March 24 & 25
We believe the Bible speaks clearly regarding the value of life in the womb. We also acknowledge the complexity and sensitivity of the issues surrounding abortion, a subject that disproportionately affects women. We know that this topic is one laden with emotional weight, and we in no way seek to contribute to the pain or guilt someone might feel who has had, performed or contributed to an abortion. We also recognize there are valid concerns that many proponents of abortion are trying to address (e.g., systemic poverty, the pressures of being a single parent, etc.) and we seek to engage those issues with compassion. The goal of this paper is to outline a biblical approach that navigates the issue of abortion specifically. It is limited in its scope and is not intended to comprehensively address all of the attending and underlying issues. Though the content is brief and to the point, we hope to communicate the church’s stance with empathy. Jesus came full of grace and truth (John 1:14), and the church must walk in the same manner.
WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
The foundation of our beliefs as followers of Jesus is the nature of God Himself. Our convictions concerning the value of life arise from our understanding of who God is. God is:
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF MAN?
We believe that mankind was made in God’s image, and therefore our purpose and value are derived from the intention of His will, not our own.
WHY IS ABORTION WRONG?
In light of the Bible establishing personhood for babies in utero, we believe the Bible’s injunctions against the taking of innocent life apply to any person at any stage of development after conception.
SHOULD PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE AN ABORTION?
Our culture has tried to make “choice” the highest value—a right unto itself, the absolute value above all others. But neither logic nor the laws we hold dear are consistent with such a position.
HOW FAR DOES GOD’S GRACE EXTEND?
John 3:16, 17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Everyone needs the mercy and grace of God, and God offers that grace liberally through the gift of Himself—the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
HOW CAN THE CHURCH RESPOND?
Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” The Church throughout history has been called to respond to injustice. What follows are several ways to counteract the injustices of abortion and the conditions that contribute to this epidemic.
Because life begins at conception, there are other topics in addition to abortion that should be considered in order to value ALL life in the womb. This means we should be careful how we approach both contraception and IVF treatment so that we don’t unknowingly or carelessly end the life which we’ve just written to defend. No matter how life begins, we value all children as a gift from the Lord.
Reaching the nations of the earth
A core part of Antioch’s vision is to see reproducing, disciple-making churches planted in every country around the world. Jesus said in Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” For some, this means responding to the call of God on their lives to go to another nation and be part of God’s redemptive work. If God has called you and you have completed the Antioch Discipleship School, we invite you to apply to the Antioch Church Planting School. The ACPS will train and equip you for overseas work as well as increase your awareness of what God is doing in the earth.
If you aren’t sure if you’re called to the nations but are interested in learning more about it, we would love to talk to you.
We believe man was created by a direct and immediate act of God. [Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:4]
We believe man, by transgression, fell from the state of righteousness and holiness in which he was first created into total spiritual depravity, a state of death in trespasses and sins in which he is held as a slave of sin and an enemy of God. As such, he is unable to attain divine righteousness by his own efforts but must be redeemed and delivered by the power of the gospel. [Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4]
We believe repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ are an integral part of God’s work of justification of the believer. Through faith in the shed blood of Christ, he or she is justified and made a partaker in the death of Christ. [Romans 5:1, 9]
We believe it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9]
We further believe the emphasis for a continuous walk in grace should be on demonstrating righteousness and purity of heart, believing in the keeping power of God, walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh, living a lifestyle that demonstrates the character, standards and convictions of Jesus Christ and not being conformed to the world. [Jude 24; Romans 8:25; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 4:1-5; Romans 12:1-2]
We believe repentance is dependent upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners and believers and upon their response. The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of the sinfulness of self, which should lead to godly sorrow. [2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalm 51; Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; Romans 1:18-32; Matthew 9:12-13]
We believe that in the final judgment, which will accompany the return of Christ, every person will give an account to God of every aspect of this earthly life. Unbelievers will be separated from God for eternity in hell. Believers will experience the final resurrection and live eternally with Christ in the new heavens and the new earth. [1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15]
We believe in one God who has revealed Himself in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [Romans 1:20]
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all co-eternal and all stand equally superior to time, free from the temporal distinctions of past and future.
