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February 24, 2010

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Aric Clark

I don't think tentmaking is ideal. I think it is a practical necessity in many situations. I think it has its merits, and I think there are virtues it is uniquely qualified to impart, but all of this is also true of full-time ministry.

I know without a doubt that I am learning skills and developing virtues as a full-time minister that tentmakers I am acquainted with are not. They learn things that I don't and probably won't. It's a waste of time to argue over which is superior in a generic sense, though it can be an important question in a specific instance.

dan getkin

masculine of mistress = master. you owe me one.

Derrick Weston

Dan - you are super helpful. Master seemed wrong there, but you are correct.

Aric - Sorry for wasting your time.

Talitha

i may be late, but i have opinions. yay! We just had a super sermon from the Rev Robert Hattle (i suppose you've met him) who actually set up a tent in Montgomery chapel. He used less of Paul's supposed tentmaking (actually, goatskin stretching is the technical occupation), and made more reference to the Exodus story of the construction of the tent of meeting... how all the people of Israel brought their separate gifts and skills in order to collectively construct the tabernacle. i think THAT is the real benefit -- the increased participation of all congregants -- and i think you can get that in a full-time ministry, and you can miss it in a part-time ministry. but tentmaking sure does force you to rely on others... and to push (i mean, slash, gently coax) them into their own form of ministry.

Derrick Weston

It's never too late, Talitha!
Yes, I know Robert. He's sort of become the poster boy in the denomination for tent-making. What he does makes a ton of sense to me, but I like the point you are making and the Exodus story in question makes a great illustration. It takes a conscious effort to involve the whole community in the life and work of the church. That, in fact, can be a full time job and I hope that's what I'm doing.

TONY

I'm a tent-maker and find myself dreaming of the day that I'm finally paid. It would be so much easier on me, not to mention my family, if I were paid. On the flip-side, I have earned lots of respect from outsiders as well as the church family. I think it has been a great experience, to say the least.I do agree that the "Professional" side bothers me as well. I want to minister, not dabble in church politics or worry about head counts. I suspect that this is going to remain a serious problem until Christ returns.

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