Family: Tentmaking 5
It is commonly pointed out by those who argue for bivocational ministry as a good, even superior, way to be a pastor that Paul was a tentmaker. Yet a primary difference between Paul and most pastors I know, is that he was neither married nor had children.
The rhythms of life for a tentmaker are amazingly different between one who is single, married, married with young children, and married with children post-elementary school. A basic question for many tentmakers is whether or not we can survive the demands of two (potentially full-time) jobs, a spouse (who might also work part or full time), and children.Can one actually be a *healthy* tentmaker with a family?
This seems different to me than other vocations, though maybe not for other pastors. In my experience, every aspect of church-planting and bivocational ministry has been a total family effort. The sacrifices are clearly experienced by my wife and children as much (if not much more so) than they are by me. As such, who is the real tentmaker: is it an individual, or is it actually the family as a whole? Should the question shift from considering one’s own ambitions and desire to build the Church to the desires and skillset of one’s family as a whole?