We believe in God the Father, Creator of all things visible and invisible. [Colossians 1:15-16]
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, who came into the world to reveal the Father and was the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. Jesus Christ was the Creator of everything, for by Him all things were made. We further believe that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form and that He was very-God and very-Man. [John 1:1-2, 14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Acts 7:37-38]
We believe in Jesus Christ’s pre-existence, incarnation, virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, substitutionary and atoning death, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension into heaven, exaltation, present rule at the right hand of God, coming personal return in power and great glory and everlasting Kingdom and dominion. [Acts 1:11; Acts 3:19-21; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 20:4]
We acknowledge His Lordship—that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things in heaven, on earth and under the earth. [Philippians 2:9-10]
We believe in the Holy Spirit, His present ministry, His indwelling, His empowering, His impartation of gifts for today and His transforming power in the lives of all believers. [1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14]
We believe in the Lord’s Supper and believer’s baptism as acts of our obedience and a testimony of our faith. [Matthew 3:6; Mark 16:16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29]
We believe water baptism (by immersion) is an obedient response to the command of Jesus. Baptism is to be performed only upon repentant believers in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. [Matthew 28:18-20]
We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:4; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6]
We hold that the real evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is one’s response to the Word of God, a Christ-like life, showing forth Christ’s character and experiencing and manifesting the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. [John 16:13-14; John 15:26; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11]
We believe God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. [Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:20-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Psalm 139:13-15]
We believe the Church is both universal and local. All believers form the Church, in unity with all believers throughout history; and yet, the church is also local, with believers gathering in committed community and under the authority of Christ. [Ephesians 1:22-23]
Scripture describes the Church as:
This language is intimate and reveals Jesus’ commitment to and care for His people. Furthermore, the Church is God’s instrument for revealing His purpose and the fullness of Jesus on earth for His glory. [Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 1:23]
We believe mentoring relationships can help kids succeed in school and in life, which will be part of transforming their lives, their families and our community’s future.
Antioch started the STARS Mentoring Project in response to the needs among youth in our neighborhood. In this Mentoring Project, we are building strength, resilience and hope in the children of our community through mentoring relationships and academic support.
Many kids in our community are struggling in school, experiencing some degree of poverty or are lacking positive adult role models. These are huge barriers to a child’s success in school and to ending cycles of generational poverty. Studies have shown that not graduating from high school has a huge effect on people’s lives, and 3rd-grade reading ability is one of the main factors that determine whether someone makes it to high school graduation. We invite you to join us and invest in the students of our community.
Our vision is to see a future where every student in Waco, TX, can read and succeed. Statistics show that 3rd graders who read below their grade level are eight times less likely to graduate high school. STARS aims to change the course of a child’s life by raising volunteers to read with two to three students once a week for 30 minutes at their school. This is a big treat for the kids, and we’ve seen many of them catch up to their grade’s reading level. Our goal is to have 1,000 mentors in schools throughout Waco.
Invest in the lives of children at Friday Club with games, fun challenges, tasty snacks, small group discussions and even field trips around the city. We meet every Friday from 4:15 to 6:30 p.m. during the school year. Not only do you get to invest in a child, but you’ll also have an opportunity to connect with the family if you pick up or drop off your student(s).
End human trafficking. Ignite hope.
Unbound is Antioch’s anti-human trafficking ministry, working to mobilize the Church and activate local communities to fight human trafficking. Since 2012, Unbound Waco has empowered more than 10,000 youth to stay safe, trained thousands of professionals to identify and respond to human trafficking and served more than 340 victims and survivors in our community. Unbound Waco also provides leadership to the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition.
Our desire is to empower men and women to know their identity in Christ and help them develop Bible-based tools to live out their life’s purpose in freedom.
Antioch Recovery Ministry exists to help bring holistic transformation to both men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction through biblically based recovery groups and discipleship. We provide a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment where men and women come together to work through their recovery journey. We offer an opportunity to be part of a supportive community and learn together through authentic discipleship how to get free from addiction.
