Tag: antioch community church

An Interview with City Councilman Dillon Meek – Investing in Waco

It is an exciting time in Waco, and we have the amazing opportunity to shape the future of our city! As the Church, we are called to engage in what is happening throughout the city and establish a Kingdom culture. We believe Waco is called to be a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14). Now is the perfect time to fight for righteousness in our city and invest our time and energy into seeing it thrive. Our desire is for everyone in our church to live on mission, and there are many opportunities for you to carry out the Kingdom mission right here in our city. Whether serving within the church or in our city, you have an opportunity to love our city, shape the culture and make an impact!

WAYS YOU CAN BE INVOLVED:

PRAY FOR WACO // “Seek the welfare of the city” Jeremiah 29:7

  • Pray for our city leaders to be filled with wisdom from God on how to prosper our city
  • Pray for unity in families, and for children to be brought up in the ways of righteousness
  • Pray for the Kingdom to be established in our city

OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE CHURCH // We believe that the Church is the hope of the world, and we have the privilege to carry hope into every area of our city.

Impact Waco // Impact Waco exists to envision and equip our church to be acively involved in city transformation by meeting community needs in vulnerable and under-resourced areas.

Check out the opportunities to serve with Impact Waco:

  • Grace House Grace House is a long-term faith-based women’s recovery home that exists to bring holistic restoration to women struggling with chronic addiction.
  • Mercy House – Mercy House is a biblically based, one-year residential program that daily invests in men to empower them to live out their best lives – free from addiction, rooted in their worth and purpose and making a positive impact in the community around them.
  • STARS Mentoring Project – STARS is a program that seeks to build strength, resilience and hope in the children of our community through encouraging mentoring relationships and academic support. Through this we’re helping kids succeed in school and in life, which will be part of transforming their lives, their families and our community’s future.
  • UnBound – UnBound is Antioch’s anti-trafficking ministry that is mobilizing the church and activating local communities to fight human trafficking through prevention, professional training and survivor advocacy.
VOLUNTEER WITH IMPACT WACO

Other opportunities to serve within the church

  • Come Together This event provides an opportunity to build meaningful relationships across racial and cultural lines through open dialogue and relational activities. The next Come Together event is September 29th, and more details will be available soon. Sign up here.
  • Community Feast The Feast is a Thursday night gathering that provides “food for the body and nourishment for the soul” for the poor and homeless in our neighborhood. We share a meal together, worship and hear a sermon. Join us from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Journey Room.

OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE CITY // Our church has had the privilege to partner with many amazing ministries throughout our city like Mission Waco and CareNet. We believe in the mission of many organizations in our city, and want to support them as best we can. Today we have chosen to highlight a few “backbone” organizations whose primary mission is to organize, coordinate and unify the many non-profits in our city.

    • Prosper Waco – This is a collective whose mission is to build an environment in which all members of our Waco community are able to measurably improve their education, health and financial security. Prosper Waco builds upon the efforts of existing nonprofits and community leaders to measurably improve the lives of the people in our community.
    • Creative Waco – This is a nonprofit organization with a vision to grow and support a thriving cultural and creative community in WacoThrough partnering with various organizations, Creative Waco seeks to celebrate and support creative talent throughout the city.
    • Greater Waco Sports Commission – This is an independent, non-profit organization created to identify and attract new sporting events while enhancing and retaining existing events to generate positive economic impact and enhance quality of life in McLennan County. The Sports Commission carries the vision to help Waco realize its incredible potential due to its community spirit, location, premiere facilities and more.
    • Start Up Waco – This is a non-profit organization whose vision is to create a thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Waco. They are dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs and innovators to build and grow successful businesses.
    • CampusTown Waco – The mission of CampusTown Waco is to connect young, educated professionals to the Waco community through jobs, internship opportunities and events. This organization operates as a part of Prosper Waco.

Another way you can make an impact is by engaging your Neighborhood Association. You can also apply to be on one of the City Boards and Commissions, learn more here.

