The MENA Tentmaker displays a commitment as a personal ambassador for God through the witness they have in their workplace and community of a personal Savior who gives hope to the people God places in their lives. That kind of commitment creates a noticeable difference between the many international workers in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and the calling of a MENA Tentmaker. Every Adventist living abroad has a duty to share Christ with those around them, but some people are gifted with the vision and ability to make witness their focus. Because of this we make a distinction between an international worker and a Tentmaker.
The International Worker
The international worker lives in the region primarily for employment reasons. They may or may not be an active member of a local Adventist worshiping group or congregation. They may have little or no mission engagement. BUT they represent an enormous mission potentialas they respond to the Holy Spirit's invitation to make a difference for God where they are. As we collaborate with field leaders and pastors with resources and support, we hope more and more will commit to a tentmaking lifestyle.
The MENA Tentmaker
We recognize a range of committment exists among tentmakers. Because of circumstances, ability, and time constraints, tentmakers engage at different levels and become involved in mission in different ways. We call this range a Continuum of Involvement
The first step is to see one's role as a personal Ambassador for God:
- They are an active member of a local Adventist congregation or small group and are faithful to Adventist doctrines, identity, and lifestyle, including Sabbath observance.
- They take advantage of the resources and training provided through their regional field and/or MENA Total Employment Tentmaking.
- They develop an identity as a tentmaker that begins to shape their work choices, interactions, and relationships.
The developing tentmaker begins using the opportunities they have as a Communicator:
- They become involved in story-reporting of their witnessing experiences.
- They begin learning how to verbalize their faith instinctively and strategically.
- They make efforts to form a nucleus of individuals who are interested in faith-sharing and Bible study.
In a natural process of growth, the tentmaker embraces their potential as a Leader:
- They thrives on the excitement of daily encounters for Christ.
- They network with others within their local worshipping group and/or local field to encourage tentmaking concepts, to mentor, and to build a home-based outreach especially to indigenous seekers.
- Their efforts are intentional for expanding their spiritual influence and drawing others into a tentmaking mission.
The tentmaker is able to contribute to the larger church as an Apostle:
- As they personally develop, they become a resource and leader within MENA Total Employment Tentmaking.
- They have learned practical faith-sharing in a Muslim context and have the ability to train others.
- They have displayed skills in group leadership .and church planting
They contribute to the overall strength of the Adventist Church and its mission in the MENA region.
MENA Total Employment Tentmaking
MENA Total Employment Tentmaking (MENA TE), based in Beirut, Lebanon, oversees the development of Adventist tentmaking in the MENA region. MENA TE recruits, trains, and chaplains self-sustaining professionals and skilled workers who prioritize mission to the indigenous people of the MENA region.
MENA Total Employment tentmaking is not a program, but an initiative primarily focused on building a professional network of mission-driven individuals employed in the secular workplace in MENA. Indigenous professionals are encouraged to join the network of international workers as they share and embrace the values of a tentmaking mission.
MENA TE does not employ individuals, but provides resource and connection among those who develop as MENA Tentmakers. The term Total Employment is a reminder to each person that beyond their salaried job -- they are to be fully engagedd in laboring for the Lord!