This is part 3 in a 4-part series.

A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise – Winnie the Pooh

We are continuing the series based upon my research of fifteen years ago. Factors in the background, education, training, motivation, life, ministry and work of those serving in the 10/40 Window were identified and related to their effectiveness in serving Jesus Christ. Effectiveness or productivity is defined in terms of evangelism, discipleship and church planting. For comparison, a “worker” includes missionaries, tentmakers / BAMers / B4Ters. Exactly 450 people were surveyed.

Fellowship and Identity

Sending churches are very involved in the lives of their workers.

Home or Sending Church Relationship

Exactly 90% of the workers were commissioned by their home church, and 92% are in regular contact with their home church. Nonetheless, research showed the home churches are not making much of a contribution to the effectiveness of their workers.

The data shows that workers who send out prayer letters and have over 151 people committed to praying for them and workers who receive communication from their sending church on a quarterly basis are to a small degree more effective. Though it did not impact their effectiveness, workers appreciated being held accountable by their home churches. Over 65% said they are satisfied with the spiritual and emotional support of their sending church. Moreover, 30% of the workers send prayer letters home on a monthly basis.


Nearly 78% of the workers indicate they have sufficient income. The majority of workers (61%) are fully supported by churches and friends. Of those who have BAM / B4T jobs, 21% are not receiving some income from their work. The source of the worker’s personal monthly salary, whether from churches, individuals, or a secular job, has no affect on the worker’s effectiveness. The data concludes that more money does not increase the probability of the worker’s effectiveness; however, earning less than US$700/month will enhance the probability of a worker being less effective.

In summary, these are key factors that are important in preparing to do BAM or tentmaking or B4T:

  • It is wise to have a sending church back home.
  • Recruit as many people to pray for you as possible.
  • It is important to have an adequate income.



PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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