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The Rise Of The Tent Makers Redefining Ministry In The Workplace

Is an established life coach, writer, and speaker with over 25 years of experience as a beauty industry and pastoral ministry.

 
Executive Contributor Angie Wilson

In a world where the term "minister" one immediately imagines someone standing behind a pulpit with an authoritative voice preaching to a congregation, it’s easy to forget that impactful ministry often happens in the most ordinary places. It might surprise you, but within the walls of your daily job hold incredible potential for ministry—far more than you might find within the four walls of a church. Whether it's behind a chair in a salon, behind a register of a coffee shop, standing in front of your class as a teacher in a school, standing beside your patient's bed in a hospital, or whatever or wherever your 'job' is, you bring light and 'ministry.' It's here, among the hustle and bustle of ordinary life, that my husband Dickie and I have discovered the true essence of being ministers.


Photo of happy people.

What it means to be a 'tent maker'


The disciples illustrated a remarkable balance between daily labor and sacred work in early Christian history. Paul, with his hands skilled in the artistry of tent-making, serves as an essential example. This wasn't just a hobby to pass the time; it was his livelihood. Imagine Paul, amidst fabrics and cords, weaving not just tents but also the very fabric of faith into his conversations with customers and fellow workers. It's a vivid reminder that ministry isn't confined to grandiose acts but is deeply rooted in the regular rhythms of life. Similarly, Peter, a fisherman by trade, cast nets into the sea not just to catch fish but to embody the principle of being a "fisher of men," intertwining his daily work with an enduring spiritual mission. One of my favorite scenes in 'The Chosen' was when Peter cast his net out 'one more time' at the suggestion of Jesus. It showed his humanity, the difficulties of his career, and what could change once he listened to Jesus. This blend of the mundane with the divine invites us to find sanctity in our professions, turning every workspace into a place of worship and every task into an act of ministry.


A ministry without the pulpit


After years of pastoring without paychecks and balancing what many would call ‘normal jobs,’ we’ve gleaned an invaluable truth: ministry in the workplace allows us to touch lives in ways that traditional ministry roles rarely do. Dickie, in his role as a home health physical therapist, encounters daily opportunities to provide not just bodily healing but also emotional and spiritual comfort to those under his care. His patients open up about their lives in a manner that’s both vulnerable and genuine—unmasked and unguarded. Often, he has come home telling me stories of beautiful conversations he's had with people during the day. I can imagine vividly what a beautiful experience he had.


Woman having a haircut

As for me, my salon chair has become a place of refuge for many. It’s a place where laughter, tears, and wisdom intermingle freely. People often come in looking for a haircut but leave with much more—a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or a word of encouragement they didn’t even know they needed. In the salon, I’m not just a stylist; I’m a confidante, a friend, an impromptu counselor without the official title. And I am grateful for that.


One of my clients recently said, ‘This was her time of church.' We always have the best conversations about what God is doing in our lives. She's had some difficult times in the past. A few years ago, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to tell her that all of this pain would turn around and become a blessing. And then, through the months, we watched it unfold...God turning her sorrow into joy. This same client, who is a real estate agent, allows the Lord to work even within her career. She is the one who sold us our house 12 years ago. I remember she called and said she went to a house today, and God told her, 'This is the Wilson's house.' But when she said where it was...it meant our girls would have to change schools. We reluctantly went to see the house and instantly knew- This was it, our new home.


This is the beauty of ministry without the pulpit – it’s not limited to a designated time or place. It can happen anywhere, anytime, and in unexpected ways. It’s about being present in the moment and recognizing the opportunities to spread positivity and light in our everyday interactions.


This type of ministry may sometimes require us to step out of our comfort zones or take a leap of faith. But seeing the impact and transformation it brings to others’ lives is worth seeing. It’s a reminder that we all have the power to make a difference, no matter our job title.


The misunderstood value of "normal jobs" a sacred calling in the secular sphere


In a world where we strive for purpose, it can often lead us to overlook the magic in the mundane. It's worth noting that the greatest ministries aren't always built upon grand stages or beneath stained glass windows. Recent studies suggest that up to 1,500 pastors leave their pulpits each month, seeking fulfillment and purpose outside the conventional confines of the church.


