Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to be effective Christians, wherever you are

Sometimes when I watch a video of secret churches in Iran or China I feel embarrassed that I am living in comfort and freedom in America, able to worship freely and even apathetically at times. When I read of the persecution of believers in the Middle East I do cry for the loss of such wonderful believers, knowing I owe them a debt. I want to race out and save exploited children in the sex slavery trade, or run off and be a missionary in the Himalayas or something. But that is not what God has laid out for me to do. We can still be effective witnesses and servants of the Gospel even at our boring homes in the waysides of our small town. I believe that an equal debt is owed the mature, steady Christians who week after week, lovingly open their homes to people, who patiently teach the word more accurately, who encourage, who send money on missions and who tithe locally.

I use Priscilla and Aquila for this model. They were two tentmaking colleagues of Paul (Acts 18:1-4) who welcomed Paul in their home and also discipled other believers constantly. They are mentioned six times, in Acts 18:2,18,26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19. It is obvious from Paul's letters that he cherished these two. Now Paul was the fiery missionary, tramping from Greece to Yugoslavia and across seas and oceans on behalf of the Lord. It was an important and big ministry. Yet he valued the 'little' and unflashy ministry of the believers at home, the husband and wife duo of Priscilla (Prisca as a nickname) and Aquila who discipled, welcomed, encouraged, and taught quietly. We're part of a body and we each have different roles. From Apostle to missionary to private, quiet teacher at home, we all make a difference. What struck me about Priscilla and Aquila was that they sought out Apollos, opened their home to him, and began to teach him. They made an effort, extending themselves to another brother. (Acts 18:24-26)

You can do this as well. Hospitality, friendship, and person-to-person teaching (Acts 18:26) is effective and shares His light just as wonderfully as Paul's fiery zeal and public pronouncements to whole cities. Private evangelism is still evangelism, and the two biblical Christians so valued by Paul show us today what a solid couple in the Lord can do for Jesus. Your home is a gift you can use to further His kingdom.

1 comment:

  1. This blog entry is so timely Elizabeth! Just last night I was talking to my husband about starting a bible study in our home (which is why I contacted you on Twitter about online materials).

    We moved to Dallas almost 2 years ago and we have yet to get connected with a home group/bible study for one major reason. None of the ones affiliated with our church have childcare. We have a 10 month old daughter and another on the way and unfortunately we can't afford a babysitter right now. So the lack of childcare makes it tough to commit to a bible study where kids aren't allowed.

    All of that to say, we desperately long for biblical fellowship and starting our own bible study at home seems like a great idea. Although to be honest it's overwhelming when it comes to finding gospel accurate course material. It's one thing to start a bible study that's people focused and let scripture fill in the gaps, but its a whole other thing to start a gospel centered bible study and let the people fall in where they may.

    Anyways, thank you for reminding us that it's worth it! The example of Priscilla and Aquila is perfect!

    ReplyDelete

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