When it comes to generosity, The Signatry strives to unite and equip people with tools that bring them together for one bold purpose — to create global, eternal impact. Generosity is the bow, so to speak, and the transformational message of the gospel is the arrow. We aim to use generosity as the tool to spread the gospel to every person in every region of the world. On our blog this year, we will be highlighting generous women of the Bible as examples of how God uses generosity to spread the gospel. We begin our series with Priscilla, a woman whose generosity helped the early church thrive in a difficult area of the world.
Priscilla and Aquilla
In 52 A.D., Roman Emperor Claudius issued an edict expelling all Jews from the city of Rome. A Christian Jew named Aquilla and his wife Priscilla packed up their belongings and headed to the town of Corinth. There they met Paul, who had recently arrived from Athens. All three, having learned the trade of tentmaking, forged a friendship using their business as a tool to share in joint ministry efforts—efforts which took them all over the ancient world.
Whether in Rome, Corinth, or Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquilla tirelessly gave of themselves to serve Christ by caring for Paul and the local communities. They are only mentioned six times in Scripture, and never apart from each other, yet their ministry had a substantial impact on the growth of Christianity amongst the Gentiles as they unashamedly preached and lived out the gospel. They would even risk their own lives to spare Paul and all the churches for this cause:
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles (Rom. 16:3 NKJV).
Priscilla and Aquilla earned the respect of each community in which they lived and served. Priscilla became well known and highly valued as a businessperson and someone with a strong grasp of scripture, standing out as a leader and a teacher. She established a house church in their Ephesian home, taking the initiative to model that for others, while privately instructing the scholarly Apollos so he could effectively evangelize in public. Priscilla became an example to others in how she faithfully gave of herself and served alongside her husband in marriage, ministry, and business.
Through her generous life she and her husband remained loyal, steadfast, and devoted to their call despite horrific persecution taking place all around them. They accomplished this in three ways:
- they united together
- they equipped others for the mission
- they lived for eternal impact, not temporary gain
Lead by Example
Tradition holds that Priscilla and Aquilla were martyred with other believers in Rome. They were first tortured before being executed. They are considered some of the earliest Christian missionaries, and their friendship with Paul, devotion to Christ, and generous lives impacted all those around them.
As believers, we are called to carry on their legacy by building on this foundation with genuine, generous, enduring works that will have lasting impact in the eternal realm. We work to continue the journey that others began … and invite you to join us.