I started Tent Making Christianity with a specific purpose in mind. My goal was to help average, everyday Christians to better understand and defend their Christian convictions. Many of you are like me in this respect. You want to be a better ambassador for Christ. I am always looking for ways to help people be better Tent Making Christians.
As I’ve said before, I audit several classes at Biola on a regular basis. One of these classes provided the inspiration for Tent Making Christianity. I’d like to share with you how this class began, and what I was able to take away from the experience.
At the beginning of the class, everyone was asked to introduce themselves, explain where they were currently serving as a Christian Case Maker, and give a brief explanation of why they were taking the course. There were several people in the 35-member class that had traveled a good distance to be there. We had attendees from New York, New Zealand and Norway. Almost everyone there was in Biola’s Master’s Degree program for apologetics.
As people began listing their academic and spiritual accomplishments, I began to get a little uneasy. I have never found my journey to faith particularly interesting to listen to, and I was clearly the least educated person in the room. What was I going to say when they came to me?
When the time came, I told my conversion story about coming to faith in Christ after attending an Alpha apologetics course at our former Church in Arizona. As it turned out, the young man from Norway was familiar with Alpha, and the man from New Zealand had actually come to Christ during an Alpha course as well. During this encounter, I learned 3 lessons for being a better tent making Christian.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
This is admittedly hard. Our natural inclination is to seek what is comfortable and safe. Spreading the Gospel is uncomfortable initially. It’s a risk. The more you put yourself in uncomfortable situations, the better equipped you will be to deal with them.
Think of the first time you did your current job. While you may have been trained in your particular field, the specifics of each job are different. It takes time and experience to become expert in your field. If you never start however, you will never become great at what you do.
Be Intentional Using Your Time and Resources
If we are honest, many of us will admit we fall short in this category (including myself). Our professor for this particular course is famous for saying he can tell a lot about what is important to people by looking at their calendar and their check book. We spend time and money on all sorts of things, but how often are we using these two gifts to honor God?
Set aside time each day to learn something new. Read and study the Scriptures regularly. Pressed for time? Try using your commute as your study time. Listed to a podcast, audio book or sermon series. Do you work out? Use this as a time of study as well.
Aim Higher Than Your Ability
It would have been easy to think the level of this course was over my head, and I had no business being there. It was intimidating, but the professor and students all made me feel like I belonged. Push yourself beyond what you think you can handle.
I would love to tell you that I understand everything that is taught in the master’s level classes I attend. I don’t. There are times when I hear things that thoroughly confuse me. But I always make notes on what I don’t understand and research it after the class.
In addition, be gracious to people who know less than you and are making the attempt to learn. I am always extremely appreciative of the kindness shown to me by professors and students at Biola. I try to mirror this attitude when in conversations with others. We should all be trying to build each other up and making each other better representatives of Christ.
Will you grow or stagnate?
As I found out, putting yourself out there is not as intimidating as you would think. We all need help in our spiritual growth. Why not be intentional about this training? By pushing yourself, you will become a more useful tool for God to use. Never stop learning, and never stop growing as a Christian.
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