Why we Value Discipleship

Imagine for a moment the gut-wrenching decision we’d face if forced to eliminate all our ministry activities except for one thing. What would it be? Sunday services? Kids Ministry? Missions? This was the question posed to a group of 40 Antioch pastors during a vision meeting more than ten years ago. The group was gathered to seek God’s direction for our movement, and this provocative question was designed to help us determine our “X-Factor.”

I surveyed the wide range of people in the room, their various passions, giftings and experiences. I imagined this conversation going well into the night without ever finding a conclusion and perhaps even growing contentious. Forty people can’t agree on when to break for lunch, how on earth do we agree on something like this? Nevertheless, we broke into smaller groups to talk and pray. An hour later the groups gathered to report their conclusion. I was shocked, along with everyone else, as one-by-one each group reported back the exact same answer: If we had to narrow to one activity, we’d choose discipleship.

Our conclusion felt sacrilegious – discipleship instead of evangelism or prayer? We started to seriously reconsider whether or not we’d made the right decision. The group grew increasingly insecure until someone finally stated, “Wait! Wasn’t discipleship Jesus’ X-Factor?”

IT SUDDENLY DAWNED ON US THAT JESUS MODELED DISCIPLESHIP BECAUSE IT IS THE DOORWAY INTO EVERYTHING ELSE.

When people are discipled they learn to pray, share the Gospel, invest in children – and so much more.

In that moment, we re-established our commitment to life-on-life discipleship. Ten years later, I see the power of this decision. We’ve seen broken families restored and whole relational networks transformed. We’ve seen people discipled and then launched out to plant new churches across the world. And we’ve also seen that reality is messy – just like it was for Jesus and the early church. Discipleship is seldom convenient and requires a lifestyle of opening our lives up to people. Investing in the lives of people opens us up to their pain and brokenness, and ultimately reveals our own struggles.

TO MAKE DISCIPLES, WE MUST FIRST BE DISCIPLES, AND THAT IS PERHAPS THE MOST DIFFICULT STEP.

Discipleship is not always easy nor exciting, but it is incredibly powerful. Jesus invested in a few, who invested in a few, who did the same. Two thousand years later, this legacy of discipleship continues. It is the single most powerful force on the planet, transforming the very foundations of culture, and now it’s our turn. Best of all, everyone can do it: stay-at-home moms, business leaders, retail clerks, students, and retirees. You may never preach, you may never write a book, but you can go make disciples. This was the example of Jesus and this is His charge to the Church.

Lifegroups are the primary way we make disciples at Antioch and a big deal to us. We want every single person in our church to experience authentic discipleship community. If you are not in a Lifegroup, sign up here to get connected.

ADDITIONALLY, WE PROVIDE A FEW RESOURCES TO AID THE DISCIPLESHIP PROCESS:

  • The Antioch Discipleship App is our primary material for discipleship. We primarily use the Discovery Bible Study tool, and also include books and resources we’ve found helpful. The app is available for iOS and Google and features several instructional videos to get you started.
  • Go Make Disciples is a book designed to both envision and equip you in how make disciples in the context of community. This is our primary training guide for Lifegroups and can purchased online or in our bookstore.

Take a step today to embrace this calling and let’s discover once again the power of discipleship.

By Drew Steadman – U.S. Director

Leaving the 99

The summer before we opened Grace House, our addiction recovery home for women, we spent a lot of time as a team dreaming about what God had in store for the future of the home.  One afternoon as I was spending time with Jesus in Grace House, God pushed on one of my buttons that I didn’t even know existed. I heard Him simply ask me, “Missy, are you willing to do all this for just one woman?” Honestly, the question took me by surprise and I was somewhat offended. Without realizing it, I had come to believe that my actions held more significance if I was doing more, if I  built larger programs and created systems that would help reshape the masses. To this day, I’m still so stirred hearing about entire movements of people coming to know the Lord, but I’ve also had to come to accept the reality that one of the core messages of Jesus was about valuing the person right there in front of me.

