Tag: antioch community church

Generations Sunday

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” Psalm 78:4

This week we celebrated where we have been and where we are going with a special generations Sunday. Throughout our morning Carl Gulley shared on why we invest in the next generation, and who we are as an inter-generational church. In a culture that can be divisive, our heart is to see the Church unite the generations for Kingdom impact.

WE ALWAYS WANT TO HONOR AND INCLUDE THE GENERATIONS THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE, WHILE LOVING AND INVESTING IN THE NEXT GENERATION.

No generation is more significant than another. We believe everyone has value, and the best stage of life to be in is the one you are in. It is at the core of who we are as a church to believe in and empower the next generation. When we invest in the next generation, we are living out Psalm 78:4. Our goal is not to fill volunteer slots in the Kids and Youth Ministries.

WE WANT TO CREATE A CULTURE OF INVESTMENT AND DISCIPLESHIP.

We may not all have the stamina to volunteer with the five-year olds on Sunday mornings, but we all have something to offer the next generation. It can be easy to feel like our past mistakes disqualify us from having something to offer someone else. But actually, our mistakes give us credibility to speak into the next generation. When we are willing to invest and vulnerably share our weaknesses, we are telling the next generation –

I WANT YOU TO GO FURTHER THAN I EVER DID.

As a church, we are experiencing the impact of people who took up the Psalm 78 admonition. Many of us do not know these people, but their investment has marked our church family. Take a look at this video, and find out why they believe in investing in the next generation-

If you are interested in learning more about how you can play a part in empowering the next generation, fill out this form.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

Where Mountains Melt //
Series Recap

“The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.” Psalm 97:5

Yesterday we wrapped up our worship series, Where Mountains Melt. Throughout our series, Lead Pastor Carl Gulley led us in talking about why we worship, how we worship and how to incorporate worship in to our daily lives.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR TAKEAWAYS FROM OUR SERIES //

  • Worship is what we’re always doing, whether we realize it or not, and it’s our response to the magnitude of God.
  • When we are facing the impossible, our immediate response should be to get in the presence of God. Worship is our gateway into His presence.
  • In the context of worship, and really life in general, multitasking does not work. Our worship was made for God, and God alone.
  • True worship is not a compartmentalized life; it is an integrated one. When we invite God into every area of our lives, we ultimately find freedom.
  • It is always right to worship, regardless of how we’re feeling. We were never designed to be authentic to our feelings. When we choose to allow our feelings to hold us back from worship, we aren’t living in authenticity.
  • When our circumstances are telling us otherwise, we have to go back to the character of God. We may not always feel like worshiping, but there is beauty in choosing to offer up a sacrifice of praise.
  • The goal of worship is not an expression, it is love and obedience toward Jesus. Spiritual maturity is not achieved once a particular worship expression occurs.
  • Our comfort should not be our standard for worship. We want our worship to reflect heaven, even if it feels out of our comfort zone.
  • Worship is not a single expression, it is a lifestyle.

We worship when we are obedient to what Jesus is calling us to. Whether it’s in the workplace or in the Auditorium on Sunday morning, we want our lives to be a reflection of our gratitude for being set free.

This past Sunday, we set aside time to worship for the entirety of our service. Because of the unique service, we will not have a sermon video from this week.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

 

Where Mountains Melt //
Part Three

On Sunday lead pastor Carl Gulley shared part three of our series, Where Mountains Melt, with a message on choosing to worship even when you don’t feel like it. It is easy to worship when everything in life seems to be going great. Other times our circumstances can cause confusion, and hold us back from worship. Basically, we get spiritual motion sickness because everything is saying God is good, but circumstances are saying otherwise.

A CHANGE IN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES TENDS TO ROCK OUR FAITH.

We aren’t the only ones who are tempted to lose faith when our circumstances seem to be pointing to everything but Jesus. Throughout our morning, we looked at John the Baptist. In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is in prison and he asks Jesus, “Are you the One?” John spent his life preparing the way for Jesus, but in the place where he couldn’t see what God was doing, he began to question. I am sure we have all been in this position before. Jesus’ response to John is beautiful. He points John to what He is doing instead of what He isn’t.

When we are experiencing that spiritual motion sickness, there is a temptation to focus on what Jesus is not doing, rather than what He is.

