Author: Antioch

Antioch Sports Ministry Impact Trip – Dominican Republic

During the Christmas break, Antioch Sports Ministry went on an outreach to the Dominican Republic. The team consisted of students who are a part of a little league baseball team here in Waco and other volunteers. Even before leaving Waco, our team saw the faithfulness of God through His provision of finances and passports.

The team spent the week partnering with our long-term team in the Dominican Republic and other organizations through baseball games and other outreaches. After each game our team played, they had the opportunity to share testimonies and the Gospel with everyone who attended the games. Many people decided to accept Jesus! Four students on our team also decided to get baptized at the end of the trip.

Despite language barriers, our team had the opportunity to connect with many other players and introduced them to the hope of Jesus. We are so encouraged, and we’re believing for God to continue to move throughout the Dominican Republic! Check out a few photos from the trip:

 

 

Overcoming Fear

“… no one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life.” Joshua 1:5

In every season, we’re called to take ground. God has something unique for each of us – He has people for us to share with, places for us to carry His light into and encounters we can really only experience when we’re living fully abandoned to Him. But there is something that holds us back, paralyzes us and keeps us from the fullness that God has for us.

Fear.

I’VE ALMOST COMPLETELY DISREGARDED MY CALLING BECAUSE OF FEAR.

Many things can arouse fear within us, and it can stem from an attack, our own weaknesses or life experiences.

Fear tends to keep us idly waiting for someone else to take the lead. But in this life, there is no neutral. You are either moving forward or you’re sliding backward. I continually come to places and find things standing against me, and I just want to stop or turn back. But that isn’t what we were made for.

Rather than allowing us to dream, we stay up at night asking all of the, “what if,” questions. Our focus shifts from our greater calling to calming our anxiety.

FEAR ISN’T JUST A THOUGHT, IT CAN BECOME ALL-ENCOMPASSING – MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY.

But when God places a calling on our lives, there is an assurance that He will never leave of forsake us, and that He will prepare the way for us.

We were never meant to fall victim to fear, but to overcome it.

IN RESPONSE:

Take a look at two tools to help us overcome our fears:

  1. The Word of God // Joshua 1:7 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” There is a promise for us that if we keep God’s Word on our lips and meditate on it daily, we will be prosperous. Keep speaking out the Word of God, especially when you’re in a mental block.
  2. Go back to the root of your fear // Fear comes in at different experiences, go back to those memories and ask Jesus where He was in those moments. Allow Him to speak and bring healing to that place of fear.

This post was written based around a message from All Peoples Church Lead Pastor Robert Herber. 

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2017

2017 was an exciting year for us! From hosting World Mandate in our building for the first time to seeing out Movement come together in a time of crisis, 2017 was a year to remember.

Take a minute to look back at some of our top blogs from 2017. These posts were so popular, we thought they would definitely be worth another read.

  1. LIVING SIMPLY BY RACHEL WHYTE
    • “So how do we avoid the rat-race that is life in the Western world, where distractions are plenty and opportunities to covet run rampant? How do we pursue a simple lifestyle – one of freedom and contentment?” // In this post, Rachel shares on simplifying our lives.
  2. BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF “YES LORD” BY JAMES MARK GULLEY

    • “There was something so natural about the process of writing this song. And I think that is because Yes Lord was the song of our Movement during that time.” // In the summer of 2016 our Movement rallied together to serve in the midst of the refugee crisis. During that time Yes Lord became an anthem of surrender and a declaration that we will go wherever God calls us. Check out this post to learn more about the story behind, Yes Lord.
  3. HOW TO HELP: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE ASKED FOR MONEY
    • Has someone ever asked you for money and you freeze because you aren’t sure how to answer? Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight and see someone asking for food on the corner, and you aren’t sure whether you should make eye contact or not? Our heart is to help people, but sometimes we aren’t sure how. Check out this post for four practical ways we can respond.
  4. THE DATING FILTER BY LUKE WHYTE
    • Does the thought of dating stress you out? Maybe you wish you could skip to the part where you’re married with two kids and a dog. In this post Young Adult pastor Luke Whyte seeks to bring clarity on the topic of dating and relationships.
  5. SONG STORY: UNCHANGING BY JAMES MARK GULLEY
    • “I sang about God’s solidity in the shifting sand, His faithfulness in our failure and His strength in our weakness.” // This year AntiochLIVE released multiple singles, one of them being, Unchanging, an anthem of the faithfulness of God. Check out this post to learn more about the story behind the song.
  6. WAITING BY PENNY ALLISON
    • “In line, on the phone, in traffic, for the final decision, in the emergency room, at a bedside, for God to move. People wait. A lot.” // We spend a good amount of time waiting. But God wants to meet us in the midst of the waiting. Learn more in this post by Penny Allison.
  7. INTIMACY WITH GOD BY NATHAN SMOTHERS
    • “Jesus offers us an invitation for eternal life in exchange for full surrender. We must set aside our own agendas and let Him lead.” // God wants intimacy with us. Check out this post to learn more about how we can step into greater friendship with God.
  8. GOD’S VISION: INVESTING IN OUR CITY BY KIMBERLY BATSON
    • “How often in life does one really feel they can make an eternal and economic impact on a place? Honestly, it’s thrilling to me. If you’re in Waco right now, you’re being invited into God’s vision for this place.” // In this post, Kimberly Batson shares on getting God’s vision for our city.
  9. WHEN GOD DEFINES YOUR GREEN PASTURES
    • “I knew God would be faithful. I knew He would provide. But I did not necessarily expect to find a green pasture in the desert.” // Things don’t always play out the way we thing they will, but God still has life for us.
  10. THREE THINGS I LEARNED FROM ANXIETY BY DESTINY GONZALEZ
    • “Processes are hard and at times they feel hopeless. Even after I felt freedom from anxiety, the enemy wanted to replace my anxious thoughts with shameful ones. But this is why I’m so thankful for the process! I am left with a foundation of truth to stand on when the enemy wants to paralyze me with shame.” //