JESUS WAS ALWAYS MODELING HOW TO EXTRAVAGANTLY LOVE THOSE ON THE FRINGES, THE UNSEEN, THE BROKEN AND VULNERABLE BECAUSE THEY WERE VALUABLE ENOUGH FOR HIM TO GIVE EVERYTHING HE HAD.

In that intimate moment with God, part of me wanted to respond wholeheartedly to the question, but I knew I had to be willing to let the idea of “bigger equals better” fall to the ground and die.  Eventually, I discovered that in surrendering my lofty ideas, my eyes were opened to see His Kingdom through a lens I never even knew existed.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us a story of a shepherd who had 100 sheep and discovered one of them was lost. Jesus said the shepherd left the 99 sheep in the field and went after the one who was lost. He was willing to be inconvenienced and sacrifice greatly to go after that one sheep. When he came back with the lost sheep, he didn’t return with his eyes rolling in frustration, put out by the extra effort.  On the contrary, he returned rejoicing, inviting his friends to celebrate with him because he was able to bring his lost sheep home.

The majority of the women who walk through the doors of Grace House are weary and broken. When they apply to the program and we ask them why they want long-term treatment, the overarching message we hear is, “I’m dying and I need God’s help to show me how to live.” As we get to know them, we hear the same story retold again and again: beautiful girls robbed of their innocence in early childhood and left to survive through any means they knew how. This eventually leads them to use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, which quickly spirals into full-on addiction. They suffer the loss of their beautiful personalities Jesus formed before the foundation of the world.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD LEFT THE 99 BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT SOMETIMES LIFE TRANSFORMATION TAKES MORE THAN JUST A GOSPEL PRESENTATION.

Someone must be willing to enter into the suffering that runs throughout their story and walk with them one step at a time to help them find the way out.

Whether or not your life looks like mine, spending my days sitting with the Good Shepherd as women are healed, all of us are being invited to help His lost sheep come home.  We are all invited to be extensions of the pursuit of Heaven to broken and vulnerable people around us.

IN RESPONSE //

Is there someone God has put on your heart to love and invest in? Ask God how you can encourage them this week. If you can’t think of anyone, ask God to show you someone in your workplace, at school or in your neighborhood that you can encourage and reach out to.

By Missy Morris – Grace House Director

A Photo Recap – Night with Michael Jr.

We had a great time celebrating our volunteers at our Night with Michael Jr. event on Saturday! From our staff’s opening performance to Michael Jr’s set, we had a night of laughs and fun. We believe this really is the greatest church thanks to everyone who selflessly gives their time and talents to see our church thrive.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NIGHT:

Living Fully Alive // Part Three

Today Jimmy Seibert wrapped up our series, Living Fully Alive, with a message centered around Romans 8:14-17. Because we were chosen by God to be His children, we are co-heirs with Christ. Since we are in the family, we inherit the benefits that come along with being a part of the family.

  • We are loved and wanted // We don’t have to grasp for affirmation because we know we are already wholly loved and accepted.
  • We are gifted to do great works // We have to believe we each have something to contribute. We thrive when we operate out of a place of resting in God, and not out of a place of striving.
  • We have authority and power to advance the Kingdom // We have right-standing with God and the resources to do what He has called us to do.
  • We have access to God’s covenant promises // We are made for greatness by God’s choosing. Through serving others, we see that greatness come out in us.

We have the joy of being a part of the greater story of God, and we have a responsibility to play our part in the family of God. We have the opportunity to represent, or “re-present,” Him wherever we go. In the scripture, the word “work” often translated to “worship.” So no matter how we spend our nine – five, we are called to worship God through our work, and glorify Him in the midst of our day-to-day. In the end, what matters is how we spend what we’ve been given. This gives purpose and hope to the hardship and difficulties that we face on a daily basis.

