“Tent-Making” Christian Case Makers on Facebook

The growing interest in Christian Case Making has resulted in an explosion of “tent-making” apologists across the Internet. If you’re beginning to recognize your calling as a Christian Case Maker, there are a number of ways you can begin to make an impact on the culture. You can teach a class at your church, begin a blog or website, write a newsletter, start recording videos on YouTube, or inaugurate a new podcast. If this feels a bit intimidating, there may be an even easier way to get in the game. Most of us are familiar enough with Facebook to navigate and interact with our friends and family. This is also an excellent platform for initiating conversations bout the case for Christianity. Today I want to feature several Christian Case Making groups on Facebook. These groups are interactive, and once members join they have the ability to post and comment on all the content being discussed within the group. All of them were started by “tent-makers”. These faithful Christians come from a variety of occupations and lifestyles (I’ve listed the administrators for each group):                                        

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An Urgent Opportunity for “Tent-Making” Christian Case Makers

The renaissance in Christian apologetics has resulted in the rapid growth of the Christian Case Making community. As Christians begin to recognize their identity as Case Makers, they have taken to the internet to make the case for Christianity. Many have even pursued advanced degrees in Christian apologetics. But not everyone is destined to become a tenured Philosophy professor or internationally recognized Christian apologist. “One Dollar Apologists” recognize their special role as “tent-making” Christin Case Makers. If you’re beginning to hear God’s call on your life to become the case maker He wants you to be, you may be wondering where all this will lead. Today, I’d like to encourage you to consider an incredible opportunity. My friend Rick Schenker leads Ratio Christi, an international Christian Case Making movement growing on university campuses around the world. They can use some help from “One Dollar Apologists” Like you and me. From the Ratio Christi website:

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The Impressive Community of “Tent-Making” Christian Case Makers

The Christian community is experiencing an apologetics “renaissance”, and this resurgence of interest in Christian Case Making is being driven by an unexpected group of “tent-making” Christian Case Makers. Like the Apostle Paul, these avocational apologists draw their income from “conventional” careers (Paul was described as a tent-maker in Acts 18:1-3) as they evangelize, preach, make a case or serve. I’m proud to be a member of this growing group of “One Dollar Apologists”. In this post, I’d like to bring your attention to many of the tent-making Case Makers having an impact in our world today. If you are interested in apologetics, you’ve undoubtedly visited many of the websites I’ve collected here. In fact, you may not have realized these resources were being provided by people who are working in vocations similar to your own. As you scan this list of tent-making apologetics websites, take note of the variety of occupations held by the men and women behind the scenes:

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Ten Steps to Becoming an Effective “Tent-Making” Christian Case Maker

Many observers have noted a renaissance in Christian apologetics (aka: Christian Case Making) over the past several years. Much of this resurgence is taking place in the ranks of “tent-making” Christian Case Makers. “Tent-makers”, like the Apostle Paul, draw their income from conventional careers (Paul was described as a tent-maker in Acts 18:1-3), so they can evangelize, preach, make a case or serve as they have been called by God. I consider myself to be a member of this “Army of Tent Makers”; my income continues to come from my law enforcement employment, and it always will. It’s been difficult at times to juggle my vocational employment as a detective with my avocational calling as an apologist, but along the way, I discovered a number of helpful “tent-making” principles. These simple concepts may help you become a better “One Dollar Apologist” as well:

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Ten Reasons “Tent Makers” Make Great Christian “Case Makers”

People often ask me, “How can I make a living as a full-time Christian apologist (aka: Christian Case Maker) like you?” Even though I’m semi-retired from my career as a Cold-Case Detective (I still have one case pending this year), I’ll never be a vocational Christian Case Maker. My income continues to come from my law enforcement employment, and it always will. For many years, I juggled my vocational employment as a detective with my avocational calling as an apologist. It wasn’t always easy. There were years when I worked full-time, drove 12-15 hours a week, served 25 hours a week (or more) as a volunteer Youth Pastor, and attended seminary while dodging homicide callouts! My wife, Susie, was incredibly patient and supportive.  We eventually church-planted (after I graduated from seminary), and things got even crazier. I bet many of the “One Dollar Apologists” who read this blog have similarly hectic lives.

