The theme for Evangelical Dark Web in 2021 is No Retreat, and not only does that mean we not retreat from the culture war, but it also entails becoming more self-sufficient and not malleable by cancel culture and the other malevolent forces that be. In keeping with a renewed focus on assisting Christians to survive to be able to proclaim our good news. with the Big Tech censorship, I sought to interview Matt Williams of How To Build A Tent.
Matt Williams is a Christian entrepreneur who hosts the How To Build A Tent and Reformgelical podcasts. His message is carries with him that Paul was building tents in order to support his proclamation of the gospel and also the mentality that God commands Israel to marry off their daughter while in exile under Babylonian rule. These mentalities are more relevant than ever before right now, as America teeters on becoming post-Christian or another revival.
I began with just asking Matt to share his testimony, which leads us to a brief conversation about how seemingly “boring” testimonies bring glory to God. It would so happen that his entrepreneurial journey began around that time as well. Matt operates multiple businesses, the least of which appears to be his podcasting platform. His businesses largely focus on catering to local needs.
Locality was one of my biggest takeaways from listening to Matt. He emphasized how we need to think of our families as businesses, which I see as a biblical notion dating back to Genesis. So when we work for a company, we are a business and that company that pays us wages or salary is our customer. Understanding leverage, having one stream of income gives the buyer a lot of leverage over the seller. Matt cites a small airline that fired a Trump campaign activist because their major client demanded they do. So as Christians, we need to keep this in mind, and good financial stewardship may require multiple streams of income or require a more local reliance on income.
When talking about starting a business, we discussed that certain business models were killed by lockdowns. Put simply, businesses need to minimalize fixed expenses and instead only have variable expenses. Variable expenses are expenses that occur when revenue occurs. Matt talked about how his catering business only had variable expenses so when lockdowns happened, he ceased operations and that did not hurt him beyond lost revenue, because no revenue meant no expenses. He could then resume operations with no problems.
When talking about starting online businesses it does appear there is no infrastructure to avoid being at the mercy of Big Tech in some regard. Matt Williams solution was to find opportunities locally. And I think this was my biggest takeaway: finding local opportunities.
We finished talking about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Although Matt was more knowledgeful on blockchain than cryptocurrency, he pointed out how much of the supply of Bitcoin is held by a small number of user accounts. This makes it less than ideal to adopt as a widespread currency, in addition to being a volatile speculative asset.
I believe that there is a lot to learn when getting together different Christians of various backgrounds (without sacrificing orthodoxy), and will continue to produce this type of content.