December 5, 2011
America is a unique-in-history culture; that’s an indisputable reality. One of the distinctions of our niche in civilization is the imprint made on each generation by the prime-time television that serves as an electronic distraction while mom makes dinner.
Our firstborn joined the household census in February of 1974; six months later, a family moved into the neighborhood, on NBC. The Ingalls – the “typical” American frontier family – became a part of our developing story. Pa Ingalls (a signature role for Michael Landon, who both directed and starred) was a paternal model and reinforcement for me, in my start-up years as a dad. Charles (pa’s name, away from the house) was also a daughters-only dad, so we had parallels. Little House on the Prairie was next door to little-house-in-Orange-County. They lasted for seven years on NBC; you can still catch them on the Hallmark Channel…
Models help frame our thinking about who we are. That’s why I’ve come to appreciate the only New Testament couple whose story emerges from the mostly-men Kingdom expansion. Aquila and Priscilla are like 21 st Century global business partners whose energy for their career and their calling was remarkable.
We make a point to highlight their bios in Session #4 of The Master’s Program. Paul met them in Corinth (Acts 18), where they became business partners (career), hospitality providers (virtual family), and ministry colleagues (calling). That relationship helped Paul get the church established in Corinth, then Ephesus, and – likely – Rome. They found time alongside their professional demands to host church plants in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3) and exercise their significant personal ministry skills in fine-tuning some of the emerging leaders in the movement (Acts 18:26).
Bonus Question: how were Charles and Caroline Ingalls and Aquila and Priscilla alike?Answer: they were all pioneers, compelled to move to the frontiers of their worldview. For the Ingalls, that meant establishing their homestead in unclaimed territory (Minnesota). For A & P, that meant establishing their home church in unclaimed territory (Corinth, then Ephesus, then Rome). They took the directive made by Jesus to his Apostles – to “Go into all the world…” – as a personal challenge that gave direction to the strategic decisions of their lives, as well.
If Aquila and Priscilla – tentmakers during the week, Kingdom leaders nights and weekends – are an inspiration to you, let me invite you to spend a day with some men and women who are contemporary versions of them and the Apostle Paul.
It’s Monday, January 16th. The marketplace will be mostly-closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We’re convening a world-class cohort of Kingdom-frontier leaders from ministry, business and philanthropy to explore the opportunities before us as we consider the last of the Kingdom frontiers.
Last Monday, I asked you to click here to bring up a deeper explanation of the Issachar Summit. Today, I’m asking you to go there (again), and to register your intent to attend. America expanded, aided by the courageous pioneers who headed west; the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus has expanded by the courageous pioneers who headed out. There are some corners of our world where Jesus has yet to be introduced; the last of the task is in-reach in our generation. The cream-of-the-crop in Israel – 3000 years ago, in the time of King David – were the leaders of Issachar, “…who understood the times, and knew what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
If you’re married (Priscilla and Aquila), come as a couple. If you’re single (Paul), come as a single. This is a day that will turn a holiday into a Holy Day. Let your pioneer spirit, your leadership capacity and your Kingdom compulsion find convergence in a day with peers you’ll never forget…