Tag: antioch blog

Changing the World

Each year, Antioch Discipleship School students take week-long trips to church plants around the country to encourage the churches and reach out in their cities.

This year, the 70+ students from the school were divided into five groups and sent around the country.

Lawrence, Kansas

This group of students got to jump in with the Lawrence church the week of their second church service. They spent their afternoons reaching out on the KU campus and around the city in the evenings. One evening, they went to get some ice cream, and a few of them started talking to a group of freshman girls. That morning, someone on the team felt like God gave them a picture of a crescent moon. One of the girls was wearing a shirt that said “Crescent Moon” in large letters. They shared this with the girl, and she was encouraged and eager to meet up again. After meeting with one of the Waco team members several times, she came to church, stayed late to help and got connected to a leader from Lawrence.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Antioch A2 is a second-generation church plant, sent out just two months ago by Antioch Dallas to reach out to students at the university campuses and the greater Detroit area. In partnering with the Ann Arbor team, the students’ simple goal was to “make friends for the church.” While there, they had the first two college Lifegroup meetings and gathered contact information for many people who were interested in the church as they boldly reached out and shared the Gospel.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Thirteen students road-tripped down to Baton Rouge to partner with Antioch BR. The church there started their discipleship school this year with eight students, so the Waco students got to spend a lot of time with them – building relationships and reaching out on LSU campus together. They were amazed at the warmth and openness of the students on campus who were eager to be prayed for and encouraged!

Norman, Oklahoma

The students who went to Norman were so encouraged by the culture of freedom and passion of the church there! The church provides rides to Walmart each week for the many international students at OU that are without transportation. Three of the students from Waco were telling people about this service when they met a girl from South Africa who invited them into her home. After talking to her for a while, she opened up and shared with them her birthday had been the day before, but no one had remembered. The students then bought her a cake, celebrated her and encouraged her with the love of God.

Tempe, Arizona

This team of students loved getting to partner with this church plant from Boston. While there, they reached out to students at ASU, which has almost 75,000 students. One afternoon, two of the girls walked around campus with signs reading “need some encouragement?” and “want a compliment?” hoping to start some conversations. They stopped to talk to one guy who said he could use some encouragement. They prayed and asked God to speak to him, and he felt like God told him how to save his marriage. After sharing more with him, he decided to give his life to Jesus! That night, he brought his wife to the college service, and she gave her life to Jesus as well.

Want to have a week like this? Get more information on Antioch Discipleship School.

Your No Is Her Hope – 8,000 Signatures!

Thank you to everyone for helping make the Your No Is Her Hope petition a huge success! Read the letter below from UnBound’s National Director, Susan Peters:

Wow! Thank you, Church, for helping spread the word about the Your No Is Her Hope petition. Since we launched the petition at World Mandate, more than 8,000 people have signed.

We are constantly amazed at what God is doing in and through UnBound, and are humbled to be a part of it. It was amazing to see thousands of people respond and take up the cause at World Mandate, and we know He has something big planned as we all continue to raise awareness.

Next, we will take the petition to Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX 17th District) to let him know this is something people in his district and throughout the United States care about. Please pray this will be the start of some important conversations that will move us forward in the fight against sex trafficking.

As our initial push is over, it is imperative for each of us to continue carrying this understanding of the connection between sex trafficking and pornography. People need to know that when we choose pornography, we choose to allow and encourage the abuse of women and children exploited through the pornographic industry. And as long as we stay silent and allow pornography to run wild, we keep the primary gateway to sex trafficking open.

The online petition is still available, and we encourage you to keep asking people to sign. May this be something we talk about as believers – holding each other accountable, praying for breakthrough and believing that we serve a God who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.

In His grace,

Susan Peters
National Director
UnBound

Find out more about Your No Is Her Hope and access the petition and other helpful resources.

To learn more about UnBound, visit UnBoundNow.org.

 

I Will Raise

Read the story behind “I Will Raise,” one of the powerful new AntiochLIVE songs, from songwriter Johanna Six.

I was sitting at a food court in Qatar. Qatar is a ridiculously wealthy country in the Middle East where a liter of gasoline is cheaper than a liter of water. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of the population are expats from countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. My dad is a contractor there, so my family went to visit him for the holidays.

My family was ordering food while I held our place at a table. I caught the gaze of a man clearing tables. If this were America, people would be clearing their own tables. I didn’t see any joy in his eyes – no light, no life – just deep sadness and desperation.

This was one of those life-altering moments, where time seems to stop and you become an observer to the world around you. I looked around, and I saw the same despondent expression in most of the people around me. I fought the urge to cry. I asked God, “What is it about this situation that is affecting me so deeply?” In that moment, I realized it was because I was a free woman sitting amongst slaves.

There’s nothing like seeing bondage to make you aware of your own freedom.

I am free because I’m an American and have privileges that many of these people will never experience, but I’m also free from darkness and death. I have an inheritance and am a co-heir with Christ, and my Father is the Creator of the universe. After remembering these things, I was filled thankfulness and wanted to burst out in joyful song.

Instead, I immediately pulled out my phone and began typing, “I will raise my hands to heaven / These wrists once bound now chains are broken / You set us free to be your children / Now we will be with You forever.” I wrote the words “Now we will be,” but each time I sang it, it came out as, “Now we will reign with You forever.”

It felt a little uncomfortable to write that down. I knew the statement was biblical. If I declared that, put it in writing and sang it, it would imply that I accepted my status as an adopted child of the King. That truth about God is sometimes hard for me to accept. It seems too good to be true. But God isn’t too good to be true – He’s just good.

I’ve made it a habit to declare truths that I have a hard time believing, and they usually come out in song. That’s always been a goal of mine: to declare the truth and character of God in song so that it gets deep inside me. I think all of us as songwriters on the album understand the power of music and seek to embed truth and the word of God in our songs, especially for what it seems God is doing right now in our movement.

This year, the constant theme “Our God Comes” runs through our entire album. We have several songs by different songwriters that say that in different ways. No matter how we say or sing it, the truth doesn’t get old.

By Johanna Six

Getting There Together

It’s all about ALL of us being on the journey together.

My wife Andrea and I have four kids, and when we travel without one of them (or all of them), it just isn’t the same. Now don’t get me wrong—it is good for married couples to get some time away without their children. But our family isn’t whole unless we are all together.

Our family has a blast when we’re together, especially while we are traveling. We love to play games like the ABC game, where you try to be the first person to see every letter in the alphabet off of billboards and road signs. We love the stories we have about crazy things that have happened while traveling on road trips. Of course, it’s a great feeling to reach our destination, but the most important thing about our family trips is that we are all together.

It is going to be awesome when we all get to see this new building completed. But the level of joy we each experience will be somewhat connected to the level we have each engaged in the journey. I am in no way referring to the amount of money given. Jesus made it very clear in the story of the widow’s mite (Mark 12:41-44) that the size of the offering given isn’t the important thing. What really matters is the amount the heart is engaged.

The only thing each of us needs to do is his or her part. For some, it may seem like an insignificant amount, and for others it may be a lot more than we anticipated. But if we all do our own part, we can trust God to take care of the rest.

So come join us in the journey. We need everyone in the family to do their part or it just won’t be the same. And what a joy it will be to celebrate together when we reach our destination, sharing stories for years to come about the incredible journey getting there—together!

By Mark Owen – Eldert