Tag: antioch community church

Volunteer Spotlight –
Aaron Peach

Aaron grew up in Waco, and works in an administrative position at Campus Realtors. He and his wife have two boys and a baby girl on the way. He has been a part of Antioch for about 15 years, and served with church plants in Boston, Phoenix and overseas. His family has been back in Waco for two years, and he serves on our AV Team on Sunday mornings.

Aaron recently shared with us what he enjoys about serving! Check it out –

What is your role on the AV Team?

I serve as the graphics operator on Sunday mornings. If any words appear on the screen or any videos play, the graphics person is the one who made it happen! There is a room adjacent to the Auditorium where the graphics operator and video director sit. I use two computers simultaneously to display the graphics between the three screens.

Why did you decide to start volunteering?

In the Spring of 2004, I was eager for community and searched for any opportunity to serve. I went to the sound booth during a college service and asked if they needed any help. The person in charge was delighted to hear that and began to train me on the spot. Eventually I led the college production team, and ran graphics on Sunday mornings. I also had the pleasure of volunteering with Antioch Boston and Antioch Phoenix in similar roles.

How have you personally grown through your experience serving?

I enjoy being involved behind the scenes. I am not one who longs to be on stage, but serving with the production team allows me to be a part of the worship team while also being mostly invisible. Service is definitely one of my spiritual gifts, so I do find life and satisfaction in my role. The phrase, “faithful in the little, ruler over much” has been ever true for me. The Lord has allowed me to grow in leadership and training through the role as well. Even with a practical task, faithfulness and obedience is key.

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

I can’t think of any specific testimonies. However, I have seen the Lord work through numerous people throughout the years who chose to say “yes” to sacrificing their time. He truly is faithful! It’s exhilarating to work behind the scenes during times when the Holy Spirit is moving in power in the service. It becomes easy in those time to truly enter in, even though my eyes are open and I am doing a specific task, there is a grace there to engage with what is happening in the service.

Is there anything you want to share with people who are thinking about volunteering with the AV Team?

Jump in! We are always looking for people who are faithful and willing to give their time. The youth, college, young adult and Sunday morning teams all have spots available. The three things a good graphics operator need are: an ability to use computers, a familiarity with the songs we play and a willingness to faithfully serve. We would love to have you on our team!

If you are interested in volunteering with the AV Team, or in another area of our church, fill out this form. We can’t wait for you to get connected!

Resting Well – A Letter from College Pastor Luke Whyte

First off, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to all of the college seniors that graduated this past weekend. What an incredible accomplishment! We can’t wait to see what the Lord continues to do in and through each of your lives!

For Rachel and I, the beginning of the summer marks a transition of not only the seasons, but also a big step into the next chapter of our lives as the college pastors. We are thrilled for all that is ahead.

Students have a variety of plans this summer including internships with corporations all over the country, spending time overseas on ENGAGE THE ISLANDS and plenty of other travel and time at home with family.

No matter what the next three months hold –


  1. Fan the flame of your spirit // 1 Timothy 1:6-7 says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Look for opportunities to continue to fan the flame of your faith this summer! This comes through enjoying time with Jesus in nature and in the word, watching YouTube worship, listening to podcasts, starting a new Bible study, etc.
  2. Tend the garden of your heart // Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Take time to process all the Lord did over the past year. Journaling is crucial for me because if I just try to think about things I get distracted too easily. Sit down and ask the Father the simple question, “Father what did You do in my heart/life this past year?” Write down whatever the Lord speaks, and thank Him for the ways He moved.
  3. Refresh your body // “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3) At the end of the day we are not only spiritual and emotional people, but we are also physical people. This means we need to be replenished physically! Yes, this means you should probably sleep in at times, eat good food, etc. But I also want to encourage you to invite Jesus into your physical refreshment. What if you went on a walk in the woods (my personal favorite) and just thanked Him for what He’s doing in your life? Consider putting on a podcast or listening to worship music as you go on a run. I find that when I invite Jesus into my day to day physical activities, both my body and spirit are refreshed.

All in all, Rachel and I are looking forward to all that’s ahead. We bought a house on 11th and Daughtery, and we’re moving to be closer to college students. We are also going to take time do all of the above and rest well!

We love you all and are overjoyed to get to serve alongside each one of you.


The Whytes

Honoring Our Moms –
A Mother’s Day Message

This morning Jimmy Seibert celebrated and honored our moms! We need moms because women uniquely display the nurturing and caregiving characteristics of God. Whether a birth mom or a spiritual mom, it matters every time a woman decides to invest her life in another. The glory of God is beautifully displayed through every mom. Our moms are so worthy of love and honor, we wouldn’t be who we are without them!


