Debbie and her husband Bob have three children and six grandchildren. Debbie is passionate about her grandchildren having deep relationship with Jesus, and she constantly sharing with them about how God is moving in her life. She is frequently traveling to visit her kids and grandkids, but when Debbie is in Waco, she volunteers with UnBound, our anti-trafficking ministry.
FIND OUT A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DEBBIE AND WHY SHE ENJOYS SERVING WITH OUR UNBOUND TEAM –
Why did you decide to volunteer with UnBound?
A few years ago at World Mandate, Christine Caine came and talked about how the reality of the sex trafficking industry prompted her to set up the A21 campaign to fight against human trafficking. Hearing this made a great impact on me, and I wanted to get involved. I learned more about UnBound and signed up to volunteer in the Juvenile Detention Center.
What is your vision for serving?
It breaks my heart to know that trafficking happens in Waco, and there are wonderful, beautiful young ladies who are not loved and nurtured in their own home. When I visit the detention center, we talk to the girls about having value, healthy relationships, pornography, sex trafficking and other topics. I find that the girls usually have a defensive barrier, but they are receptive and soak up the positive affirmation and encouragement we give them. It’s sweet because they look forward to us coming every week.
Do you have a testimony to share from your time serving?
One girl told me, “If I would have had the type of love you are talking about, I wouldn’t be here today.” Another girl said, “every time I smile I am really crying inside.” The girls just want someone to love them unconditionally, with no strings attached. In my heart I hope they see Jesus in me and are stirred to seek after Him. I pray that they find Jesus os waiting to lavish His unconditional love on them.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with UnBound, or in another area of the church, fill out this form.
Jordan is 22 years-old and works as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Originally from California, he moved to Waco almost two years ago after getting connected to the Antioch Movement through ENGAGE THE CRISIS. Jordan moved to be a part of the Antioch Discipleship School, and has since jumped in with our college ministry and serves as a photographer on our media team!
FIND OUT A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JORDAN AND WHY HE ENJOYS SERVING WITH OUR MEDIA TEAM –
Why did you decide to volunteer with the media team?
I’ve always loved being creative, so it just made sense to use my gifts in a way that would bless the church. I also knew a couple of people on the media team who I looked up to, so I wanted to learn from them and see the way they did things.
What is your vision for serving?
It’s no doubt that our society as a whole has become more and more visual and uses media in a variety of different ways. My vision in serving the church through media is to capture the experiences of our church and to display them to the world around us, showing them what the Kingdom of God is like. It’s a window for people to look through to see for themselves our community and culture. Then they can decide if they want to come in the house. And for people already in the house, it’s a way to recall and remember the faithfulness of God. The thing that gives me life is simply capturing the different ways God is moving in our church. Because that’s what He does, He brings breakthrough and celebrating that breakthrough is who we are. Antioch is a moving and breathing church. It’s really an honor to be a photographer of what God is doing through this body of believers.
Do you have a testimony to share from your time serving?
Really, every photo is a testimony. One specifically that I’m reminded of is our most recent baptism bash, I was pretty much just documenting the whole experience. But for friends and families of people who actually got baptized the event holds so much meaning. It’s a declaration of their life being transformed, so to be able to capture that and give those photos to the families is an honor. To give parents photos of their young kids declaring faith in Jesus will never get old. Ultimately the photos are mementos of God’s faithfulness. A testimony.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
There are many ways to view media and the church; Does it have a place in the church? What’s the purpose? How can we create an impact using media? Does it build up the church? Is it necessary? Why isn’t there more of it in the church? How can we use it to honor God and people?
As with all things, to worship God it must be done in Spirit and truth. No matter what. So when you create, allow yourself to be inspired by the Spirit and centered on truth found in the Bible, and let’s worship Him with our talents!
If you are interested in being a part of the media team, or in another area of the church, fill out this form.
This morning Vincent Carpenter continued our All in All series with a message centered around 2 Corinthians 6 and the sufficiency God gives us to live a wholeheartedly. To live wholehearted means to stick with something even if it isn’t always easy. God is wholeheartedly committed to us, and He gives us the grace we need to wholeheartedly love and follow Him.
There is constantly temptation to fall into half-hearted living. Distractions and a desire to do things on our own keep us from stepping into all God has for us.
We are surrounded by distractions that pull our attention away from our relationship with God. Between our families, jobs, friendships and other responsibilities, it is easy to feel stretched and overwhelmed. When we allow our focus to be split between multiple things, we become passive. But when we put God in His rightful place as our first priority, He gives us the grace to live wholehearted in every other area of our lives.