A FEW PRACTICAL WAYS FOR YOU TO APPLY THE MESSAGE THIS WEEK:

  • Walk in your benefits as a child of God // Which one of the above benefits do you need to hold on to this week? Renew your mind each day with this truth as you remember that you are part of family of God.
  • Pause and remember Jesus // Last week we each took a red dot sticker and placed it somewhere we would see throughout the day. Whether you put it on your phone, your watch or somewhere else, we encourage you to pause and acknowledge God’s nearness every time you look at it.
  • Glorify God in your work // Take time in your work or school this week to actively glorify God. What is one practical way you can glorify Him in the midst of the mundane of the every day?
  • Romans 8 Challenge // This is our final week of the Romans 8 Challenge! Jimmy has encouraged all of us to read through Romans 8 every day. Even if you missed the past two weeks, jump in with us for this last week together. Use these three questions as a launching point to reading the scripture:
    • What does this passage say about God?
    • What does it say about me?
    • How can I respond or obey?

Follow Jimmy on Instagram or Facebook for daily devotionals.

 

The Enneagram – An Invitation to Growth

“Hey Silas, want to come to lunch with us?”

Who doesn’t love this question (unless you experience the very real struggle with social anxiety)? An invitation of welcome, recognition that you are seen and included? It feels good to be asked.

But then, all too often comes a follow-up question that can make my hart-rate go up.

“Where would you like to go?”

It’s a simple question simply asking me for an opinion. For me, however, it is stressful. Where do I want to eat? I don’t know. You tell me. Don’t ask me where I want to go to eat. I can find something I’ll enjoy wherever we go.

According to Gallup Strengths Finder, my number one talent theme is adaptability. As I have gotten to know myself better over the years, what this mean is I not only tolerate interruptions in my day, I welcome them. I can roll with whatever comes my way. I can easily let others set the agenda—like choosing a place to eat…

But adaptability doesn’t explain the stress I feel when asked an opinion. Nor does it explain a chronic avoidance to causing a stir, making waves or standing out in a crowd. In fact, at times I have literally become physically sick when dealing with confrontation. This is not simple adaptability at work. There is something much deeper going on here.

About 15 years ago I was introduced to the Enneagram. I was part of a missional community that took relational wholeness and discipleship very seriously. We wanted to discover and resolve those tendencies and patterns that become personal roadblocks in our obedience to God and in our relationships with each other. The Enneagram helped us uncover the unhealthy fears that led each of us to over-identify with compulsive behaviors that were destructive and unhealthy.

QUITE SIMPLY, THE ENNEAGRAM IS A TOOL THAT, WHEN USED CORRECTLY AND IN COOPERATION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, HELPS US BETTER UNDERSTAND WHY WE DO THE THINGS WE DO – ESPECIALLY THE ONES WE DON’T WANT TO KEEP DOING.

In Romans 7:15 Paul says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Paul is identifying this tendency in humankind to react and respond to life’s situations in ways that are compulsively destructive or unhealthy; things that we know we are doing and rather tired of doing but nevertheless seem motivated deep below our awareness.

I have certain traits that are part of my personality. I’m easygoing, adaptable, intuitive, introverted and feeling-oriented. In an unhealthy place where I’m weary, not very self-aware and insecure. Those traits are motivated by my Enneagram type (which desires above all else to experience peace and tranquility) to settle for peace-at-any-price. Not a deep lasting peace. Peace-at-any-price settles for a surface peace that tries to avoid conflict, remain in the background, agree with everyone and not stir up any trouble.

Conversely, in a healthy place where I am energized, confident and self-aware, those same traits are motivated by my Enneagram type to confront challenges head-on, deal with necessary conflict and face unsettling realities in order to experience true peace on the other side of the pain. Slowly—sometimes painfully slow—I am learning to challenge the automatic or compulsive tendencies that cause me to choose to avoid pain. The Enneagram has helped me put language to these tendencies and helps me see a different way of acting and responding.

There are many ways to discover your Enneagram type. You can pay money to take an assessment or take shorter, less accurate versions online with a simple google search. For those who are more intuitive, there are books (such as, The Road Back to You) that lay out the nine possible types in paragraph or chapter form and invite the reader to discover the type that seems to fit the most.