  1. Love them // Tell your mom you love her, and give her a hug. Moms love tangible expressions of love. It isn’t about large gifts, but instead simply expressing our appreciation for our moms.
  2. Encourage them // All moms want to be great, and we want to champion and place courage in our moms. Moms don’t need criticism, instead be quick to call out the gold within them.
  3. Show them gratitude // Tell your mom how thankful you are for her! Moms do what they do because they wholeheartedly love us, and we want them to know that we are so thankful for them.
  4. Model how to follow Jesus // Invite your mom into the things of God by contending for her and by encouraging her. If your mom doesn’t have relationship with Jesus, model what it looks like to follow Jesus.
  5. Get community around them // Women need other women to walk through life with. Create space for your mom to build relationships and be around encouraging community.

Five Tips for Studying the Bible

“For the Word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

There are numerous verses pertaining to the power of the Word of God.  In John 1:1 we read that the Word was with and is God.  From Isaiah 55:11, we understand that the Word of the Lord will never return void.  We know that all Scripture is breathed by God from 2 Timothy 3:16.  In Psalm 12:6, we find that the words of the Lord are pure, like refined silver.


However, I have found that though I know the value of studying Scripture, I can sometimes feel stagnant in this. But because I know the value of Scripture, it is worth it to persevere during dry seasons in pursuit of deepening my knowledge and love for the word of God.

We know the Word of God is essential to our understanding of ourselves as individuals, as a church and as part of the body of Christ.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant[s] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17


We don’t want to grudgingly study the Bible, but rather jump in with joy.

Here are five practical tools that I hope will bring fresh life and perspective as you read the Word of God:

  1. Read a passage in a different translation // Far too often we become comfortable and ingrained in our habits, even when it comes to spending time with God. Reading and studying different version gives fresh perspective and can provide new insight that we would not otherwise have. No matter the version, there is new insight to be gained.
  2. Summarize the passage in your own words // Studies show that we are likely to remember 70 percent of what we write down, as opposed to only 10 percent of things we read. After reading a passage, write down the full passage and then write it again in your own words. This will help you actually retain what you are reading.
  3. S.O.S Method // The S.O.S acronym stands for say, obey and share. After reading through a passage, ask yourself three questions –
    1. What is this passage saying?
    2. How can I obey?
    3. Who can I share this with?

This method challenges us to take what we’re reading a step further by asking God how we can apply the passage to our life, and sharing what we learn with someone else.

  1. Scripture Typer App // Having the Word of God engraved on our heart gives us tools to combat anxiety, fear and temptation. The Scripture Typer app uses different exercises to help us memorize Scripture. Once you have a verse mastered, the app will send you reminders in the weeks ahead to keep the passage fresh on your mind.
  2. Do a word study // Whether it’s something you may be struggling with or simply something you want to learn more about, a word study is when you read and examine the verses that include or are about the same word. Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible are great tools for this as you can search a word and find all of the verses pertaining to or including that word. This gives your study of Scripture a very specific focus, which can better enable you to dive deep into what it says.

My hope is that as you dive into the Word of God, you also gain greater understanding of His character and heart for you.

By Olivia Andrade – Communication Staff

Volunteer Spotlight –
Lynsey Castillo

Lynsey is a mom of four kids and coordinates catering for a local restaurant. She enjoys working with non-profit organizations in the community. Lynsey and her family have been a part of Antioch for about a year now, and on Sunday nights, you can find her leading a middle school Lifegroup within our Youth Ministry.


Why did you decide to volunteer with the Youth Ministry?

I initially decided to volunteer with the Youth Ministry as a Summer Camp leader. My hope was to go and help my son get more connected.

I knew I would find my place to serve at some point, and I was trying to be patient and figure out where I was being called. My normal instinct is to dive in head first but I really felt like the Lord was telling me to wait and be patient. I had previously served in the Kids Ministry, but felt like God was calling me somewhere different.  At the end of camp I knew the Youth Ministry was where I belonged. Sean and Shannon welcomed me into the ministry with open arms and were great at helping me feel at home.

How have you personally grown through your experience serving?

Leading a Lifegroup has allowed me to grow spiritually because I am challenged to hold myself more accountable for my daily time with Jesus. I can’t hold my girls accountable for something I am not doing. There is nothing better than seeing middle school students surrender their lives to Jesus, encounter God, and sow seeds that will last a lifetime. Everyone in Lifegroup encourages one another to daily spend time with Jesus and reach out to the community. I’m so encouraged by the way God has put people together to hold one another accountable and help each other in their journey

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

I was able to watch my son give his life to Jesus at youth camp last summer! I have watched girls who questioned Jesus now seeking Him with new understanding of who He is and the role He plays in their life. They carry a true hunger for more of Jesus and it is amazing to see the difference in them as they choose to start their day by putting Him first.