ALSO, TAKE A LOOK AT SOME RECAPS FROM SOME OF OUR MEMORABLE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE IN 2017:

  1. WOLD MANDATE 2017 RECAP
    • This year we hosted World Mandate in our building for the first time!
  2. HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF
    • In the midst of Crisis in Houston, our people responded and served the city of Houston. Take a look.
  3. ENGAGE THE NATIONS
    • This past summer, interns and short-term teams went to multiple locations to serve and build the Church throughout the nations.

Stay tuned for more in 2018!

ENGAGE THE ISLANDS

Recently, I’ve become increasingly interested in the Student Volunteer Movement. In the late 19th and early 20th century, there was a move of God through His people that saw thousands of laborers, primarily college students, mobilized to the unreached people of the earth. These young people were so moved by the Gospel they pledged to give part of their lives to catalyzing discipleship overseas. They were a generation willing to put life on hold as they took personal ownership of the Great Commission.

Something awakens in me when I think about that movement.

THERE ARE FEW THINGS MORE STIRRING THAN SEEING A LIFE FULLY SURRENDERED TO JESUS.

Nothing shoots more passion into my heart than when I see individuals sacrifice for the Kingdom and other people. It has been a gift to interact with men and women who have given up values of the world such as comfort, convenience, beauty, money and security for the sake of Jesus and His Church.

Through the years, this question has become part of my calling:

HOW CAN THE CHURCH BE AWAKENED TO TAKE THE NAME OF JESUS TO THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW HIM?

I don’t know about you, but even with dreams of disciples making disciples in my heart, sometimes life is so busy and complex between work, family and friends that it is a win just to make it through the day. But when I step back, search the Scriptures, look at the Church and consider the needs around the world, I remember I have a part to play. Like many of you, sometimes I just need a starting point for how to get involved.

In the spring, leaders from the Antioch Movement were a part of a gathering in London with representatives from other ministry organizations that are committed to finishing the Great Commission. Out of those meetings, the Antioch Movement was asked to take the lead in partnering with local churches to be involved in mobilizing laborers to areas of the world where people have never heard of Jesus.

As we have learned, to see something catalyzed, it often takes projects people can rally around. In processing this with others at the meetings, we felt the Holy Spirit directing us to engage Southeast Asia with a special initiative in the summer of 2018. It seemed significant that this effort would be a collaboration of teams from like-minded, like-hearted churches from around the world. From this leading of the Lord and the many dialogues that followed, ENGAGE THE ISLANDS came about.

This summer, our family will be leading out in Southeast Asia by overseeing the headquarter base where interns and short-term teams will arrive for training before being sent out to one of our bases.

We are thrilled to be a part of ENGAGE THE ISLANDS! We are expectant that across the nation we will engage the lost with the story of Jesus, and, by God’s grace, see groups started that will catalyze a church-planting movement and reach the unreached. We believe these kinds of rally points create synergy and momentum not only for saturating one region with the Gospel, but also opportunities to equip believers, mobilize laborers and develop movement mentalities in our churches as well as the larger Body of Christ. Come join us as we follow the lead of Jesus living amongst the unreached!

To learn more about how you can be a part of ENGAGE THE ISLANDS this summer, visit engagetheislands.com.

Testimonies from Across
the Antioch Movement

2017 has been an incredible year for the Antioch Movement! Our churches are growing, lives are being transformed and cities are being impacted. It has been so encouraging to see what God is doing around this nation, here are just a few testimonies:

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN //

There is a girl in one of our Lifegroups who has considered herself a Universalist since college. She is a young mom and she and her husband have found a lot of life by being in community, but she still had walls up toward God. She had a rough family background, and that played a part in her skewed view of God and herself. As she began being discipled, walls started to come down and things started clicking. On Halloween, she called and said, “I finally understand that God loves me, He died for me and He is good!” There is still a lot of healing that needs to happen, but she has given her life to Jesus, was baptized and is continuing to learn more about God.