FOLLOWING ARE SOME PRACTICAL TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BEGINNING THE ENNEAGRAM JOURNEY:

  • Remember that it is a journey. It does not offer a quick fix to any of our problems. Most solutions that promise speedy results are false promises anyway.
  • The Enneagram should lead you to greater freedom and understanding, not make you feel trapped into a type. Though we don’t always like what we discover about ourselves, finding our type should make us feel “at home” in ourselves and teach us to better receive (and therefore offer) grace.
  • The Enneagram is not a weapon to wield against others. Do not try to type other people—it is their own journey to discovery not your job to impose on anyone.
  • Lastly, initial discovery of your type might bring some unwelcome feelings because seeing our compulsive side is sometimes a bit unsavory. But stick it out; it is worth it.

In his classic pastoral book, Can You Drink The Cup, Henri Nouwen wrote that a life that is not reflected on is not a life worth living. The Enneagram can help each of us find the language we have been looking for to reflect deeply, learn to receive God’s grace more fully and walk out our lives with greater freedom and grace.

By Silas West – AMI Director of Counseling

Thank You Volunteers

My name is Carl and I have been serving as the College Pastor here at Antioch. In the college ministry, we do not call our volunteers, “volunteers.” We call them PILLARS.

Why? Thanks for asking.

Several years ago, our children’s pastor informed me our College Ministry was having next to no impact on the kids of Antioch. Shocked, I asked him to explain. He noted that looking at his volunteer numbers, he could never tell whether my students were in Waco or gone for vacation. I could not believe this! Surely his volunteer numbers took a hit when 600 college students went back home for the holidays… but in fact, they didn’t at all!

Apparently, serving had dropped off our students’ grids. Their busy schedules and the myriads of opportunities coming their way had diverted them into other options.

That was my fault.

I had been living in the tyranny of the urgent and failed to pitch a compelling vision to our students about the beauty of serving the bride of Christ in this treasure called the local church.

This was unacceptable to me. So I repented to God and to our students. I was not about to allow college students to spend four years of their lives making great memories in Waco and miss out on the privilege and calling of giving their gifts to the local church. Why?

BECAUSE SERVING IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LOCAL CHURCH LEADS TO SATISFACTION IN YOU AND TRANSFORMATION IN OTHERS IN A WAY NOTHING ELSE CAN.

As a response, our team brainstormed together – and thus the PILLAR idea was born. To be clear: the real problem was not that we were low on ideas for volunteerism. The problem was we were low on honor for our volunteers! We had not honored the hidden devotion and sacrifice of those upon whom Antioch’s vision was built. But that was about to change.

One typical Wednesday night, our students strolled into the church to find a not-so-typical night had been planned for them. We turned the room upside down and hung pillar banners everywhere. Then one of our pastors came out dressed in a red, full body spandex suit. Now we had their attention!

He taught everyone the new Pillar mantra, Pillar hand signs and the Pillar theme song. But then he unveiled what would soon become our college ministry’s most envied award: the Golden Hammer!

This tacky thing of beauty goes to ones who have been serving diligently, going above and beyond to be a behind-the-scenes player for the sake of someone else. The crowd goes nuts every time we pull someone onto the stage and hand them a Golden Hammer because

GOD HAS BUILT IT INTO OUR DNA TO HONOR THE SACRIFICE OF THE HIDDEN, THE ANONYMOUS, THE ORDINARY AND THE FAITHFUL.

That’s the thing about pillars: they are strategically placed in houses and buildings in order to provide stability and support, yet they are rarely noticed.

If they were to be removed, the whole thing would come crashing down. But pillars do their job – day in and day out – in order to keep everything afloat, regardless of whether they receive a high five or a thank-you note. They just do what they do because a job needs to be done – and that is what they were made to do. Could any word or illustration better describe the volunteers in our church who selflessly give themselves week after week in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our city?

The truth is: this isn’t just a college thing. It’s woven into the very fabric of our entire church!