Is there anything you want to share with people who are thinking about volunteering with the Youth Ministry?

My reason for volunteering was to help my son become involved, not realizing the fruit it would bear in me. Children of all ages are the bricks to our future church and they are completely worth building relationships with. Investing your time and heart in the lives of our youth will leave you with an overflowing joy in Jesus. So many students are hungry and looking to fill the void caused by broken relationships. It takes a village and a safe place for kids to take refuge from the world, that allows them to share their hearts and struggles. Our Youth Ministry at Antioch is doing an exceptional job at covering all of these areas. I have had the opportunity to build relationships with girls that I look forward to carrying on with them for the rest of Middle School and into High School. I have also built friendships to last a lifetime!


If you are interested in volunteering with the Youth Ministry, or in another area of the church, fill out this form.

Grief and The Gospel

Many of us know the story of Lazarus. He was Jesus’ friend who was sick, dead for four days and was then brought back to life. The glory and power of God was displayed like never before, and many of those who came to grieve were stirred to believe as they saw the dead live again.

But before the miracle of verse 43 came Jesus’ emotional response in verse 35.

“Jesus wept.”

The shortest verse in the Bible, but I believe it is one of the most significant acts of Jesus’ life. These two words display God’s heart for us in a unique and powerful way. They essentially encompass the whole gospel.

His response was filled with deep compassion and proved that Jesus was, and still is, willing to “go there.” You know that place. The place we awkwardly avoid because we don’t really know how to engage the situation. The place of loss, and sometimes anger. That place of deep pain where no words ever seem to be enough solace. The place where confusion resides and grief seems to eliminate the possibility of hope.


He knew of the life He was about to speak back into Lazarus, but still, He took a moment to feel the raw and painful emotion of man. He grieved and wept with His friends. This part of the story always stirs something inside of me. There is something so significant and beautiful about Jesus’ response. He could have come to Bethany, told Lazarus’ sisters to stop crying and immediately revived Lazarus. Instead He comforted them by first mourning with them.

I believe the glory of God is magnified when we go to those deep places, allow ourselves to grieve and then still declare that He is faithful and good.

Ultimately it is the sin and brokenness of this world that causes our pain and grief. It isn’t until we are in heaven that the tears will forever dry up and we will experience eternal joy. Jesus wept 2,000 years ago with his friends, and He hurts for us still today. He grieves over the brokenness of the world, and there is an invitation for us to grieve with Him. Jesus isn’t intimidated by our emotions, instead He embraces them. If we try to numb and avoid our pain, we eventually won’t allow ourselves to feel joy either. There is space for us to grieve, and a promise that the Holy Spirit will comfort us.


The gospel is preached every time we are willing to “go there” with someone and then declare hope in the midst of the hurt.

Jesus’ entire life proved His willingness to, “go there” with us. He came to save us, to the point of dying on a cross. But before He committed the act that gave us eternal hope, He stepped fully into our lives. He stood with us and experienced the brokenness of humanity.

Jesus’ ministry was fueled by compassion. We can’t fully declare Jesus to others if we aren’t willing to be stirred by the emotion and pain of those around us.

Grief isn’t bad. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. Let yourself, “go there” because ultimately, we won’t stay in that place of pain. We will find that Jesus is willing to feel with us and then speak life over us.


  • Let yourself grieve // Maybe it’s a dream, the loss of a loved one or another disappointment. Whatever it may be, there is an invitation to grieve with Jesus. He isn’t intimidated by our emotions, and He won’t rush our grief process. Scripture says that it is in weakness that the power of God is made perfect through us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When Jesus left the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper and ultimate comforter (John 14:15-31). When we grieve there is a promise that the Holy Spirit will bring us comfort and hope. Take a look at this message from Jimmy on the role of the Holy Spirit.
  • Be willing to go there with someone else // If you know someone that is grieving, ask God how you can best support and care for them. I believe we express the heart of God when we are willing to listen to people’s pain, and when we are willing to cry and grieve with them. The heart of God is not to push away emotion, it is to embrace, comfort and declare hope in the midst of the pain. Carl Gulley shared a powerful message on grief this past fall. He unpacked practical ways we can respond to grief. Check it out here.
  • Read the story of Lazarus and ask God to reveal His heart to you. // This is one of my favorite passages, and Jesus still reveals something new to me every time I read it. I suggest reading it in another translation, I read it in the Passion Translation this morning, and it was a game changer.

