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5 Myths About Tentmaking

general tentmaking Aug 05, 2022

Many people don’t understand tentmaking & have never tried it themselves, so myths can circulate in their minds regarding what it’s all about. I want to help dismantle some of these myths.

1. Tentmaking will require me to come off the payroll at my ministry.

That’s simply not true. Tentmaking is not an all or nothing proposition. Some people want to continue getting paid by their ministry but want to generate some extra income from tentmaking for family vacations or other extra costs that might not fit in the budget. Tentmaking allows you to generate additional streams of income & how much you make in tentmaking is really up to you.

2. Tentmaking will take way too much time.

This is also a myth. I generate full-time income through tentmaking and it takes me a few hours each week. From the beginning of my tentmaking journey, I made sure I never spent so much time that I felt distracted from my ministry. I wanted tentmaking to be like a hobby and I only...

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How to Begin a Tentmaking Journey

Maybe you’ve thought about doing some tentmaking on the side but you’re not sure where to begin.

I’d love to help.

By tentmaking, we mean earning money to support your ministry from outside your ministry. This could be supplemental income if you already have a ministry income. Or it could completely replace a ministry income and you could derive all of your income outside of your ministry.

Here are 4 steps to begin a tentmaking journey:

1. Determine how much extra income you need

Are you just needing an extra $5,000 each year? Or are you needing part-time income? Or do you need full-time income? This will help you decide what types of tentmaking opportunities to pursue.

2. Determine how much time you have to generate this extra income

Do you only have a few hours available each week or could you spend more time? Depending on the type of ministry you’re in now, you may either have quite a bit of flexibility to pursue tentmaking on the side or you may have...

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Should You Listen to Dave Ramsey?

general tentmaking Mar 18, 2022

I love this question because it is hotly debated online.

I’m guessing most of the readers of this blog have heard of Dave Ramsey. And perhaps many of you have been through Financial Peace University or hosted it at your church.

If you’ve never heard of him, he’s a radio host of a call-in show where people call to ask for financial advice. He’s written many books on personal finance & he also developed a personal finance course that many churches use to help their congregations manage their money well.

If you have heard of him, chances are you know people that really love him & well, people that really don’t. Haha!

He’s often known as the “no debt guy” and the “cut up your credit cards guy.”

So, should you listen to him for financial advice?

My answer: It depends on what he’s talking about!

Let me share a few things I agree with Dave about & a few things where we don’t see eye to eye.

But before I...

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How Tentmaking Challenges Our Paradigms

general tentmaking Jul 23, 2021

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” Acts 18:1-4 NIV

This passage runs contrary to ministry culture in the US and probably challenges our paradigms.

Paul, a successful church planter & author of much of our New Testament, is making tents? Surely if anyone deserves a full-time paid salary, it's Paul. Paul even talked about how he had the right to support from churches as a traveling preacher (1 Cor 9), but in some cases "did not use this right" because he didn't want anything to "hinder the gospel of Christ." He wanted to preach the gospel "free of charge."

Paul told the Ephesian elders:

I have not coveted...

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How to Convince a Spouse that Tentmaking is Legit

general tentmaking May 14, 2021

Perhaps the thought of tentmaking excites you.


You’re worried about your husband or wife’s reaction.

“It’s too risky!”

“We need financial stability!”

“I don’t want you working nights and weekends!”

These concerns are totally understandable.

The key to bringing your spouse along on the journey is to start small & go slowwwww.

You don’t have to quit your job next week to start tentmaking on the side. You don’t have to put in 20 more hours of work each week on top of your busy ministry schedule. You don’t have to empty out your savings and retirement to get started.

Start small.

Like with Travel Hacking for example. I can almost guarantee you that your spouse will love it if you can plan an extra free vacation for the family each year. And that’s totally doable without a huge time investment. Check out this blog for more info: The Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards


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The Value of Multiple Streams of Income

general tentmaking Apr 16, 2021

Do you have more than one stream of income?