We are “tent-makers”. Like the Apostle Paul, we draw our income from conventional careers (Paul was described as a tent-maker in Acts 18:1-3), so we can evangelize, preach, make a case or serve as we have been called by God. There may have been times when you wished there was a way to make a living doing what God has called you to do as an apologist, but be careful what you wish for. God has you exactly where He wants you, because tent-makers make great Christian Case Makers:

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Renewed Enthusiasm!

Okay, when I first came to Africa I pledged to blog at least once a week, which obviously hasn't come true. Here's what I've prepared in the way of excuses: We didn't get internet for the first two months; I forgot which email I used to set up with blog site; I am way too busy. Obviously the later isn't true, and in reality the reason for no blog in the last month is more from apathy than anything else. Due to sudden realization that time goes by faster if you're always busy I've decided to redouble my efforts in blogging and teaching. I've added two more classes to my schedule, outside of my normal students for Heal the World. I'll be teaching one class split into two units every Sunday, one unit focusing on grammar and basic English, and the other more abstract, focused on conversation through fun activities, from debates on international topics, to playing cards, to skits. Also, every Thursday I'll be teaching our guards Emmanuel and Jean Baptiste for an hour or two. Two of the nicest guys in the world, gave them a composition notebook and a pencil last night for our first lesson! It's going to be a big project, Emmanuel will have to learn how to write, and Jean Baptiste doesn't know much French, so crossing the language barrier is a little difficult. 
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Helping Hands

Earlier this year, Fast Company reported a surprising outcome of the economic downturn: more people were volunteering.  Perhaps this is understandable because as more people were out of work, they had greater opportunities to lend their now abundantly free time to causes that they deemed worthy. Interestingly, the category that had the highest percentage of volunteers was those who were engaged in some type of religious charitable work. More than any other option, when people chose to spend their time on helping, they choose to do so with an organization who's mission was not limited to this temporal life.

Perhaps the economic downturn was to blame for this as well. Perhaps, as times our tough, people want to invest their time in something that is of seemingly higher value. When I worked for a church curriculum publisher, we found that sales of Sunday School material went up when the economy went sour. Persummably the less people could count on money, the more willing they were to turn to God. 

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Celebrate The Day

One of my responsibilities as a blogger is to start dialogue and conversation on controversial topics.  In order to effectively set up these conversations, it is important that I remain truthful, open, and honest.  In that spirit, I have a two confessions to make.  Here’s the first:  I am a choir boy.  

 

When I was in elementary school, my music teacher, Mrs. Neidringhaus (who, coincidentally, just became my Facebook friend last week), suggested I join a local professional boys choir, The All American Boys Chorus.  Lured by the promise of international travel and missed school days, I auditioned.  I was never really a singer before that moment, but that started a new journey for me as a chorister. 

 

AABC Group Photo 

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The Sex Appeal of Social Justice (And Why Jesus’ Love Turns More Heads)

(Here is a reposting from last year. It's still important.) 

I’ve come to an interesting conclusion. If helping your fellow man is like buying a car, you have two basic options: purchasing the sexy late model edition that makes heads turn, or going with the clunky used car that few notice and even fewer covet.

Without judging this trio’s motives, Barack, Brad, and Bono belong to the first category whether they want to or not. So do the high school kids who fatten up their fancy college apps with obligatory volunteerism and the pro athletes who, through “giving back,” score twice as many endorsement deals as the ones who don’t. You could also include entire political campaigns, blood drives that get you out of work early, and your sister-in-law who uses the Thanksgiving meal at the homeless shelter merely as a photo-op for her family scrapbook.

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many have made a difference, but...

Many have made a difference, but...only for a moment

Many have made a difference, but...lost their own souls

Many have made a difference, but...drowned in the sea of need

Many have made a difference, but...only for themselves

For the last 25 years, I have been mentoring and been mentored by the next generation, a generation that refuses the anesthesia of excuses and seeks to choose action over sarcasm. Recently, I was asked to address a group of university students and when I began to prepare, I felt paralyzed. I literally ached as my message was rewritten that night.

Since then I've been thinking, praying, listening...and over the next several blogs, I would like to offer nine woes for this generation: nine challenges that--if ignored--have the potential of gutting our collective potential to make a difference in a world of need.

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