13 June, 2017

Advice on tentmaker ministry in Japan?

One email I had to answer in my work today was from someone who had found the OMF Japan website and was asking for advice about becoming a tentmaker in Japan. 

As I thought about how to formulate my reply, or even if I should pass this enquiry off to someone else, I realised that I had the perfect resource to start, one that has much more authority to it than I could on my own. Early this year we published a Japan Harvest magazine with the theme "Independent Missionaries".

A number of the articles from that issue are now online, so I sent our enquirer some links. I thought you might enjoy them too. These are articles "from the horses mouth". Independent missionaries/tentmakers themselves writing about their experiences.

Good and bad aspects of tentmaking by a friend of mine who has worked with her husband in a rural part of Japan since 1991.
Independent not self-reliant by a Malaysian lady who's been in Japan with her husband for just over a year.
Relational Evangelism by an American who teaches English in Japanese schools.
Doing mission when you're not a missionary by another friend who is in Japan after her husband got transferred by his company from the UK (she's the lady on the cover).

Tentmaking ministry in Japan looks different to other countries. I remember Aussie friends who were here teaching in schools when we arrived in 2000. One of the reasons they didn't stay long-term was that working full-time in Japan is very time consuming. Employers demand a lot and there is little left-over time for extra "ministry".

But some have made it work. I do recommend having a look at the articles I've linked to above, you'll see different perspectives to what you get from someone like me who lives (partly) off what we receive from generous friends elsewhere.

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