Friday, August 14, 2009

The MTN E-Newsletter - June to August 09

Trust you are well!

As we ponder the state of mission in the Church in Malaysia, one cannot help but notice that the self-evident truth in Scripture on the need for unity in the Body of Christ has not commonly translated into any significant partnerships between local churches, missions agencies, bible institutions etc especially in strategic efforts to reach unreached people groups, or disciple cities in our nation. What hinders an obvious truth from being lived out in real life?

So this is the biggest challenge we face - "How do we make the MTN a truly Malaysian "Body of Christ" movement?"

For the MCGM EXCO and the MTN Steering Committee, we recognize that we merely function as "a champion for a cause, a catalyst for spontaneous action and a coordinator for developing possible partnerships". We do not control anything, we own nothing but we lay down our lives to see a national movement emerge . . . in this case, a tent making movement owned by no one but the Church of Jesus Christ.

So how can this happen?

You can help by forwarding this e-newsletter to your pastors, church leaders, business people and etc. Awareness is the first stage. The churches need to be aware that a Malaysian Tentmaking Network has been launched and that they can be part of it. This is the EXPLORATION stage where we seek to engage in dialogue as many as want to contribute to the shaping of the tentmaking movement in Malaysia.

The second stage? We are prepared to CONVENE Network meetings by regions delineated following the Economic Corridors of the Malaysian Government. We need to hear how you are using tentmaking in your local church, missions agencies etc. We want to learn from one another and to share expertise. We need to pool training resources. We need each other to do a good work.

Finally, if you are interested to attend the Tentmaker International Asian Congress, Hyderabad, India from 20-23 Jan 2010, refer to the attached letter that comes with this email.


Ps Albert - MTN Track Coordinator

Monday, June 1, 2009

MTN E-Newsletter - May 09

Welcome to the May 09 issue of the MTN E-newsletter!

We are pleased to introduce to you two new members of the Steering Committee:

1. David Yong of the 1st AOG, KL

2. Dr Chen Lip Siong of SIM (Serving In Missions)

The two agreed to join us after the 5th MCGM National Missions Dialogue in April this year. We are pleased that they are coming on-board the Steering Committee to help us champion the cause of tentmaking as a tool for missions for the Church in Malaysia. Dr Chen, who resides in Sabah, will be a great help as we extend our network over to East Malaysia.

In the last issue, we introduce to you the MTN blog - which we hope you will visit and check once in a while for articles of interest you may want to read. If you are in Facebook, please join us in the Malaysian Tentmaking Network Group, where we can interact and participate in discussion groups. The idea is to generate an ongoing conversation amongst those who are burdened for the task of reaching the unreached people groups. If you are interested to follow the developments of a network of churches in Penang that has formed a partnership to disciple their city, please visit us at this blog:

Check out what we have for you in this issue and talk to me . . . email me your comments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"I see that you are promoting "tentmaking". What are you doing with the tents you are making?"
This is one of the questions that I had many years ago when a young graduate student approach our exhibition at a missions conference.
So many times we are using terminology which is very confusing to people outside our circle. Tentmaking and missions? Why relating the making of tents to missions?
It all goes back to what is recorded for us in the Bible in Acts 18 where Paul joined and worked with Priscilla and Aquila who were tentmakers like him in Corinth. Paul was on a journey to take the gospel to the gentiles and he and his team were supporting themselves through their trade of tentmaking.
Although Paul was known as an apostle (missionary) amongst the believers, he was primarily known as a tentmaker in the marketplace during those journeys.
Since the late 1980's the need for tentmaking missions were highlighted due to visa restrictions for traditional missionaries. An indication at that time how our methods for reaching the unreached needed rethinking.
Tentmaking in general refers to Christians who are in their commitment and calling 'missionaries', while they are equally committed to serve their host culture through their trade, profession, or business.
William Carey, the father of modern missions, concluded that it is the only way mission work should be conducted and demonstrated it by impacting India not only with the Good News, but also the nation as a linguist, horticulturalist and lobbyist for legislation against human sacrifice (sati and infanticide).
With more Christians now outside the West, the Church is re-learning this integration of faith as integral part of the mission of God's people.
Tentmaking therefore is not a way to hide our mission activity, but it brings the Good News into the every day life of people; it is ultimately Good News to all peoples.
Today we see the Lord Jesus Christ calling His people back to the Good News as hope for all peoples. The Christian-life is not escaping the coming judgment, but it is about being part of faith communities of God's people seeking to live as salt and light within a hopeless and turbulent world.
It is about the God of Abraham who is restoring a people from every tribe, language and people group back to Him, for the sake of His Kingdom through Jesus Christ the Savior.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

In defining the purpose statement the Steering Committee also intentionally determined the parameters within which we were to operate. The MTN was, we felt, set up to "create an environment for the Malaysian church to work together". In that first phrase, we have set for ourselves the task of creating a platform for the Malaysian Church be united in task of mobilization. To do that, the immediate tasks are:

1. Network all the stakeholders via a data-base of email addresses, mailing addresses, telephone contacts to enable us to communicate information speedily.

2. Work strategically by regions thus recognising the distance factor especially when calling for meetings, dialogues and etc.

Communication Tool

Recognising that this is the brave new world of instant information but also of short attention spans, we decided that there should be a monthly MTN e-newsletter which should be short and interesting!
We have thus far sent out 3 E-Newsletter. If you wish to receive the the MTN E-Newsletter please subscribe at

Will you help us by sending us your success stories of tent-makers, your thoughts on tent-making and your recommendations on how to improve the MTN?


The MTN Steering Committee

The Malaysian Tentmaking Network (MTN) was launched at the 4th National Missions Dialogue in April of 2008. The task was entrusted to Ps Albert Tan, the Executive Officer of MCGM (The Malaysian Center for Global Missions) to call a meeting to form a steering committee to guide the affairs of the MTN.

The first meeting of the MTN was called on October 2 @ the STAMP office in Subang Jaya to form the Steering Committee and work out a roadmap for the development of tentmaking in Malaysia.

From the small group of about 8 people who attended the meeting, the following responded to be part of the Steering Committee under the leadership of Ps Albert, the MTN Track Coordinator. They are:

Au Yong Mun Heong - World Outreach
Ben Bester - Global Careers
Kelvin Chew - Missions Director - Canning Garden Baptist Church, Ipoh
Joule Bonus - International Team
Meng Eng - The PsALM

Subsequently, Ps Ned Cheliyan from STAMP was invited into the steering committee in Jan 2009.

We are presently seeking to add more members to the Steering Committee from missions leaders from the church and mission agencies. If you feel you can contribute please let me know.

Ps Al

Brief History of the MTN

A Brief History

The MTN was officially launched at the 4th National Missions Dialogue on 28 April 2008. The first meeting of interested participants was called on 2 October 2008 where a total of 7 persons met together to hammer out a common understanding of the role for the MTN and how we were to proceed from there.

The outcomes of the meeting were:

1. A Mission Statement was crafted
2. The Scope of Ministry was defined
3. A Strategy was formulated, and
4. A Steering Committee was formed

Track Coordinator for MTN