"This a wonderful resource book for all wanting to know how to be involved in ministry in Creative Access Countries of the world.
Patrick Lai writes from his own wide experience but also from research he conducted with over four hundred and fifty tentmakers. He is passionate about reaching the remaining twenty five per cent of the world's population for Christ who are mostly beyond the reach of traditional mission strategies and methods.
This book is a manual that will benefit both those who are beginning to
investigate Business as Missions as well as experienced Tentmakers. There
are excellent sections dealing with practical topics such as security, family life, relating to national believers and may more."
"I commend this important book to all involved in the task of mission to
unreached peoples. It will also be a valuable manual for all training for christian service around the world.
My shelf of books on tentmaking is very short - indeed, everybody's must be! Thus I was delighted to add Patrick's work, which is based on experience over many years and on recent surveys which convey the thinking and testimony of 400 men and women already on the field
As the title conveys Business as Mission (BAM) is viewed as part of Tentmaking, and Patrick is one of the first textbook writers to deal helpfully with BAM and tentmaking together. His classification of tentmaking (T1 to T5), known to many, is well worth studying as an attempt to bring coherence to definitions. Few T1s (those going overseas with their business and careers, not primarily for the Gospel), were included in his questionnaire, I suspect because they are less easy to track down. Even though T1s might be considered as occupying the less effective end of the spectrum of tentmaking (although I know of amazing exceptions) it would be really good to survey T1s at some stage and identify the key factors for the effectiveness of this sizeable group.
As a passionate practitioner and advocate for mission, Patrick's desire is that all should be effective for the Lord whatever their label. To get this right as a tentmaker we clearly need to be sure of God's call on our life, to understand the challenges and difficulties of the tentmaking option, but also to understand our motives for going. Pre-field preparation and training is vital. But essentially on arrival in post we need to become one with the people, learning well the language and culture, so that evangelism and church planting will fruitfully flow from our preparation. As always, it is our spiritual lives that will determine our effectiveness. Many of those questioned had added fasting to their personal disciplines.
There are helpful sections in the book on living abroad, planning, contextualisation, the imperatives for families, and useful guidance such as the need to nurture friendships back home. Patrick in no way avoids the tensions and conflicts of tentmaker service: he handles wisely many issues such as credible identity, honesty, tensions between one's employer and our mission objectives particularly over use of time, and the difficulties of security. We need to include all this in our training courses.
Patrick finally presents a challenge to mission agencies today to move outside the box, to adapt old structures and think anew about tentmaking as an essential strategy for the 10/40 window. It is anyway a valid mission approach throughout the world.
Having met Patrick on different occasions I can think of no-one better able to draw on experience in mission, running successful businesses, and planting churches, in guiding those whom God is calling in the future. The book is clear, comprehensive, and essential reading."
Roger Wells, TASK