God’s desire is to provide us with everything we need, we just have to be willing to receive from Him. When we don’t receive what God is trying to do for us, we try to do for ourselves what only God can do. Because of our insufficiency, we will ultimately fail and get burnt out. When we become tired and discouraged, we fall into half-heartedness. But when we lean on Jesus, we have the ability to shift our perspective and see adversity and challenges as something to celebrate. When God becomes central, our challenges become a place for God to be glorified through our weakness.
When we live wholeheartedly, we fully trust God to be our all in all and do what we cannot.
TAKE A LOOK AT THREE WAYS WE CAN LIVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY THIS WEEK //
- Start your day with worship // Allow your heart to be realigned every morning; putting God as your sole focus. When we put God at the center, everything else falls into place.
- Eliminate distractions // Ask God if there are any distractions that are keeping you from wholehearted relationship with Him. Be proactive about those things this week – this could look like getting off social media for a week or setting your alarm an hour earlier. Ask God for a practical way to respond.
- Step into wholehearted living // Ask God if you have been half-hearted in relationship with Him or in relationships with your family, friends or co-workers. Ask God to show you how to step into wholeheartedness.
As we continue our series, be sure to follow along with our 2 Corinthians reading plan, and renew your mind with the truth every day. Download a copy of our reading plan here.
On Friday we came together to celebrate the release of AntiochLIVE’s new album, History’s Anthem, and it was the best kind of family night! Our band led us in worship as we declared and celebrated the faithfulness of God.
History’s Anthem is a collection of the anthems of our church, and it is available on all digital outlets. Get your copy today!
TAKE A LOOK AT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NIGHT:
A special thanks to Corey O’Connell for helping us capture the night!
This morning Drew Steadman shared part three of our series, All in All. Today’s message was centered around 2 Corinthians 4:1 – 5:10, and we talked about how Jesus is sufficient enough to shift our perspective. In our broken world, it is easy to lose sight of what God is doing, and ultimately lose heart. When our perspective is centered on what we can do, we become discouraged. But when our perspective is centered on what God is already doing, we have renewed confidence. Despite the challenges of this world, God is wanting to take us from being people who lose heart to people who are confident in His character and His plans.
It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to control our own circumstances rather than being confident in who God is. There is a guarantee that God will never change. He will always be who He says He is. He loves us, He is with us, He put His Spirit within us and He is working all things together for our good.
When we’re in the midst of a difficult situation, it can be hard to see that God is moving and working things together for our benefit. When you realize the value and beauty that is happening beneath the surface, everything changes.
SO, HOW DO WE GET THAT PERSPECTIVE SHIFT? THE ANSWER IS FAITH.
By definition, faith means to live by a different perspective. Faith is learning to live in light of heaven because heaven is what we’re made for. Our faith cannot be rooted in this world, it has to be in Jesus. If we think this world is meant to satisfy us, we will always be disappointed. While faith is choosing to trust in what we cannot see, faith is not ignoring the pain we experience in this world. Pain is real, and it is right to grieve. But even in grief, we can live in the hope of our eternal inheritance. Carl Gulley preached on grief this past fall, and we encourage you to listen to that message if you haven’t already.
God has given us an eternal hope with the promise of heaven. He also gives us His Spirit to help us through this life. The Spirit reminds us of the guarantee of what is to come. We don’t have to live with a hope that is in the things of this world, but with a hope that is in heaven.
TAKE A LOOK AT THREE WAYS TO PRACTICALLY APPLY THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- Ask Jesus to increase your faith and shift your perspective // Jesus is faithful to meet us and answer our prayers. This week, pray this –
- “Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief and increase my faith.”
- Declare 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 this week // In the midst of trial, it is easy to become stuck on our circumstances. We may feel struck down, but the Word of God says we are not destroyed. Read through the truth of who God says we are, even in the midst of trial.
- Read through 2 Corinthians with us // The Word of God overcomes how we feel, and cultivates an eternal perspective. Follow along with our 2 Corinthians reading plan, and renew your mind with the promises of God. Download a copy of our reading plan here.
AntiochLIVE’s new album, History’s Anthem, releases tomorrow, and we can’t wait! This album is a collection of songs recorded at church on Sunday morning and at World Mandate. Many of our worship leaders were a part of making this album, but we specifically wanted to sit down with the AntiochLIVE leadership team to hear a little more about the heart behind the album.