WHEN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE TELLING US OTHERWISE, WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE CHARACTER OF GOD.

The cure for motion sickness is allowing your mind to come back to what is correct. The same is true with that spiritual motion sickness. We have to come back to truth, and the truth is God is good.

This isn’t always easy, but there is beauty in choosing to offer up a sacrifice of praise. When we choose to worship even when we don’t feel like it, we declare the truth of who God is, and we allow that truth to sink deeper into our hearts.

WE WERE NEVER DESIGNED TO BE AUTHENTIC TO OUR FEELINGS.

When we choose to allow our feelings to hold us back from worship, we aren’t living in authenticity. It is authentic to align ourselves with what we know is true. And the only thing we know to be one hundred percent true is the character of God.

WORSHIP IS A SLEDGEHAMMER TO THE POWER OF DARKNESS.

Like we talked about during week one, worship is our gateway into the presence of God. And in that place, we find freedom, not only for ourselves, but for those around us. We are called to stand in the gap and invite others into the presence of God so they will find freedom.

It is always right to worship, regardless of how we’re feeling. All of our problems will not all disappear in an instant, but we’ll find the presence of God. And in that place, we find freedom.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Take some time to reflect on the character of God this week, and let the truth of who He is sink in. Start by googling who God is as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and reflect on those passages.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Assistant Communications Director

Volunteer Spotlight //
Sarah and Thomas

Sarah is a wife and stay-at-home mom of four. She and her husband have lived in Waco for 17 years, and her family has been part of Antioch for the past seven years. Her son, Thomas was born in Waco and is 12 years old. He attends Valor Preparatory Academy, enjoys playing sports and is a part of our Youth Ministry.

Sarah and Thomas serve in Guest Ministries on Sunday mornings together.

FIND OUT WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT SERVING:

Why did you decide to volunteer with Guest Ministries?

This summer I wanted to find a way to serve with Thomas on a Sunday mornings, and Guest Ministries gave us the perfect opportunity. It has been fun to have mother and son time together serving at church!

What is your vision for serving with Guest Ministries?

For years we have appreciated how welcoming the Guest Ministries volunteers are and how ready they are to serve and greet you. So many people consider Antioch to be a welcoming place, and that starts when you first walk up to the church. Whether someone has attended for years or they are a first-time visitor, we want to welcome others as we have felt welcomed all through the years. Our church has grown so much, and it’s important to keep things as personable as possible.

Do you have a testimony to share about your time serving?

When my children were little it always meant a lot to have someone there to smile and open a door. It’s so much fun to see all the young families of today and I love that Thomas is able to look for ways to help others, whether it’s a friendly greeting or opening the door for someone.

If you are interested in joining our Guest Ministries team, click here! We’d love for you to be a part. 

Where Mountains Melt //
Part Two

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley continued our Where Mountains Melt series with a message on multitasking. Some of us tend to think we’re great at multitasking while others will freely admit to being bad at it. Regardless of what camp we’re in, the truth is that multitasking forces us to quickly switch our focus between tasks. We end up losing out because we can’t devote our full attention to any of the tasks before us. And in the context of worship, multitasking doesn’t work.

OUR WORSHIP WAS MADE FOR ONE.

Our worship was made for God alone. We each have things that we value, and whatever we value most will receive our worship. We can’t split our worship between things. Eventually, one thing will take precedence over the other. God placed a desire to worship within us, we can’t change that. But we can determine what or who we worship.

Now, it isn’t bad to have money, passions, dreams, etc. God provides those things for us out of His kindness. When we shift our worship to the things God provided rather than fixating our worship on the provider, we begin to exalt other things over God.

Throughout our morning, we looked at Exodus 32. In this passage, we find the Israelites who have just been set free from Egypt. For 56 days they are at a standstill, waiting to see what is next. Just like us, something within them had a desire to worship. So, out of the gold they got from Egypt they made a calf sculpture, and that became a focal point of their worship. As we continue to read the passage, we see that they are also planning a feast unto the Lord. They worshipped the calf, but they still wanted to worship God. Basically, they tried to compartmentalize and multitask.

TRUE WORSHIP IS NOT A COMPARTMENTALIZED LIFE, IT IS AN INTEGRATED ONE.