Perhaps their frustration is simply God opening the door to a bigger platform. It produces fruit and allows for creativity rather than being stuck in the same format, week after week, Sunday to Sunday. This staggering statistic unveils a profound truth – Ministry IS being taken to the marketplaces. The divine can dwell in the daily grind just as much as in the Sunday sermon.


During a recent conversation with a client and friend who is a full-time minister, I was left with a lasting impression. He expressed despair at the idea of quitting the ministry and finding a ‘normal job’, viewing it as a demotion. It was heartbreaking to see this misunderstanding of the true scope of ministry. Instead of feeling like entering the secular workforce was a step down from real ministry, it should be viewed as an incredible opportunity to live out one’s faith in perhaps the most critical mission field—the everyday world. In our adventures beyond the doors of the church, Dickie and I have stumbled upon a revelation: our 'ordinary' jobs have served as extraordinary platforms for ministry. With each step Dickie takes into someone's home, not only does he bring the promise of physical restoration but also a beacon of light, a moment of clarity in the fog of life's trials. Likewise, my salon chair transforms into a pulpit, where hair is cut, hearts are healed, and souls are nurtured. There, amid the snips and clips, we find the essence of ministry – touching lives, one genuine interaction at a time. The truth is, sometimes, the most sacred work is done not with a sermon but with a smile, a kind word, and the undying belief that every person's story matters.

 

Men and woman enjoy company at coffee shop

Are career preachers transitioning to a new field?


In the Western world, the notion of a ‘career preacher’ has somehow become elevated above the holy calling of lay ministry in the workplace. Yet, in many parts of the East, the congruence of

faith and work remains vibrant and unseparated. It's time we rekindle the essence of being tent makers in our contemporary world.


The impact of everyday ministry


My testimonies are not of grand sermons or massive revivals but of moments filled with simple, genuine human connection. A revival is happening, and some people don't even realize it.


Praying with someone in their moment of need, offering a silent presence when words fail, or withholding judgment to listen are the instances that embody Christ’s love most.


In touching lives through our ‘normal jobs,’ we practice ministry in its purest form. The profound impact we can make, often in the lives of those who would never set foot in a church, cannot be overstated. In these interpersonal moments, hearts are opened, walls are broken down, and the groundwork for profound spiritual transformation is laid.


Two happy women hugging

Ministry of presence


If you have a job or career, it is more than a means to an end. It's a mission field ripe for the harvest. Whether you crunch numbers, code, teach, or style hair, you carry the light of the Gospel, a beacon of hope for those around you.


As we rise in our roles as tent makers, refocusing our understanding of what it means to minister, we align more closely with the heart of the Gospel—serving and loving others right where they are. In doing so, we enrich the lives of those we encounter and discover the profound joy and fulfillment that comes from living out our calling in every aspect of our lives.


The pulpit isn't the only place where lives can be touched and transformed—sometimes, it's from the salon chair, the therapist’s office, or the cubicle where the most profound ministry occurs. In the tapestry of everyday life, each thread we weave of kindness, understanding, and love contributes to a larger picture of God’s grace in action.


In essence, the rise of the tent-makers is a clarion call to all of us, encouraging us to redefine ministry not as a title or position but as a way of life. Whether in the pulpit or behind a cash register, our mission remains to love, serve, and reach out to those around us with Christ’s transformative message. So, let us have courage and compassion, boldly shining the light of Christ through our work and daily interactions, letting our lives be a testament to the power of His love and grace.


Through this shift in mindset, we can create a ripple effect of positivity and purpose, spreading hope and inspiration to those in need. As we embrace our roles as tent-makers and infuse each moment with unconditional love, joy, peace, and a knowing that today, we'll make a difference in people's lives.



 

Angie Wilson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Angie Wilson is an established life coach, writer, and speaker with over 25 years of experience as a beauty industry and pastoral ministry. With a Bachelor's Degree in Metaphysics, she focuses on helping individuals develop positive mindsets and turn negative situations into opportunities for growth.

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