The journeys of individual tentmakers vary enormously. You may be young, or established in your career, or considering a late-career change. Assignments open to you may be short-term (research or project), several years, or a decade or more. Most tentmakers ask this basic question, ‘How does God want me to serve?”. Do you sense that God wants to use your professional skills to glorify Him?
There are whole books and in-depth courses to help you. Here we’ll share some essential steps. Talking to an Aztem mentor is a good way to see whether we may possibly help you.
Living and working in another culture is already a big challenge, compounded by separation from friends and family, language, heat and possibly poverty and stark inequalities in your host society. And you are seeking to build relationships, to honour Jesus in your workplace and neighbourhood, and introduce Jesus to others. You will be stretched in almost every dimension – emotionally, professionally, spiritually and probably physically. The stresses will be similar to those faced by a traditional missionary. You have expectations of yourself, as do your circle of friends at home, your new work colleagues and your new friends.
Our advice is to start by praying, seek a suitable mentor, and begin to set some realistic goals. Get to know others who have already taken this journey. It may help to do a short visit to a prospective location. It’s not necessarily easy to find tentmakers to visit, however you do learn a lot from being part of a local culture and a local Christian group for a short visit. Alternatively – and far easier – ask if you can keep in touch regularly from home with a worker on the field, be an intentional learner from the situations they face.Let’s look at key qualities which are vital for you to be an effective witness for Jesus in your anticipated cross-cultural situation