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Staff


Water Baptism

Today Jimmy Seibert shared a message on the significance of water baptism. By definition, baptism means to immerse completely. But it is much more than that – it is an outward declaration of an inner reality. Baptism does not determine our salvation, but it symbolizes the cleansing of our sin, and it is a key that unlocks the things of God. Being baptized is an act of obedience, and when we take steps of obedience, we have joy and power. We need the power of God in order to do the things He has set before us.

Baptism is for anyone who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism publicly declares that our heart intent is to fully follow Jesus. Whether someone is eight-years-old or eighty-years old, if their heart is fully given to Jesus, they can be baptized.

We are so excited to celebrate baptisms at our annual Baptism Bash on May 20th! Whether you have already been baptized or you are planning to get baptized, we encourage you to join us at either of our services.


  • Read more about the power of baptism in your time with God this week. There are around 100 verses or references to choose from throughout the New Testament. We read out of Acts 2 this morning, so you can start there.
  • Get baptized at our Baptism Bash on May 20th! If you have fully given given your life to Jesus but haven’t been baptized, we encourage you to take that next step in declaring your faith. You can sign up for our Baptism Bash here.
  • As believers, we continually need to be baptized by the Holy Spirit because we need the fresh filling of the power of God. Pray for a fresh filling today.

Find Water

When I lived in Indonesia, I ran across a group of Indonesians who had a desire to share the gospel with anyone they met. They were really excited and always carried a backpack with a Bible inside and something else – a bathing suit! Their theory was that when we find someone who is ready to believe, the next step is Baptism. So, they needed to always be ready to “find water” because often in the Bible salvation is followed quickly with baptism.


It is a personal decision between God and a man, woman or child!  But baptism is the act of going public with your faith. Water baptism for an Indonesian, and I believe for many others in the world, isn’t a small decision. Baptism is the “line” that many Indonesians will come up to but not cross because they know this is when they aren’t just keeping their faith to themselves anymore. By the act of baptism, they are proclaiming to family, friends and strangers that they are a follower of Jesus. They are “all in.”

In the Book of Acts there is an Ethiopian man that believes. Philip, the apostle, finds this man trying to figure out what the Bible is saying and who is this Savior he is reading about. Philip explains to him about Jesus and the man wholeheartedly believes. As they travel the man sees a body of water and says, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Philip baptizes him right then – hours, maybe even minutes after salvation.

But did he know the Roman road salvation plan?

He hadn’t even heard a Billy Graham sermon.

He probably didn’t even know the 10 Commandments at this point. And he probably couldn’t tell you more than a couple of stories in the Bible.


So, he got baptized.

I work with kids and they have all kinds of thoughts about baptism. I’m sure some of us have the same thoughts, but don’t say anything for fear of being wrong. Below are some of the reasons kids have thought you get baptized:

  1. “The water washes off all your sins.”
  2. “God cleans your heart when you go under the water.”
  3. “The water is magic water and helps you to never ever sin again.”

Often kids think baptism is the time when your sins are wiped away. So, I get to talk to them about the moment they believed.  We talk about where they were and what they felt when they prayed to receive Jesus. At that point, their sins were forgiven, and they began a relationship with Jesus. They are forgiven by God for all their sin, and we talk about how amazing forgiveness is. We talk about how everyone doesn’t know about what God has done in their life, but baptism gives them the opportunity to let others know.


We go in the water to show people that we were full of sin. But then we met Jesus and die to our old way of life. When we come up from the water, we show everyone what has happened to us on the inside – we have become a new creation.

So, we find water when we find Jesus so everyone else can see what God has done and perhaps find Him themselves!

If you are interested in getting baptized at our Baptism Bash on May 20th, sign up here!

By Shawn Dunn – Kids Pastor

Volunteer Spotlight –
Victor and Alyssa Hernandez

Victor is an assistant manager at Magnolia Kitchen, and Alyssa works in Vendor Relations at the Dwyer Group. They have been married for three years, and have a one-and-a-half-year-old son. They are involved in a families Lifegroup, and have recently started volunteering with our Guest Ministries team on Sunday mornings. Victor serves with the Umbrella and Parking lot teams by driving the golf cart and picking up cones from the parking lot. Alyssa serves in the NEXT Room and cleans up the Volunteer Room during the second service.


Why did you decide to volunteer with Guest Ministries?

Victor: When we joined Antioch, I really wanted to serve somewhere I could be useful. Guest Ministries seemed like a great way to get connected and serve behind the scenes, and it has been amazing!

