By Elizabeth Prata
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. 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. He has deliberately and sovereignly placed me here.
We can still be effective witnesses and servants of the Gospel. 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. Who live out their faith in the secular workplaces, who shine among the public when out and about doing our mundane errands.
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.
You can do this as well. Hospitality, friendship, and person-to-person teaching (Acts 18:26) is wonderful and shares His light just as effectively 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.