker is a Christian who has an evangelistic motivation so he seeks out training that qualifies him to work for foreign or national firms in closed countries.
The T3 tentmaker is a Christian who derives income from church support back home plus business income in the closed country (either through owning a business or working a part-time job).
The T4 tentmaker is a Christian who lives and works as a missionary but has a non-missionary identity (usually working for a non-governmental organization).
Lastly, the T5 tentmaker is a Christian who creates a shell company to provide access to a country but does little actual work in that secular identity.

Mr. Lai’s research indicates that T3 and T4 tentmakers are most effective in their outreach.

This is not a judgment of T1, T2, and T5 tentmakers’ faith or belief. 

However, the reality is that T1 and T2 tentmakers must devote much of their time to the jobs that brought them to that particular country. 

Alternatively, T5 tentmakers are easily identified as missionaries because they do not have an effective secular identity. In a closed country, T5 tentmakers have a hard time defending their visa being revoked.

At bamedu.com, we are supportive of whatever calling you are hearing from the Lord.

However, our business idea database and business coaching are focused on T3 and T4 tentmakers based upon the greatest opportunities to make the greatest impact for God’s Kingdom.

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