Addiction can leave behind a wide range of short- and long-term effects that can be devastating—not just to the individual—but to the community, state and nation. It destroys families, friendships and careers and impacts a person’s overall health. Here is how we integrate discipleship into recovery:
What volunteering look like:
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the application.
There are roughly 251,000 inmates behind bars in Texas within Federal Prison, State Prison and Local Jails. But these numbers do not include the number of people who cycle through multiple county jails across our state. Roughly 505,000 individuals cycle through the county jails within the State of Texas each year, and within our own community, McLennan County Jail averages 216 monthly bookings. Our desire is to be a solution to this growing problem; therefore, as a church, we are committed to serving our local county jail to bring the hope and healing of Jesus and provide help to individuals upon their release. We are firm in the belief that every person has inherent value and purpose, despite their past.
A beautiful reality: it’s never too late to run into the arms of Jesus!
As a church, we provide Sunday services in McLennan County Jail for both men and women, which includes: worship, preaching/teaching and ministry response times. For individuals who want to go deeper in their walk with the Lord, we offer discipleship opportunities where they can meet with a pastor regularly. We also provide inmates with Bibles and devotionals upon request. Jail Ministry services are every Sunday from 12:30 – 4:15 p.m.
If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the application.
Antioch Waco is partnering with Shepherd’s Heart to serve as a mobile food pantry in our local neighborhood. The food distribution happens twice a month from 2:45 PM-4:15 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Through this partnership, we provide groceries to hundreds of families in need within our community and have the opportunity to pray and minister to everyone coming through our church parking lot.
If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the application.
Through our Sports Ministry, we’re able to engage kids and families in our local community where they’re most comfortable and provide great coaching, mentorship and a model of life following Jesus. We do this by working with local little leagues, running sports camps and taking impact trips. This is a great way to build relationships with families and student athletes in our Waco community.
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the application.
SERVE is an opportunity to spend up to 11 months as part of an international church planting team. Participants get the experience of making disciples, living cross-culturally and working as a team under the leadership of seasoned missionaries. This internship experience helps young people determine whether long-term church planting is right for them. Timeframes and costs for the internships will vary based on location and will be subject to final approval from the Long Term Team who would be hosting. Please note that the SERVE application is in-depth and comes with the requirement of having finished an Antioch Discipleship School.
Engage the Nations exists to bridge the gap between the local church and our long-term teams by mobilizing interns to help fulfill the Great Commission in this generation. We will mobilize teams for 3-month internships that will work with long-term teams to catalyze church planting and disciple-making movements in their regions. Our goal is that each intern will have encounters with Jesus, be equipped as a disciple-maker, be envisioned for the lost and learn how to support the long-term work going on around the world. Our hope is that our summer teams will be able to identify key, fruitful and apostolic locals who, upon the team’s departure at the end of the summer, can be connected with the long-term team for continued investment and discipleship.
Acts of Mercy is the Crisis Relief and Disaster Relief arm of Antioch and Antioch Movement. Acts of Mercy works to mobilize the Church to save lives in times of disaster and to bring sustainable transformation to communities locally and around the world.
Prayer Captains are church Owners that lead a one-hour weekly prayer time with at least two other people for four months. Prayer Captains can attend monthly worship and equipping times led by our Encounter Ministries Team. If you’re interested in serving as a Prayer Captain, please visit antio.ch/247Signup.
Interested in growing in prayer? Come to an Equipping the House of Prayer Night for catalytic worship and teaching.
Join us as we come together to worship Jesus and celebrate the end of our fast. We will honor Jesus through testimonies, worship and corporate prayer.
1st – 5th Graders will also have Kids Prayer in Room 500. Kids Ministry will not be available for Infants through Kinder, but smaller kids are welcome to join their parents in the Auditorium.
We believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative, living, eternally reliable Word of God, equally in all parts, and without error in its original manuscript and our primary and authoritative source of revelation from God, superior to conscience and reason, though not contrary to reason. Therefore, the Bible is our final authority for faith and practice and is necessary for our daily lives as it continually points us toward the person of Jesus. [2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12]