Alyssa: I wanted to volunteer with Guest Ministries because I love the idea of the NEXT room. Antioch is such a large community of people, and I wanted to be able to help guests feel connected right away and not get missed in the shuffle. I like being able to let them know they matter and that we’re glad they visited our church. It’s also a great place to share what God has done in my life with others who need to hear a testimony of His goodness.

How have you personally grown through your experience serving?

Victor: I have not been with Guest Ministries long, but I am learning how to be a part of something big and be committed to service, while still finding time to rest and be with my family. It may seem strange, but it can be a hard lesson to learn.

Alyssa: My second Sunday in the NEXT Room we were asked to pray for our new leaders. I started listening to the people around me praying, and it was so encouraging because I could tell they all genuinely love Jesus. Before coming to Antioch and volunteering, it was easy for me to not be as intentional in my relationship with God. Being around my NEXT team members every Sunday challenges and encourages me to know God deeper and live more like Him.

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

Alyssa: We recently prayed for a woman whose husband lost his job. I’m believing for God’s provision in her life. I asked her to come let us know when he gets a new job so we can celebrate with them!

Victor: I meet a lot of people while I’m driving the golf cart. In the brief time I get to speak with them, some have offered small parts of their testimonies to me. It’s incredible to be able to speak with such a diverse crowd of believers in one place. One of my favorite moments was watching two guys on the team pull their cart over to talk with a man who was sitting on the curb one morning. It was such a blessing to see these men do the work of the Kingdom while doing a task very few want to do.

Is there anything you want to share with people who are thinking about volunteering with Guest Ministries?

Victor: Guest Ministries is a great place for anyone who is just getting used to the idea of serving, or for anyone who serves and has a passion for bringing others in.

Alyssa: If you’re thinking about volunteering with Guest Ministries – especially in the NEXT room, we would love to have you! Being able to share hope and joy with people who are needing Jesus, or a place to call their church home is so rewarding.

If you are interested in volunteering with Guest Ministries this summer, or in another area of our church, fill out this form. We can’t wait for you to get connected!

Impacting our City – STARS Mentoring Project

Antioch_STARS Mentoring

The STARS Mentoring Project exists to mobilize the Church to step in and support the kids, families and schools of our community. STARS has helped hundreds of kids not only improve their reading and develop a love of reading, but also grow emotionally and socially. Throughout the last five years we’ve done Book Clubs in our two neighborhood schools, and they have been two of the three most improved in their reading standards passing rates in Waco ISD!*

This year, three elementary schools and two middle schools in Waco ISD are in a crisis, facing potential closure if they don’t pass state standards this spring.


As a church, we have asked the schools what we could do to help their students improve this year. We delivered 1,300 books and reading incentives to these campuses, and all three elementary schools welcomed the idea of Book Clubs.

We then asked at Antioch’s college service for more Book Club volunteers, and had 40 more people sign up. This means almost 100 more students would receive reading help and mentoring through STARS Book Clubs. On top of meeting the principal’s requests, we were also able to give every kid in our neighborhood the opportunity to be in Book Clubs if they wanted. But that’s only the start of the impact!

At one of the new schools, Brook Avenue Elementary, the staff and kids were on board with our mission from the first day. While setting up the first mentors at the school, one of the kids asked, “Is this gonna help me with my reading scores? Cause I really need it.” The boy was in fourth grade, and already worrying about his scores not being good enough.

The mentor replied, “Not only are we here to help with your reading scores, but we’re here to be with YOU.”

As the semester progressed, Book Clubs became more and more popular, with students asking daily how they could join a group. One week, when Book Clubs had to move to the playground, herds of children crowded around each group to try to be a part of them. Upon seeing the chaos, I had to create a one-man human fence around the groups to keep the other kids from being disruptive. Even in the library, kids started trying to sneak in to join groups…as if they wouldn’t be noticed in a group of three.

Soon teachers at the schools began commenting on improved performance from the kids involved and expressed gratitude to us week after week. Just two weeks ago, a teacher approached me and told me how thankful he was for our presence in the schools. He said three of his students who were in Book Club had recently made the three highest scores on their reading test, which they had never done before.


In this process, we have built relationships and trust with students, teachers and principals, as we’ve shown that we believe in them and want to serve and empower them to succeed. Our impact has the potential to grow monumentally in the years to come due to a foundation that has been created this semester.

Our community presented us a major crisis, and guess who is helping fill it…the people of God. Way to go church!

*based on “STAAR Reading Percent at Approaches Grade Level or Above” indexes on Texas Academic Performance Reports

By McKethan Parker – STARS Staff