Like we talked about last week, we are always worshipping, whether we realize it or not. Many times we want to compartmentalize our lives. We separate God, our finances, relationships, time commitments, etc. God wants to be a part of all of these areas. When we keep things separated and shift our attention, we are also shifting our affection, and taking it away from God. God doesn’t want us to surrender these areas to Him so that He can control us, He invites us to surrender because in that place we find freedom.

THE THING THAT GETS OUR ATTENTION EVENTUALLY GETS OUR AFFECTION, AND ULTIMATELY OUR ALLEGIANCE.

God is continually pursuing us because He ultimately wants our affection. In fact, our personal affection, is the one thing we can give to God that no one else can. Our affection and our worship is the thing God wants most. He wants it; He doesn’t need it. There is a war going on for our worship. Satan needs worship because it affirms his downfall. God wants our worship because ultimately, He just wants us.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Identify areas where you have compartmentalized your life, and invite God into those areas.
  • Join us on Mondays at noon in the Kids Auditorium to learn practical ways to spend time with Jesus. And set aside time every day to meet with Jesus.
  • If you are looking for some new additions to add to your playlists, check out this playlist from our worship team.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Coordinator

Volunteer Spotlight –
Kaye Lewis

Kaye Lewis is originally from Oklahoma, and moved to Waco in 2012 to be closer to family. She leads a Lifegroup in the Women’s Ministry and has been serving with STARS Book Clubs for the past six years.

FIND OUT WHY KAYE ENJOYS BEING A PART OF STARS MENTORING PROJECT: 

Why did you decide to volunteer with STARS?

I have always loved reading. I once read that if you learn to love reading, you will never be lonely, and I have found that to be true in my own life. When I heard what was happening in the kids at Provident Heights through STARS, I knew I wanted to be a part.

What is your favorite part about serving?

I enjoy being a Book Club Mentor because I know these kids will be successful in life if they learn to read. It is such a joy getting to know them, sharing fun stories with them and seeing them use their imagination as they improve in their reading.

Do you have a testimony to share from your time serving?

I have been serving since 2013, and it is always great to develop relationships that extend beyond our 30-minutes a week. I love seeing the kids while I am out and about in Waco. I also still keep up with a girl who is now 15 and used to be in one of my groups.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thirty minutes once or twice a week is time well spent with these kids, I promise!

If you are interested in being a Book Club Mentor this fall, we would love for you to join us! To apply, go here. If you have any questions, please contact Kenneth McAdam

Four Tips For Family Devotionals

It’s already here – the start of a new school year. It’s like the start of a hike up a new mountain. The day is filled with excitement to start, new equipment for the journey and awareness of potential challenges ahead. Wherever our paths as families take us in our school choices, whether it be public, private, homeschool or anything in between, there is something that we as families would benefit to have in order.

I want to zero in and go over a few practical ideas fordDevotions or time with Jesus. This is my first priority to make happen with my kiddos. Why?

I WANT HIS PRESENCE TO BE THEIR WAKING GO TO, THEIR LIFELONG HABIT THEIR AUTOPILOT AND THEIR ANCHOR IN A CHAOTIC WORLD.

As a parent I’m giving them a gift, the habit of going to Jesus. I want to talk about some ways that we as families can make that happen as school is running and we are trying to keep up.

This is not an exclusive list, but just some ideas to encourage us and help get this school year started off on the right foot. None of us want to make time with Jesus equivalent to doing time in the penitentiary. When it comes down to it, a smidge of daily discipline is required. So how as parents do we draw our kids into His goodness without feeling like a dictator?

