Ten Reasons “Tent Makers” Make Great Christian “Case Makers”
by J Warner Wallace
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:
Tent-Making Christian Case Makers Personify the Christian Life
There are many important positions within the Christian community (Paul describes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in Ephesians 4:11). Leaders in these roles are worthy of our support and respect. Notice, however, Christian Case Makers are absent from this or any other similar list in Scripture. Our role as Case Makers is described, instead, by Peter in 1 Peter 3:15-16, a passage written to all of us as believers (whether we are employed in ministry or not). If you’re a Christian, you’re already a Case Maker. I don’t expect to be paid as a Christian, so I don’t expect to be paid as a Case Maker. If I am asked to come to a church or conference to give a presentation, I am there as a trainer and teacher, helping all the Christian Case Makers sitting in attendance. The vast majority of people you might identify as prominent apologists are actually trainers. Ministries like Stand to Reason and CrossExamined, for example, are committed to training Christians to become better Case Makers. But the Case Makers we train will likely remain tent-makers, personifying the Christian life as reliable members of society prepared to defend what they believe.
Tent-Making Christian Case Makers Have An Immediate Impact
Once you accept your identity as a Christian Case Maker, you can have an immediate impact on your world. You don’t have to wait until your apologetics business or non-profit organization is established, and you don’t have to wait until you’re making a certain amount of money as a Case Maker. You’re already in the job from which you’ll make the case for Christianity. Get going. Start a blog or website. Teach a class. Volunteer at church. Post on social media. As a tent-making Christian case maker, you can have an immediate impact because you already have the financial ability to get in the game, if only you’ll choose to do so…