Fathers and Mothers in the Lord

One of our favorite speakers we’ve had at World Mandate is Floyd McClung, founder of All Nations and author of multiple books. We love Floyd, and love this incredible message he has for our blog readers today.

There is a cry in many people’s hearts for someone to father or mother them. There are many spiritual orphans who have never had the opportunity to be loved into wholeness. Fatherlessness is a curse on a nation, and the result of that curse is wounded people carrying an orphan spirit.

The pain in the lives of spiritual orphans empowers five lies:

• The Rejection Lie – I must protect myself from others

• The Fear Lie – I must hide myself from others

• The Performance Lie – I must prove myself to others

• The Blame Lie – I must defend myself from others

• The Control Lie – I must manage myself and others

Spiritual fathers and mothers are mature fathers and mothers because they are not controlled by these lies, nor do they fall into the trap of modifying the behavior of those who believe these lies. They go for the heart. They know that lies are empowered by pain and that Jesus is the truth to heal the pain and dispel the lies.

Fathers and mothers in the Lord do five things well:

• Spiritual Fathers and Mothers Enable Others to ActThey foster collaboration and build life-giving teams. They actively involve others. They understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they strive to create an atmosphere of trust and dignity, of faith and vision. They strengthen others by sharing information and providing choice. Their give their own power away, making each person feel capable and powerful.

• Spiritual Mothers and Fathers Inspire a Common Vision – They inspire people to believe they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what their spiritual family can become. Through their passionate appeals and quiet persuasion, they enlist others in the dream. They breathe life into the shared vision and get people to see the exciting future possibilities.

• Fathers and Mothers Challenge the Status Quo – They search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative was to improve their church. They are learners and they encourage others to ask questions and think for themselves. They are always looking for what God wants to teach them. They experiment and take risks. And since risk taking involves mistakes and failure, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities. They believe there are no failures, just learning.

• Spiritual Fathers and Mothers Model the Way – They create standards of common values and then set an example for others to follow. They establish values about how members of the community and staff should be treated. Because complex change can overwhelm and stifle action, they celebrate small wins. They unravel or remove bureaucracy, put up signposts for the way forward, and create opportunities for victory. They celebrate failure if people try, and rejoice in little obediences as the way to get to big obediences.

Spiritual Mothers and Fathers Encourage the Heart – They provide opportunities for healing wounded hearts. They get extraordinary things done in their church or movement by doing lots of hard work based on grace, not performance. They keep hope and determination alive. They honor contributions that individuals make. And because every spiritual family needs to share in the rewards of their efforts, they celebrate accomplishments. They make everyone feel like a hero.

There are seven reflection questions that allow us to assess our level of maturity as spiritual fathers and mothers:

• Does our leadership and discipleship restrict or liberate people?

• Does it lead to conformity or does it promote creativity?

• Does it bring dependence on us or on God?

• Does it produce servility or servanthood?

• Does it build on rules or grace?

• Does it undermine or build a person’s confidence?

• Does it produce fear or faith?

In closing, consider Paul’s message to the Corinthians about being a spiritual father or mother:

“I’m not writing all this as a neighborhood scold just to make you feel rotten. I’m writing as a father to you, my children. I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled. There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God’s Message to you that I became your father. I’m not, you know, asking you to do anything I’m not already doing myself.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 The Message

In the NKJV translation of verse 15 it says, “…though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ…”

The Greek word used for instructor is a word used for those who supervise children until they reach adulthood. Paul is saying the Corinthians have had a lot of baby sitters but it’s time for them to grow up, and the key to that is having a spiritual father or mother in their lives.

Spiritual fathers and mothers are not instructors for spiritual babies. They are fathers and mothers in the Lord who know God.

Floyd with our college Impact Trip team in Capetown, South Africa this summer.

*I am indebted to Larry Kreider for his book, The Cry for Spiritual Mothers and Fathers. I have adapted the five characteristics of spiritual mothers and fathers from the book, The Leadership Challenge, by Posner and Kouzes.

I have written more extensively on spiritual fathering and mothering in my book, The Father Heart of God, and in You See Bones – I See an Army.

End of Fast Prayer Rally

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.

Unbound

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. 

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Man and Salvation

We believe man was created by a direct and immediate act of God. [Genesis 1:26-27Genesis 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 5:12-211 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 24Romans 8:25Galatians 5:16-25Romans 4:1-5Romans 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 7:10Psalm 51Acts 11:182 Timothy 2:25Romans 1:18-32Matthew 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 3:10-152 Corinthians 5:10Revelation 20:11-15]

The Godhead

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 1:1-2141 Timothy 3:16Acts 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 1:11Acts 3:19-21Daniel 7:14Revelation 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 5:22-23Ephesians 1:13-14]

The Lord's Commands

We believe in the Lord’s Supper and believer’s baptism as acts of our obedience and a testimony of our faith. [Matthew 3:6Mark 16:161 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 15:26Galatians 5:22-231 Corinthians 12:4-11]

The Family

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 1:27-28Genesis 2:20-25Matthew 19:4-6Psalm 139:13-15]

The Church

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 3:10Ephesians 1:23]

STARS

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.

STARS Book Club

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. 

Friday Club

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).

Recovery Ministry

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:   

  • Weekly Recovery Groups (Separate meetings for men and women) 
  • Discipleship Groups 
  • Referral Assistance  
  • Provide Community Support
  • Provide Recovery Tools

What volunteering look like:

  • Assist in leading a recovery group
  • Teach
  • Lead Worship
  • Discipleship Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the application.

Equipping the House of Prayer Nights

Interested in growing in prayer? Come to an Equipping the House of Prayer Night for catalytic worship and teaching.

Church Planting School

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.

Marriage and Family

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. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his companion in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage.
Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:20-25; Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 5:24; Genesis 2:20-21; Titus 2:4-5; Psalm 139:13-15

Faith in Practice

Jail Ministry

There are roughly 251,000 inmates behind bars in Texas housed within State Prison, Federal 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 our local county jail to bring the hope and healing of Jesus and provide connections to individuals upon their release.

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 inmates who want to go deeper in their walk with the Lord, we provided discipleship opportunities where they can meet with a pastor or volunteer for discipleship. We also provide inmates with bibles and devotionals upon request. Jail Ministry happens every Sundays from 12:30 PM-4:15 PM.

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the application.

Food Distribution

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.

Sports Ministry

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.

Prayer Trips

Strategic Prayer Trips are short-term trips overseas and in the US where we learn to follow the Holy Spirit, ask for His guidance and leadership and obey onsite. The goal of these trips is to obey the Father and to see the Kingdom of God advance in the earth.

SERVE Trips

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

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

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 Captain

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 email prayer.center@antiochwaco.com

The Bible

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 3:16-171 Peter 1:23-25Hebrews 4:12]