Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Great Families Build Great Churches Acts 18:1-3, 18-19, 24-26
It takes more than great programs to build a great church. It takes more than sacrificial service to build a great church. It takes more than money, more than a super staff, more than talented teachers, and more than dedicated deacons/leaders to build a great church.
What makes a great church is great people, great families, and great homes!
We can build a great church right here by building people, building families, and building great homes…if we do that, then together we will be building a great church, all to the glory of God.
I just want EBC to know that I am working on something and will, if I can find the $$ to do so, begin some training programs for teaching how to reach families for Christ. So far everything I’m working on is at no cost but if I am to go full steam ahead, there may be some cost for the training programs.
We have a fine example of building a great church by building great families in our text in the form of a husband and wife team. Their names are Aquila and Priscilla.
I believe, as many pastors do, that God intended for the Christian life to be a family affair. The Bible is filled with examples of entire families loving and serving God together.
A couple of examples, from the New Testament, would be the Philippian Jailer in Acts 16. We know that immediately following the jailer’s salvation experience his entire household experienced a life changing transformation, as each surrendered to the Lord.
Timothy, Paul’s “preacher boy” was raised by a Godly mother, who was, herself, raised by a Godly mother.
We know this because we have the testimony of Scripture to prove it.
[2Ti 1:5 NIV] “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Three generations loving and serving God.
When we look at our text we see a married couple, worshipping and serving God together.
I want to show you 3 things that make a family great and will lead to a great church:
1. Great families are saved families.
Looking back, we find that Aquila and Priscilla had been living in Rome, Italy.
The name Priscilla is actually a Roman name, and secular history tells us she was from a family of nobility living in Rome.
Aquila is a Jewish name. So what we have is a young Roman girl marrying a young Jewish boy, which was not acceptable in those days, so Priscilla had to make a choice because there was a tidal wave of hatred and prejudice against the Jews sweeping through Rome. The Emperor Claudius had just issued an edict expelling all Jews from Rome. Priscilla had to choose between her homeland or her husband.
Look at Verses 1&2
Most of us know how hard it is to have to pick up and move, especially when it’s moving away from the place where you have lived all your life. But this couple didn’t choose to move, Aquila and Priscilla were being forced to leave!
The 21st Century family is also under incredible pressure. Stress and tension are a huge part of the home today with the pressures of work, time, and the financial struggles that we choose to live under.
And when children enter the picture the stress goes up and that stress level rises more and more the older they get.
If you have a child or grandchild that is a freshman in high school, here’s some things to expect by the time they graduate—
2/3rd’s of their class will have used drugs
1 in 5 will be an alcoholic
2 in 5 will have consumed 5 or more drinks at 1 sitting
20% will use tobacco, in one form or another, daily
46% of babies born out of wedlock will be to kids their age
1/3rd of all abortions will be performed on girls of high school age
½ will be sexually active
The 2nd leading cause of death of students by graduation will be suicide
We need revival poured out in the home! We need a spiritual awakening in our families that starts with moms and dads getting serious about serving God!
We need families with a healthy fear of Satan’s rampage and a heartfelt desire for drawing close to God and to one another.
I don’t know how anyone can raise a family today without the Lord and without the help of a good church family.
Aquila and Priscilla were a family under pressure, but they were also a family under providence because God was working out their problems behind the scenes, not only for their good but for His glory!