The leadership team consists of James Mark Gulley, Owen Wible, Thomas Wilson and Brandon Seibert. James Mark leads the team and oversees each of our songwriters. Owen serves the team as the project manager and keeps things moving logistically. He has also contributed with songwriting. Thomas leads out on the songwriting side of things. He looks at each of the song ideas and chooses the ones that we feel have a message that our church and Movement need. Brandon* serves as the producer, audio engineer and mixer. He has also contributed as a songwriter.
Take a look at what James Mark, Owen and Thomas had to say about History’s Anthem:
First off, tell us a little about the vision behind the album:
- James Mark: The vision behind the album of History’s Anthem for me is first and foremost we feel like God has called us to be worshippers who minister to His heart and lead people to encounter God through worship, and any way we can do that is our privilege.
- Thomas: As we talked about where we were headed, we agreed on how important it was for our songs to really reflect the life of our church. In the past we’ve written songs specifically for albums. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes we ended up with these songs that we literally only played one time at church. We didn’t want to do that again. So, we decided to just take it one song at a time, one month at a time, and focus on writing songs for the people of our church.
- Owen: I love that this album is recorded at church. It’s our volunteer team leading with our church body worshipping together. These aren’t just songs to fill an album. They’re the anthems from our church over the past year and a half.
- Thomas: It was so cool because we’d introduce each new song during a Sunday service, and watch how people responded. If a song went well, we’d record it, but if something didn’t seem to connect with people, we’d take the time to make the song better. Eventually when we felt like people were really resonating with a song, we’d pick a Sunday and just record it at church. And we wouldn’t even tell our church we were recording. To me it felt more genuine that way. It was like we were actually capturing the sound of our church, like our focus was on the people encountering God, not recording cool songs for a project.
- James Mark: As we began to put together songs for this season a couple different themes began to stick out. The first is that the simple name of Jesus has so much power. Just the power in the name of Jesus and the person of Jesus is unlike anything else in the world, and so we wrote songs that have so much to do with calling on His name. All in All just sings the name of Jesus over and over again. Your Name is just really a declaration of the power in Jesus’ name.
- Owen: The theme of God’s faithfulness also kept coming up over and over. My hope is that people are reminded of His unchanging nature and it propels them to worship Jesus.
- James Mark: We as a generation want to pay attention and be aware of the faithfulness of God. That is what compels us to worship Him, and worshipping Him is what He’s worthy of. That’s really the message behind History’s Anthem, that the anthem of history is God’s faithfulness, that God has been faithful to us when we have been faithless as a people in this world. Just like the song says, “Let heaven shout You will never fail.”
How did you decide on the album title?
- Thomas: One of my favorite parts about this last year was seeing a common theme develop throughout the writing process. We talked about a few different ideas for the title, but ultimately, it felt right to use a song title for the album title. The lyrics of History’s Anthem completely sum up the heart of the album. In the chorus alone, it’s almost like each phrase references a different song on the album. And then you come to the bridge and it’s almost like it’s saying, “In light of everything we’ve just said through each song on this album, we will ‘follow you with total abandon.’” It’s cool that it’s the last song on the album because to me it really ties it all together.
- James Mark: History’s anthem and the faithfulness of God became a theme that stuck out in a big way. Also, I think it was really cool that so many of these songs began in other nations. Specifically, History’s Anthem began in Greece with Caleb Seibert and his team there. God is faithful everywhere, all places to all people, and so History’s Anthem seemed to be a great title.
- Owen: The title is indicative of how all of history has seen God to be faithful. This album is our moment to join the anthem of the saints of old declaring that His promises are still true today and to tell future generations that He will continue to be faithful. It’s our testimony in music form.
How does the artwork tie in to the overall album?
- James Mark: When we started thinking through how we wanted to communicate about this album, the idea that came was to use actual artwork instead of just creating something on a computer. The artwork was put together by Tyler Guinn from Antioch Austin. He spent time praying and thinking about what he wanted it to look like, and we didn’t even really know what it would look like until we turned on the video camera and started filming him in his process. What came out was so colorful and beautiful and really kind of messy and unpredictable. That’s a lot like life and the journey that God has all of mankind on. But threaded throughout all of that is the fact that God is always faithful. He will never leave us or forsake us, and He’ll never deny His own name, so to me that is what the artwork means to the album.
- Thomas: It’s funny because when we had Tyler create the painting, half the songs hadn’t been written yet. So, in a lot of ways, Tyler’s painting was like a prophetic statement. All of the different colors and textures blended together to communicate one cohesive message, before we even knew what that message would end up saying. When we decided on the album title History’s Anthem we realized that this artwork really was like a visual representation of that theme. To me, the artwork symbolizes an invitation for you to sit in that empty chair and just gaze at God’s faithfulness in all its varied colors and forms.
- Owen: An art gallery is a window into what was happening at different times in history. It helps a single moment endure. In the same way, we want this album to testify to future generations that we have seen Him to be faithful in our day. The painting hung in a gallery is representative of what we’ve written on this album. The empty chair is your invitation to come and ponder what’s being said. And ultimately to add to the anthem of history the He’s been good to you.
Is there a particular song you are most excited for people to hear?
- Thomas: Ironically, because of the way we recorded these songs, none of them will be new to our church. So, I can’t say I’m excited for people to hear any of these songs for the first time – they already know them by heart! I do love the acoustic versions of God of the Breakthrough and Where Else Can I Go – I feel like they express the message of each of those songs in a really cool and different way.
- Owen: I’m also really happy with how the acoustic version of God of the Breakthrough came out. It has a different feel from the way we play it live. This arrangement is actually a lot closer to the way the song was originally written, and I think this version will help the lyrics sink in a little deeper.
- James Mark: Gosh, I can’t say there’s one that I am most excited about for people to hear. Asking me to pick a favorite song is kind of like asking me to pick my favorite child. I feel like I’m kind of a dad to all of these songwriters and all of these songs, but I would say the last song that got finished, Where Else Can I Go, is a really special one to me. I wrote about it on the blog if you want to read more about it. It was really meaningful when I felt God was telling me that He wanted me to lead it for our church so others would be able to sing it as well.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
- James Mark: I am just so proud of all the people who contributed to this record! This album is really a reflection of the culture of people that we have here at Antioch Waco and also in Antioch globally. I am someone who has been able to come alongside and kind of take the torch and keep going, but I love that all of us are just carrying that torch. We get to carry the anthems for this point of history. And hopefully our due desire is that we would sing the anthem with our lives so passionately and so powerfully that generations to come will be able to hear and say, “I experienced the faithfulness of God through the revelation that this church, this movement and these people were proclaiming and that gave me a confidence to walk in so that I can sing my own song, take up my part in the anthem of history that God is faithful, He is real, He is good and He is here with us right now.” That what I want people to get out of the album, and really out of all the albums we make.
History’s Anthem is available now! Check it out on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and all other music streaming platforms. To celebrate the release of the album, we will be having a worship night at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. We hope to see you there!
*Brandon is a part of ENGAGE THE ISLANDS this summer, so we were not able to connect with him.
This past weekend 540 kids and leaders headed out to Latham Springs for camp! From games, obstacle courses and swimming, to worship and hearing from some of our leaders, it was a blast! Throughout the weekend the kids learned more about what it looks like to follow Jesus and hear from Him.
TAKE A LOOK AT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEKEND:
This morning Drew Steadman continued our All in All series with a message on living in freedom. We read through 2 Corinthians 2:1 – 3:18, and we took a look at how the church in Corinth responded to sin. They were flippant toward the grace of God because they didn’t fully understand that they were trapped in their sin. Many times we have the same mindset as the Corinthians; they didn’t realize they were stuck, and we don’t always realize it either. But because of Jesus, we are given the grace to be free of our sin.
IN ORDER TO FULLY UNDERSTAND GRACE, WE FIRST NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE WEIGHT OF SIN:
- Sin hurts others, but grace forgives // The enemy tells us that our sin doesn’t impact other people, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We like to believe our sin is a personal issue we can manage, but in reality, our sin eventually leads to greater pain in our own lives and in the lives of others. It’s important to recognize that people are hurt by our sin, and there are consequences, sometimes that follow us the rest of our life. But there is also forgiveness. We first receive forgiveness from Jesus, and we then have the grace to ask for forgiveness from those we hurt.
- Sin always leads to death, but grace resurrects // The very nature of sin is death. Sin is to the soul what cancer is to the body. When someone is battling cancer, they are willing to do whatever it takes to rid the disease from their bodies. We need to view sin in the same way, because ultimately if we don’t kill sin, it will kill us. Jesus is not intimidated by the weight of sin in this world. In fact, He gives us victory over our sin and over death. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we experience the rescue of God.
- We cannot fix our own sin, but grace transforms // There is nothing we can do to fix ourselves. Jesus knew we couldn’t overcome the weight of our sin, so He took it away. He also gave us His Spirit so we can live transformed. Knowledge of our victory isn’t enough; we need the grace of God to walk out in total freedom.
Once we recognize sin for what it is, we can move toward living a life of freedom. Sin is a big deal, but grace is a bigger deal. The grace of God is sufficient enough for us to live a life free of the weight of sin.
TAKE A LOOK AT THREE PRACTICAL WAYS TO APPLY THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- Acknowledge sin and bring it into the light // The enemy wants us to keep our sin hidden, but confession and accountability bring us into freedom. If you are not connected to a Lifegroup, start there! It’s important to have community around you that can speak truth and hold you accountable.
- Cultivate a lifestyle of worship // Sin is a cheap substitute for the real joy we find in Jesus. Fixing our eyes on Jesus and getting in His presence gives us the grace to press into Him in the midst of our struggles.
- Read through 2 Corinthians with us // The Word of God overcomes how we feel. Follow along with our 2 Corinthians reading plan, and renew your mind with the truth every day. Download a copy of our reading plan here.
Lisa lives in a small town outside of Waco with her four children and her husband. She homeschools two of her children, and she is usually on-the-go between baseball, softball and dance lessons. On Sunday mornings, you can find Lisa taking care of our little ones in the babies’ classroom.
Find out why Lisa enjoys serving with our Kids Ministry –
Why did you decide to start volunteering?
I have always had a heart for children. I enjoy being around children, watching them grow and being a part of their journey. I have also seen firsthand what an impact the ministry mentors have made in the lives of my own children as they have attended Kids Ministry through the years. Each of the mentors are such a blessing, and as a parent, I am very thankful for them. I wanted the opportunity to serve alongside them and give back what I have been given.
How have you personally grown through your experience serving?
Being primarily with babies, has challenged me to have faith no matter what. Babies fully rely on us to care for them: whether they’re hungry, need a diaper changed or just want to play and learn. In the same way, our Heavenly Father is always there to fulfill our needs.
Do you have a testimony to share from your time serving?
When the children go into the one-and two-year-old classrooms across the hall, it is fun to see how much they have grown since being in our classroom. The first time I saw one of the little ones that started in the baby room with me, their parents and I smiled and waved to each other as the little one looked at me questionably until I said hi and their name. The look in their eyes changed and they smiled. It was a reminder to me that they hear our voices while we are praying, speaking and singing over them as babies.
Is there anything you want to share with people who are thinking about volunteering in Kids Ministry?
If the Lord puts it on your heart to join Kids Ministry, just jump in and let Him guide you. Whether you have children or not, it is an awesome experience. Every day is new and exciting with them and it is so much fun to be a part of their journey.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Kids Ministry, or in another area of our church, fill out this form. We can’t wait for you to get connected!
This morning Vincent Carpenter kicked off our new series, All in All. Throughout the summer, we are journeying together through the book of 2 Corinthians. As we unpack these Scriptures, we believe it will be a mirror to our lives today, and we will learn more about how Jesus truly can be our all in all.
Today we focused on 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, and learned how God can be our all in all in the midst of trial. As we look at the Corinthian church, we see that God wants us to know Him as our comforter and deliverer in the midst of our trials.
Paul is clear that trials are inevitable, but trials are an invitation to know God in a more intimate way. Often our comfort is intertwined with giving away our lives to God and others. We don’t receive God’s comfort by doing religious works. Instead, when we voluntarily do something out of love for someone else, God will use it as a way to release comfort in our life.
Throughout this passage Paul also encourages the Corinthians, and us, to see God as our deliverer in the midst of our trials. Paul had no bitterness, anger or disappointment. Instead, he declared that God delivered him before, and He will deliver him again. Paul had hope because he was confident that God was enough. The key to deliverance is hope.
TAKE A LOOK AT THREE WAYS YOU CAN APPLY THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- God provides comfort for people in pain so they can provide comfort to others who are in pain. If you are experiencing a painful trial in your life right now, look for opportunities to support, encourage or help someone else in pain.
- We experience personal deliverance when we declare our hope is in Jesus and not in our situation. Think of any place of bondage or struggle in your life and declare over the problem that your hope is in Jesus.
- Take a few minutes each day this week and tell Jesus He is enough for you. Declare that you are satisfied with Him, with all He has and all He is doing in your life.
We also encourage you to jump in with us as we read through 2 Corinthians this summer. Our summer reading plan starts tomorrow; click here to download a copy.