During the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Harvest Chinese Church held in greater Washington D.C., Rev. Wilfred Su (the mentor of the Church’s pioneer Rev. Boli Zhang) shared and testified that the revival of the church was based on the Christianization of the family. He encouraged the congregation to follow the Bible to build a family with Christ as its focus.
Su, a Logos Evangelical Seminary professor, quoted various authorities to emphasize the importance of family. He stated, many people think that the church is the center of education for the next generation, but to him, family is the foundation to nurture their faith and to fulfill their beliefs.
Su used the New Testament story of the couple Aquila and Priscilla as an example to illustrate the Christianization of the family, the career, and the ministry, as something for us brothers and sisters to learn from.
The letters of Paul mentioned that Aquila and Priscilla worked with him in building the church and spreading the Gospel. To Su, the reason why the Christian church at that time could flourish and prosper rapidly had much to do with this couple.
1. Family Life
In the Bible, there are six places where Aquila and Priscilla’s names are mentioned. Four of these places are within greetings from Paul, where the wife’s name comes first. Maybe this was due to the wife’s greater role in the church; however, this couple never compared or competed, but worked in harmony to serve God, and was always at peace.
Besides, this couple always opened the doors of their home to be used for church gatherings (1 Corinthians 16:19), and handed over the ruler rights of their home to God.
Su said, what a blessing it will be when a Christian home can be filled with sounds of hymns, prayers, and scripture reading! All that man possesses comes from God. We are merely housekeepers, and thus should follow God’s will to upkeep and use everything that belongs to us.
He suggested that we should hold services at home, and build a family altar. For example, family members can sing hymns, pray, and bless each other; when the children return or travel abroad, all can pray for them and bless them, so that they know that Christ is the focus of the family.
2. Career Life
Aquila and Priscilla wove tents as a career, and they performed their work sacredly for God. In their eyes, their main career was to comply with and spread God’s teachings.
Su testified that his parents taught him to pursue God’s kingdom and ways since he was very young. When he was young, he worked in the society for a few years. His status was not low, and his wages were good. He has 7 younger brothers and sisters, and thus should help with paying their tuition fees.
However, when he told his parents he wanted to be a missionary, his mother encouraged him, and said: “I have taught you since you were very young to first pursue God’s kingdom and ways, and if you really believe that this is God’s calling, please go ahead.”
The miracle is, many years later, Su’s children came and asked him: “How did you decide to minister full-time?” Although Su had family concerns and was sad to leave them, as his mother once was, he would still leave it up to God, and trusted that God would provide.
At present, Su’s children have given up their comfortable lives in the United States and left for China and Kyrgyzstan to minister.
3. Ministry Life
Aquila and Priscilla helped and supported the servants of God. Paul testified that this couple worked with him, risking their lives for the truth (Roman 16:3-5). When Paul knew that he needed to be executed, he gave Timothy the last letter, which mentioned Aquila and Priscilla (2 Timothy 4:19), because they really greatly supported Paul’s Gospel works.
Aquila and Priscilla also helped a gifted missionary Apollos, who graduated from one of the three main seminaries at that time – Alexander Seminar. He not only knew the Bible, but also spoke eloquently.
When Aquila and Priscilla noticed that Apollos’ teachings were not complete, they explained to him more accurately the ways of God. When Apollos reached other places, he had much power, using the Word to testify that Jesus is the Christ.
At the end, Su blessed the Harvest Chinese Church, and hoped that in the 20th Anniversary, the Church will have nurtured a thousand Christianized families, and become a blessing for thousands and millions of people.
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]