While most financial advisors would recommend having multiple streams, I’ve found that too often pastors/missionaries don’t pursue this.

Why is that?

I’m sure there are a number of reasons:

  1. Don’t want to get distracted
  1. Don’t have time
  1. Worried about the optics
  1. Perceived lack of additional skills

I can understand because I’ve been there too.

Then I realized that the reasons to have additional income streams far outweighed the reasons not to have them.

Here are some benefits:

  1. Supplemental income for your family to make up for low or moderate ministry pay
  1. Less pressure to stay in a ministry position that’s not a fit
  1. Follow the Lord where he leads, even if it doesn’t pay much or anything at all
  1. Interact with more unbelievers outside the church/ministry
  1. Modeling integrity in the business sector
  1. Increase in generosity
  1. Get out of debt sooner
  1. Save a sizable emergency fund
  1. ...
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Take Advantage of Checking Account Bonuses

Did you know that banks often offer checking account bonuses to open new accounts with them?

It’s true. And sometimes they are very generous.

Chances are you have several thousand dollars at your primary bank that can be moved around. Perhaps this is your liquid emergency fund or some money you’ve been saving for a future purchase.

Use that money to redeem the best checking account bonuses when banks offer them.

Let me give you a few examples.

Chase Bank recently offered a $300 bonus for opening a new personal checking account and a $300 bonus for opening a new business account. I opened both. After completing a few activities, they deposited those bonuses right into my account.

Citi Bank then had a promotion offering up to a $750 bonus if you opened a new checking account with them (bonus varied depending on how much money you deposited). I signed up for this one as well and moved some money over.

Different banks offer promotions at different times, so just make a...

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Earn an Extra $10k in Only 10 Hours Each Year

general tentmaking Feb 26, 2021

You’re probably wondering, “Is that even possible?”

Well, it is! And you can do it in your spare time. We’ve done this ourselves many times and helped other pastors do it as well.

It’s much easier than you think.

It’s something either you or your spouse can do. And you can do it over and over again each year.

I created a Free Guide that shares with you the 5 Simple Steps to Earn an Extra $10k in Only 10 Hours Each Year.

Click here to access the guide!

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15 Ideas for Level 3 Tentmakers

A Level 3 Tentmaker is looking to earn a full-time income. Ideally in flexible ways that support their ministry schedule.

Needed: ~$60k+

Ways to make an extra $60k+:

  1. Social Media Management - work with clients to create social media accounts and post regular updates to them
  1. Commission Sales - many sales jobs are flexible and allow you to get paid for results rather than for time
  1. Online Courses/Coaching - online education has become a very large industry with great potential for full-time income
  1. Realtor - this can provide a little extra money, part-time income or full-time income depending on the time you can spend
  1. Moving Company - I have friends that are running a moving business to provide for themselves full-time for ministry purposes
  1. Real Estate Acquisitions - real estate investors are often looking for people to help them find and purchase new properties
  1. Freelance programming - learn to code and monetize your ability online
  1. Network Administration - offer IT...
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15 Ideas for Level 2 Tentmakers

A Level 2 Tentmaker is looking to earn an extra part-time income. Ideally in flexible ways that support their ministry schedule.

Needed: ~$20,000

Ways to earn an extra $20k (for you or your spouse):

  1. Uber/Lyft Driver - in your free time, drive people around, build new relationships and make extra money
  2. Virtual Assistant - using a site like Upwork.com, you can work from home as someone’s assistant on your own time
  3. Deliver pizzas - the classic Dave Ramsey way to earn extra money
  4. Paint houses - you can make significant extra money doing just a few houses a year
  5. Mow lawns each week - many of us did this as teenagers and if you scale it up a bit, you can easily make extra income
  6. Hang Christmas lights - I have a friend who makes $200-300/house each year doing this for a total of around $20k/yr
  7. Virtual Bookkeeper - learn this skill and help others online keep track of their income/expenses
  8. Deliver packages for Amazon - can pursue this around your ministry schedule
  9. Become a...
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