Just look around:

  • Kids Ministry volunteers
  • UnBound teams fighting human trafficking
  • Youth Ministry leaders serving teenagers
  • Lifegroup leaders forming community
  • STARS mentors reading to 3rd graders
  • Worship team members
  • Audio/Visual masterminds
  • Camera operators
  • Encounter Night servants
  • Greeters for Sunday mornings
  • Parking Lot attendants
  • Nest Ministry champions for moms
  • Prayer Shield intercessors
  • Pastoral Care for international missionaries
  • Bridge Street planners for the Young Adult service
  • Community Feast leaders serving the poor
  • World Mandate volunteers

Whether it’s passing the offering buckets or serving the precious children with special needs among us, our church is who we are because of the pillars who embody the vision and values of this family we call Antioch. As Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church, says:

“The Church that Jesus is building is not built on the talents of a few but on the sacrifices of the many. And while only a few will climb the highest mountain or shoot out of the earth’s atmosphere, those feats would not have happened without the brilliance of unsuspecting powerhouses serving behind the scenes.”

SO, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES OF THE YEAR WHEN WE PAUSE TO SAY THANK YOU, ANTIOCH.

Thank you to all of you who serve behind the scenes. Who willingly lay down your lives week after week. Who carry the burdens of God’s people with or without the praise of men. Thank you for being Pillars.

As the apostle Peter said in his first letter:

“Be shepherds of God‘s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you were asked, but because you are willing… and when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away!”

In other words: your Golden Hammer awaits you.

By Carl Gulley – Lead Pastor

Living Fully Alive // Part Two

This morning Jimmy Seibert continued our series, Living Fully Alive, with a message centered around Romans 8:5-11. He called us to live a life submitted to the Holy Spirit rather than live according to our flesh. He reminded us that our relationship with God is just that – a relationship. When we walk in the flesh, we grieve the Holy Spirit. Seeing our sin as personal and connected to a relationship help us be see the effects of our sin. It’s more than try to make our good outweigh our bad; it is wanting to live in a life-giving relationship with God! Walking in the Spirit is not a law; it’s an invitation to life and peace. We have the power to choose to walk in the Spirit which helps us step into the promises of God. But we also have the choice to walk in the flesh which results in grieving God. When we are hostile toward Him, we push away the One who gives us peace, encouragement, comfort and direction. We have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. So let’s choose again today to live a life connected with Him!

A FEW PRACTICAL WAYS FOR YOU TO APPLY THE MESSAGE THIS WEEK:

  • Pause and remember Jesus // Today we each took a red dot sticker and placed it somewhere we would see throughout the day. Whether you put it on your phone, your watch or somewhere else, we encourage you to pause and acknowledge God’s nearness every time you look at it. If you didn’t get a red dot this week, set alarms on your phone throughout the day, and create space to intentionally pause.
  • Spend time with God each day // This morning, Jimmy talked about laying a solid foundation in the morning in order to walk in the Spirit. If it isn’t a part of your daily routine already, we encourage you to set aside time to worship, pray and read Scripture every morning.
  • Romans 8 Challenge // As a part of that time in the morning, read through Romans 8 every day. Throughout the course of our series, we are reading Romans 8 and asking these three questions:
    • What does this passage say about God?
    • What does it say about me?
    • How can I respond or obey?

Follow Jimmy on Instagram or Facebook for daily devotionals.

Five Truths for Discernment

When I was in elementary school, I noticed a surprising fad. Everyone was walking around wearing little bracelets made out of string wrapped around plastic. They were all different colors but they had one thing in common; they all had the same letters embroidered on their outer side, “WWJD.” This was before I was a Christian but nonetheless I soon found myself wearing one everywhere, not having a clue what it meant. When I found out it stood for, “What Would Jesus Do?” I was perplexed. Was I supposed to ask myself this question every time I made a decision? “Homework or TV immediately after I got home from school?” WWJD. Homework. Cool. “Finish my dinner or demand that my mom make me something I like better?” WWJD. Honor my mom. Seems to be working so far. “Chocolate or vanilla ice cream for dessert?” WWJD. Uh… What would Jesus like better? (The answer is chocolate, by the way, I’m positive!)

