The Source of Income
We have tended to define a missionary by their source of income. In other words, a person is a missionary who gathers support from churches and individuals and goes to some other country. However, this is a financial model of doing missions that has been used over the past couple hundred years. For 1800 years of church history before that, most missionaries were self-supporting. We sometimes refer to them as tentmakers.
There is an upsurge of tentmakers from North America. It is primarily driven by the fact that visas are not as readily available to traditional missionaries. It is also motivated by the lack of interest in doing deputation and raising funds. Also, there is an advantage to having a job because it puts a missionary in contact with people in the business world. So, this is a time-tested approach to doing missions. It does require a different kind of training than historically provided. For that reason, Biblical Ministries Worldwide has created an entirely new training track for those who are going to be tentmakers. This equipping is a two-week track during the month of July.
We have deliberately drawn a fuzzy the line between tentmaker and traditional missionary. It is important to identify that a person is a missionary by what he does, not by their source of income.
Contact our Global Opportunities Team at Go-Team@biblicalministries.org about partnering with BMW as a tentmaker missionary.