Antioch Marriage Conference
Francis & Lisa Chan
Our new church auditorium is being built on what was a parking lot. As you can imagine, parking lots require a different kind of support than a very large building. Before we could begin our building efforts, we had to start over with the foundation, which took a very long time to complete. I believe it will be worth it, though, to know our church is standing on the strongest foundation possible.
We know worship is a vital part of following Jesus. As a worship leader, my desire is to lead people into an encounter with God so they can give Him glory for who He is and what He’s done in our lives. The Bible describes a quintessential “worship service” when Solomon held the dedication of the new temple of God. They prepared sacrifices to God and worshiped Him together.
“The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God: “Yes! God is good! His loyal love goes on forever!” Then a billowing cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of God.” 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 (MSG)
We all yearn for this kind of worship, don’t we? If you’re like me, you want it every time we gather as a church. However, if we want this kind of experience, we must learn how to truly engage with God in worship consistently. I have found this endeavor of living in an unbroken worship experience requires a strong foundation to even “get off the ground,” and it consists of two solid truths. If these two ingredients are mixed into our foundation, we can be sure our worship will be authentic and life-changing. If we are lacking in them, our worship experience will likely turn to “meh.” We don’t want “meh.” We hate “meh.” We want “mind-blowing!”
First, God is worthy of our worship because He is the creator. Before you and I existed, there were several millennia of generations of human beings. And before God created people, He created the heavens and the earth from nothing. Before we made our choice to worship God, He was standing in eternity, perfect in every way and worthy of worship. He created people so we could worship Him in a loving relationship. But He is worthy whether we exist or not, and He will be worthy forever. Check out Revelation 4:11 and Psalm 95:1-5.
Second, God is good forever and everything good comes from Him. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I realize this is true regardless of our thoughts or experiences in this life. Everything wrong in this world happens because sin entered the world. That was our choice, not God’s and He has been righting that wrong ever since. Through the veil of sin, we have been questioning His goodness since the fateful moment in the garden, but as followers of Jesus, we must resolve within ourselves that God is good and He only does good all the time. When my deepest dreams come true, He is good. And when my worst nightmares come to pass, God is good. Sin is bad. Satan is evil. But God is good and everything good in our lives originates in Him. You will never truly “initiate” worshiping God – worship is always a response to God’s goodness because He was completely faithful to you before you were even able to recognize who He is and what He has done. God is worthy because He is in and of Himself good. Look into Romans 8:28 and Psalm 36:5-9.
Grasping these two truths, we can move forward into an amazing life of worship! I have found I need to continually remind myself of these truths, often on a daily basis, for them to become rock solid. I encourage you to find evidence of them in the Bible and declare them because they will not fail you. If our worship is strong and full of God’s presence, we can be sure our hearts and minds are centered on these truths. If our worship begins to wane, we may have lost sight of one or both of these foundational truths. And if you show up to church and feel the worship is just “meh,” ask God to renew you with the revelation of His goodness and sovereignty. He is infinite. He is faithful. And He will blow your mind every time.
By James Mark Gulley, Worship and Arts Pastor
Follow James Mark on Twitter at @jamesmarkgulley
Join us Friday, April 5th as we record our newest Antioch LIVE worship album! It will be a powerful worship experience you won’t want to miss. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m. at Antioch Community Church. We anticipate a packed-out auditorium, so seating will be first come, first served basis. Unfortunately, childcare will not be provided as we are hosting the Community Feast that evening and there is not adequate space for childcare for both events. Please note that since the event is a live recording, we must keep excess noise to a minimum- probably not the best environment for small kids!
Watch and see what the night’s all about.
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.
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.
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 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 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).
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.
Interested in growing in prayer? Come to an Equipping the House of Prayer Night for catalytic worship and teaching.
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.
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.
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]