  1. A good way to start is by having worship music playing in your house as the family is getting ready. It’s an easy step in inviting Jesus to be first in our day and can help get an internal dialogue going.
  2. I frequently hit up the kid’s clearance aisle at Mardel. If there’s a kid’s Bible or devotional there, I typically buy it. It’s been hit and miss, but I’ve found some that our family really loves by doing that. Sometimes we’ll let one of the kids pick one to do for that morning. Right now we are working our way through the, “I AM Devotional” 100 Devotions about the Names of God. We’ve all grown and it’s just long enough with a couple of questions for conversation starters at the end of each one. There also are several devotion options on the Right Now Media app. It’s free through Antioch, just register here. There’s a good five-minute one called Faith Blox that ends with a family discussion question and a prayer.
  3. What about those mornings when I’m rushing out the door, a devotional time simply didn’t happen and I’m TIRED? In leu of snapping at everyone who I had to tell four times to get in the car, I’ll put on a kid’s Bible podcast on my phone for everyone to listen to. Then I’ll maybe ask a question or two pertaining to the content and then pray with them before we get to the destination. My kids have enjoyed this.
  4. Some families I know do baskets. This is where everyone has their own basket with an iPod or something with worship music along with age appropriate quiet time material. This could include kid’s Bibles, coloring sheets or a devotional.

I’ve heard families with grown children share about their family devotions when the kids were small. They’ve all said that it wasn’t always easy nor was it always pretty but it was well worth the effort. Sometimes there’s a kid having a melt down or someone needing discipline or redirection. I think if we hold on to the mindset that it’s OK if it’s not perfect but we’re doing our best as a family to follow Jesus, then we’re less likely to be frustrated or quit altogether.

SOME DAYS IT’S NOT GOING TO BE INSTAGRAM WORTHY AND THAT’S OK.

If it’s not working, try it a different way. We’ve done devotions upon waking, during breakfast, after breakfast and in the car. Do what fits your family in this season and don’t make it too long. One thing I do know is that like a lot of things, the more I’m consistent with it, the easier it gets. We’ll never regret any effort that we put into drawing our kids into the joy of walking through this life with Jesus. and boy o boy, does it require effort!

By Marie Perez – NEST Coordinator

A Message from Jimmy –

When Laura and I planted Antioch Community Church in 1999, we were honored to be surrounded by a group of friends that shared a passion for Jesus and His purposes in the earth. These marvelous comrades stepped into the journey with us to create a church community that encourages and equips every person that calls Antioch Waco home to share the story of Jesus with the unreached in our city, our nation and every nation of the world.

Throughout the past 30 years, we have seen God bless the Antioch Movement beyond what we ever imagined possible. Many of you have been personally impacted by the growth we have experienced locally at Antioch Waco, but that is just a small part of the growth we have experienced as a movement.

As our church-planting initiatives have continued to expand all over the world, I have continued to provide direct oversight at the movement level while also leading the local church in Waco. In order to continue to enlarge the place of our tent, we are expanding our leadership team in Waco so that I will be able to provide more oversight to the Antioch Movement, which includes 35 churches in the United States and more than 80 international church-planting teams in more than 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.

Very practically, this expansion of leadership allows me to provide vision and strategic direction for the Antioch Movement, which includes Antioch Waco. I will be leaning into what God is saying to us as a people and determining what initiatives to push out to all of our U.S. and international church plants. As I look forward, Carl Gulley will be implementing that vision and strategic direction deeper and wider here at the local level by taking on a more visible preaching role and providing direct oversight of our church staff.

From the beginning, Carl was one of those marvelous comrades that stepped into the journey with Laura and me. Over the years I have seen him faithfully lead and champion others time and time again. Carl has served as the youth pastor and, most recently, the college pastor, and he is excited to step into this new role as lead pastor of Antioch Waco. He is a “good man that is full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).

Please watch this short video message from our new lead pastor, Carl Gulley, about his love for the local church in Waco and his passion for leading each one of you in your pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Jimmy Seibert
Senior Pastor

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LEAD PASTOR CARL GULLEY AND HIS PASSION TO SEE EPHESIANS 4:12 COME ALIVE AT ANTIOCH WACO IN THIS VIDEO –

Vision Sunday

This morning Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert and the elders commissioned Carl Gulley as Lead Pastor of Antioch Waco. During this time of expansion, Jimmy is going to be looking forward while Carl takes us deeper and wider. As we look forward to where God is leading us as a church, Jimmy shared about the history of Antioch and reminded us who we are as community of believers.

GOD HAS CALLED US MORE THAN EVER TO LOVE HIM AS OUR FIRST LOVE.