This is just one of many silly ways we have tried to make discerning God’s will easier. Should you major in something you’re passionate about or something you could use to help a lot of people? Should you take that promotion that will allow you to do a lot of good in the community but take away time from your family? Should you invest your money in things God is doing overseas through an NGO that sponsors children living in poverty or give to a missionary?

Discerning God’s will can often be so difficult that it results in a kind of discernment paralysis, in which we can’t decide what God is directing us to do so we just wait on Him forever and end up doing nothing at all! In my life, I’ve found that I can often shake myself out of discernment paralysis not by a catchy slogan like WWJD, but by reminding myself of five simple truths about who God is and who I am.

1.GOD CAN SPEAK TO ME USING ANYTHING THAT WILL GET MY ATTENTION // He spoke to Adam by walking with him in the cool of the day. He spoke to Abraham through a promise. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He spoke to Gideon through a wet blanket. He spoke to Joseph through a dream. He spoke to John through an open vision.

2. GOD LIVES INSIDE OF ME // Jesus had the audacity to say it’s actually better for us if He left! Why? Because He could send the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Do you think He’s too far away to hear him clearly? Think again.

3. GOD LIVES INSIDE MY CHURCH FAMILY // On “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” everyone knows what the best lifeline is: Ask the Audience. It’s a Biblical principle that by listening to wise counsel we are more likely to succeed (Proverbs 15:22). But how much more so when a group of people who have the Holy Spirit living inside them give that counsel?

4. GOD IS CAPABLE OF CHANGING MY DIRECTION IF I CHOOSE THE WRONG OPTION // In Acts 16, Paul and his companions were all set to go preach the gospel in Bithynia (a province in what is now Turkey), but the scripture says the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to! If it’s time for you to make a decision about what God’s will is, step out in faith toward whichever direction you’re leaning and trust that He’ll stop you if it’s not the right decision.

5. MY CALLING IS TO MAKE DISCIPLES // At the end of the day, we all have the same calling: to make disciples. We just might be led to do it in different ways. Some will do it by bringing justice through an non-profit. Some will do it by leading out in business missionally. Some will do it by raising children. Some will do it through cross-cultural ministry. But whatever you do, you can be sure you’re not too far off from what God wants for you as long as you’re answering the simple question: “How can I use this to make disciples?”

Last but not least, remember this saying from Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but to search out a matter is the glory of Kings.” This should remind us that oftentimes, discerning God’s will has very little to do with the destination and much more to do with the process. That feeling of struggle you feel is a good thing. It draws you closer to Him and builds character. That’s what is really important.

By An Antioch Missionary

Mercy House –
Hope, Healing and Restoration

Mercy House is our addiction recovery home for men. Each year men enter the program, and are invested in and empowered to live free from addiction, rooted in their worth and envisioned to make a positive impact in the community around them.

This biblically-based program has four phases:

  • Phase One: Orientation // Individuals are oriented into a new life of structure, accountability and healthy living.
  • Phase Two: Foundation // Individuals experience a holistic approach to recovery that addresses the mental, physical, spiritual and relational health of a man.
  • Phase Three: Reintegration // Individuals re-enter the work force and begin to practice financial skills they have learned, while preparing to transition into independent living.
  • Phase Four: Transition // Individuals live the last two months in independent living, outside of Mercy House with high accountability, while practicing the skills necessary to live a healthy life free from addiction.

The Mercy House is a non-profit organization and is able to operate based on donations and partnerships with people from around the community.

One way you can partner with Mercy House and support the work they are doing is by attending their annual banquet this Thursday, April 12th. Come enjoy dinner and hear powerful testimonies of the healing power of Jesus. Last year, we raised $60,000 at the banquet. Funds went toward programming and house operations.

By partnering with the Mercy House, you get to be a part of allowing men to learn who God has called them to be, and you’re giving them the opportunity to be fathers, sons, brothers and friends once again. Click here to learn more about their upcoming banquet and to buy tickets.

CHECK OUT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST YEAR’S BANQUET: