“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Happy New Year! Each new year is another opportunity to start afresh. As we look back at 2016, the word to us was, More of Jesus. Here are a few ways we saw that come to pass this year:
  1. We have seen lives changed locally, at our church plants across the country and around the world. The Antioch Movement truly has seen More of Jesus touch more people’s lives than any other year.
  2. We ENGAGED THE CRISIS of the refugees flooding into Europe. We had more than 1,800 short-term workers and 200 interns serve in Europe this summer. Now, 30 laborers and friends are continuing our work. Many refugees described a dream or a vision of a glowing white figure or a shepherd that had come to them but they didn’t know His name. We were there to put their hands in His so they could find More of Jesus.
  3. Locally, through the incredible sacrifice and generosity of the people at Antioch, we completed our new auditorium debt free! We have been opening our doors to our community like never before, to see people experience More of Jesus on a weekly basis.
  4. We could list thousands of stories of how God is using people for His glory, but the most important testimony, as we look back on 2016, is that people have encountered Jesus. They have found Him again to be Healer, Restorer, Deliverer, Savior, Helper and our Hope and coming King.

On January 8th I’ll be sharing the word of the Lord for us as a people and our vision for 2017. I am stirred, encouraged and excited about all God is going to do this coming year.

HERE ARE A FEW PRACTICALS FOR HOW TO BRING CLOSURE TO 2016 AND PREPARE OUR HEARTS PERSONALLY FOR THE NEW YEAR:

  1. Review 2016: Write down what you are thankful for that God has done. Once you’ve done that, go back to every painful place or disappointment and ask God to show you where He was in the midst of the challenge. His plans for us are always for good and He promises to work all things together for our good, so we can trust that even in the trials He is present and at work in our lives. This simple exercise allows you to bring closure to 2016 in order to have a restored and ready heart for 2017.
  2. Pull out the good ol’ “Roles and Goals” sheet: Our family has been using this template for the last 27 years to make sure our hearts are aligned with God’s purpose and plan for the next season. If you have never tried it before, this is a great time to do it. Last year a long-term member told me, with much surprise, “It actually works! God has helped us as a family to be clear and to get on track like never before.” Try it, you’ll like it!
  3. Resources: Take a look at some resources to help you grow in your relationship with God this year:
    • Building Your Spiritual Core by Ron Parrish: Parrish’s new book focuses on fresh ways to connect with God. It is available on Amazon.
    • Parenting Without Regret: Parents, as you gear up for the new year, check out our book focusing on parenting with purpose, not perfection. It’s available online and in our bookstore.
    • Hope is Coming by AntiochLIVE: AntiochLIVE’s newest song is an anthem of hope and is a great reminder of the hope that is always available to us. It is available on YouTube and iTunes.
    • When you Call by Antioch College Worship: When You Call showcases songs of a generation surrendered to Jesus and His purposes in the earth. It is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Laura and I love you and are so proud to be a part of the Antioch family. May God’s grace abound over you as you bring closure to 2016 and hear His fresh word for you for this coming year.

With much love and respect for all,
Jimmy