  1. We are called to be a missional community // As a community we want to be committed to friendship with Jesus and committed to bringing the truth of Jesus to those who do not know Him.
  2. We want to revive our personal devotion to Jesus // Jesus is the only way to life, and we want to live unapologetic for who He is in all of His glory. We want to renew the exclusivity of Jesus in our hearts every day. We want to live with simple and whole devotion to Jesus.
  3. We want to live with an apostolic mission // There is nothing better than having the opportunity to live in partnership with Jesus. We want to be about His mission in our lives and in our church.

HERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT WE ARE COMMITTED TO AS A CHURCH:

  1. We are committed to the city of Waco // God wants Waco to be a city of refuge for the glory of God so that all the earth can rejoice because they see His presence being made manifest. We are committed to serving this community and raising up leaders who will share our passion for transforming the city.
  2. We are committed to our nation // We have 35 church plants that are reaching people all over our nation. There is hope for our nation because the church is alive, and we continue to see churches impact their communities all over the nation.
  3. We are committed to the nations of the world // As a people we are trained to keep our eye on those that have never heard the Gospel message. The greatest injustice on the planet is that everybody has not had a chance to hear about and know the person of Jesus. If everyone knew Jesus, injustice would be toppled from the inside out.

IN RESPONSE:

  1. Take a moment to ask God, “What would you have for me?” // Being willing to obey the next thing God is telling you to do puts you back into alignment with what God has for you. You don’t have to worry about the future; you just have to step out in obedience today.
  2. Identify areas where you can step in and serve the local body // Are there areas where you can serve the community with your gifts and talents? To learn more about all of the volunteer opportunities available you visit antio.ch/volunteer.

Four Back-To-School Tips for Families

It’s that time of year again – back to school. It’s time for new shoes and backpacks filled with sharpened pencils and glue sticks. Sports are starting back up and routines set the pace for the day. Some families are dreading the month of August. For others, it feels like this truly is the “most wonderful time of the year.”

For our family, back to school really means back to the basics. Summer is great with its laid back schedule and unending supply of popsicles. But we can’t live on kool-aid alone. So as our family prepares for a new school year, we try to keep a few simple things in mind as we head back into structured routines.

HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE THINGS WE DO AS WE HEAD INTO THE FALL SEMESTER –

  1. Family is always first // Before we commit to a new activity, we try to evaluate each person’s activities. We ask the question – can the entire family commit to the activity and support each other? We want to be each other’s biggest fans, so we try to make sure we aren’t too maxed out with activities. We don’t want those good ideas and new activities to become heavy burdens. We look at the overarching schedule and include family fun times, date nights for mom and dad and activities for the kids. Then we choose our commitments wisely. We try to do this altogether and, as a family, decide what things we can do and what we can’t. If everyone agrees on the schedule in the beginning, it’s easier to push through later on in the year.
  2. Devotionals are a priority // Our family devotionals aren’t fancy. We sit around the table and they look different each day. Usually we share what we’re thankful for between gulps of orange juice and bites of cereal. Sometimes we share how we can pray for each other. Other days we read certain passages from the Bible. For us, devotionals are about getting a little focused time as a family where we commit our day to the Lord before we go our separate ways. We declare that we will follow Jesus and support one another. We don’t shoot for perfection, but consistency. This helps us stay unified and reminds us who we are as a family unit.
  3. Nightly check-ins are important // This often happens around the dinner table. We share the best and worst parts of our day, or we share something that we think no one else knows yet. Sometimes check-ins happen in the car on the way to an activity. We ask questions like, “who’d you sit by at lunch?” or “Who did you play with on the playground?” We then ask what they talked about or what game they played. We also make sure to go into each kid’s room at bedtime and chat for a second, looking for an open window into their hearts where they feel safe to share. We try to prioritize this as we’re often tired, but we never regret taking those few moments to ask focused questions that give us insight into their private world.
  4. Pray together // We try to make sure we have a set time during our day to pray together for our kids. It’s not often a very long prayer time, but it’s focused solely on our kids and family. If you’re a single parent, look for a friend that will pray with you for your kids. Praying with someone else really gives us courage to believe the best and helps us trust God with our children’s lives.

No matter how you feel about the start of school, doing a few simple things to prepare will help you start off on the right foot!

By Shawn and Connie Dunn

Shawn serves with our Kids Ministry as one of our pastors. He and Connie have three kids.