A woman from China showed up at church one Sunday, and a family invited her to Lifegroup. As they were doing a Discovery Bible Study, they noticed how she just kept reading verses and flipping through pages. The family soon realized this woman had never been allowed to have or read a Bible in China. The Lifegroup leader shared the Gospel with her and invited her back the next week. We’re excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds, and it was amazing to see her excitement as she read the Word of God for the first time.

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS //

This past summer, a college Lifegroup took an international trip and while there, Josh got a big heart for international students. He started offering rides to international students to go to the grocery store and built relationship with one student named Sham. Since being in America, Sham has struggled with depression. Josh shared the Gospel with Sham and brought him to Lifegroup where he gave his life to Jesus. He has since experienced freedom from depression and anxiety. Go God!

FORT WORTH, TEXAS //

Last month, a freshman from TCU was struggling with suicidal thoughts and attended one of our services. During the service he felt the love and presence of God like never before, and gave his life to Christ. He is continuing to be transformed and is getting baptized this week!

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON //

This past year, Mosaic Community Church in Seattle raised more than $1 million to purchase a building in a strategic location in the city. They are now working together as a church to renovate the space and make it their own. Check out their new space, and consider partnering with them financially to see their building project finished.

Teaching Kids to be Thankful

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being thankful is the way to go; in every season, in every circumstance. One of the best things we can do for our kids is instill a value for thankfulness within them. Why? Well, the Bible promises us that when we pray and give thanks, the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds (Philippians 4:6-7). We want that for our kids.

Below is a thankfulness activity you can do with your kids this week. Print one per child, or fill it out as a family. Together, you can have an incredible week of thanks.

Download My Week of Thanks

 

ACTIVITY GUIDE

  • Start by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Ask, “What does it mean to give thanks in all circumstances?” Explain how this mean giving thanks in every situation, whether good or bad.
  • Have each person in your family share one thing they are thankful for. Encourage your kids as they answer; being thankful (even if it’s for ice cream) is obeying God, which pleases Him greatly!
  • Fill out the “My Week of Thanks” template (one per person or one for the family to share). When finished, take some time to pray, thanking God for the many ways He has blessed your family.
  • Did your child say he or she was thankful for a specific person? Make sure you let that person know!

By Antioch Kids Ministry

What We’re Reading this Christmas Season

The word Advent means expectation, and the Advent season is a time of remembering the 400 years of silent anticipation of the arrival of our Savior. Many people celebrate and reflect on the Christmas season with an Advent calendar or special book to help them connect to the heart of the season and the eternal truth that Great Light has come and illuminated the darkness.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE BOOKS FOR THE ADVENT SEASON:

Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio // The Christmas season is one most of us look forward to, yet the rush and chaos of the holidays can leave us dizzy. Often, at this time of year, we realize we are all waiting for something: a solution, a relationship, a breakthrough, a rescue and so on. Christmas is a time that reminds us: God made a promise and then He fulfilled it. This daily devotional book by Louie Giglio will show you what to do while you’re waiting and how to encounter hope over the holidays and throughout your life.

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp // Divided into daily readings starting on December 1st and going through Christmas Day, Voskamp artfully draws the reader into the full love story of the season. She reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the Greatest Gift — through the Advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree.”

Unwrapping the Name of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu // Throughout Scripture, Jesus is referred to as, “Alpha and Omega, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace, Messiah,” and so on. In this devotional beginning on December 1st, Asheritah Ciuciu takes a deeper look at who Jesus is, and what His arrival means for us.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas // Watch for the Light is a compilation of stories and readings that allow readers to connect with the heart of the season. The book includes writings from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich Foerster and many others. The writers explore the significance of the birth of Jesus, not only during this season but every season.

FOR FAMILIES:

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp // Based on her book, The Greatest Gift, Voskamp takes families through the tradition of “The Jesse Tree” and creates a platform for the whole family to connect to the heart of the Christmas season.

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide // Jotham’s Journey is a great book for you to read with your children. Each day has a reading that takes you through 10-year-old Jothan’s journey across Israel as he searches for his family. Along the journey he encounters wise men, shepherds and innkeepers until he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

Women’s Conference 2017

We had an awesome time at our Women’s Conference this weekend! Throughout the weekend we heard from Lisa Bevere, who encouraged and challenged us to step out of a life of comparison and competition and step into the divine purpose God has for us. Shawn and Sean also made a few guest appearances, and it was a blast having them with us.

Check out some highlights from the weekend:

 

A special thanks to our photographers, Emily Times and Ann Martin Foley, for helping us capture the weekend.