Tag: antioch ministries international

Passport Sunday

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” Revelation 7:9-10 

Yesterday we celebrated Passport Sunday, a day of declaring our willingness to go wherever Jesus calls us. We want to be people that are committed to sharing the love of Jesus until all hear and know. The Church is God’s plan A for spreading His love to all people.

Throughout our morning, we talked about seven reasons why we want to be a part of the mission of God //

  1. World evangelization is possible
  2. We are the people of God on display for His glory
  3. People are hungry for Jesus, but the laborers are few
  4. We are motivated by God because He has already given us the power of the Holy Spirit
  5. Obedience is better than the sacrifice
  6. Eternity is forever, and the only way to get there is through Jesus
  7. Jesus is worthy

Everyone is made for relationship with Jesus, but many people still do not know about the very One they were made for. We want to be the people that respond and invite people into the greatest relationship they will ever know.

IN RESPONSE // 

We encourage you to pray and ask God how you can be a part of His mission. Here are a few opportunities we have here at the church –

  1. Sign up for World Mandate // Join us February 1st – 2nd as we gather for a weekend of worship and teaching, and believe for God to awaken our hearts to what He is doing in the nations of the earth.
  2. ENGAGE THE NATIONS // ETN is an opportunity to serve for three months with one of our international teams. More information will be coming soon.

2017 Year in Review

2017 WAS  A GREAT YEAR, AND HERE’S WHY:

We completed our Kids Ministry renovation in 2017! The renovation included 11 new classrooms, an outdoor playground and a Kids Auditorium for our elementary students.

 

Lifegroups are at the core of who we are as a church. Between the Youth Ministry, College Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Families and Caleb Zone, 244 Lifegroups met weekly throughout the year.

 

UnBound, our anti-trafficking ministry, has seven chapters world-wide. Through STARS Mentoring Project, 1,400 books were read in Book Clubs. Mercy House and Grace House continued to see men and women set free from addiction.

 

In 2017, we launched four international churches. The Antioch Movement is now working in 39 countries and in 77 locations.

 

CHECK OUT THE FULL 2017 ANNUAL REPORT HERE.

Rising Up in the Caribbean

When my family and I stepped out in faith to start a church that would welcome Haitians and Dominicans alike we were unsure of what the future would hold, but we were firm in the fact that the One holding it was good. In the Dominican Republic, Haitians are some of the most marginalized and mistreated people.

In these kinds of situations, we all have to first look inward and ask ourselves are not all people in the eyes of Jesus valuable and important?

We know the answer Jesus points us to is yes, all people, women, men, children, rich, poor, educated and uneducated, are important to Him and to the Kingdom of God.

“I will make you a light to the Nations, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

Through His word, His people and vision, Jesus has promised a church planting movement would start here in Santiago, Dominican Republic and that it would spread throughout the Caribbean and to the ends of the earth. He is speaking one promise, that an epicenter, a homebase for training and sending out church planters, would start here in Santiago and would spread all over the Caribbean like flowers from a dandelion. And just like the wind causes the dandelion to release its flowers, so it will be with us. The Holy Spirit is blowing on us as a church and as a movement. He is sending us out to be light, hope and to bring the Good news that Jesus is alive and so is His church.

At our church we believe that raising up disciples is a key component in seeing this promise fulfilled. In 2013, we started a Discipleship Training School (DTS). We have seen lives radically changed and transformed. We knew the next step for us was to take a mission trip. Although we had hosted missionaries from the United States, our own students had not had the opportunity to take a mission trip until this year.

Our mission trip was to Haiti where we had the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus, care for orphans and children with disabilities. For many of our students this was their first mission trip. The students learned how to fundraise and this was such a great tool in strengthening their faith in the Lord.

Ninety percent of the funds that came in for the mission trip were from local believers right here in Santiago.

There are so many testimonies from this trip! We came back with new hope, fresh vision and a deeper passion for Jesus and His purposes on the earth.

Jesus is fulfilling His promise, not in our time but in His. He is working all things for our good, just like He said He would. He is raising up missionaries here in the Dominican Republic and you all are a part of this story!

By Stanley Philippe and Christi Wargo- Dominican Republic

How To Engage The Crisis From Waco

Every major news outlet displays the heartbreaking headlines. It is hard to miss what is happening in Europe and the Middle East. Violence and civil war have left millions of people displaced, and it is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.

We want to be a people who engage with the crisis in our world. We want to hear the stories and be moved to action – and we want everyone to be involved!

We have already sent out multiple teams to work with refugees in Greece and the Middle East. This summer we will be mobilizing hundreds of people to bases across Europe and the Middle East to be the hands and feet of Jesus to this hurting population. But not everybody can or should go. And that is okay! Whether you go or stay, you are vitally important in this movement! Prayer is the most powerful weapon we possess. Let’s be a people who take up the mantle of prayer for the orphan, widow and refugee.

Here are some ways that you can be a part of Engage the Crisis right now:
  • Pray for safety for the boats crossing the Mediterranean. This January, a reported more than 60,500 crossed the sea to the Greek island of Lesvos.
  • Pray for the refugees landing in Europe and beginning their long journey across Europe this winter. They have left everything behind in search for safety, their home, their city, their country, their language and their culture. If you were in their shoes, what would you want prayed over you? For food? A home? A way to learn the language easily? A job? A warm bed for your children?
  • Pray for the refugees to have open hearts to the Gospel and to find new life in Christ. Our volunteers in Europe have seen an openness among the Muslims unlike anything we have seen before. Pray for the refugees to meet people who can share the truth of Jesus with them on the way to their new home.
  • Pray for our Engage the Crisis leadership team in Europe and in Waco as we prepare to send the masses this spring and summer.
Pray for Engage the Crisis:
  • Mondays from 6:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. at 403 Ruby Dell Ln.
  • Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. in the Prayer and Equipping Center
  • Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Conference Room located in the church office building
Stay Connected:

 

Apply to go on an impact trip this summer at engagethecrisis.org. Applications are due March 11th.

Getting A Heart For The Nations When You Don’t Have One

At first I followed Him because of what He saved me from, rather than what He had called me to. I just knew I wanted to be saved from the consequences of my sin. But, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I started to see more and more of what He had called me to. Instead of just giving me a ticket away from the place no one wants to go to, He also offered to be my companion on the journey and to give me His heart.

Over time, I grew to love our times together. I loved sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His words. There was no place I would rather be than with Him and with those who love Him. My relationship with Jesus was characterized by me saying, “Come and be with me,” rather than following the call to come and follow Him.

In Song of Solomon 2, the Beloved is caring for the one He loves. He gives her the choicest of foods and meets her every need. She is aware that He goes out to the mountains and the valleys, but is content in the comfort of her home, as long as He comes to visit. As their relationship continues to grow, He invites her to join Him. She delays because she has just cleaned up and doesn’t want her life to get messy, but eventually she realizes she would rather be in His presence than in her neat and tidy home. He is what she wants, not comfort or familiarity, but Him.

This is my story too. I knew of others who were invited to go out on adventures with Jesus, which was great for them, but I was glad to stay home with my children, my western toilet and clean water. As the years have passed and my relationship with Jesus has grown, my love of security has been dwarfed by my desire to be with Jesus wherever He is in whatever He is doing. It has never been about the adventure for me. It has always been about being with Jesus and sharing His heart. His heart has always been for the lost, the sick and the broken.

Years ago, my husband Don was diagnosed with cancer. We had a busy ministry to match our busy home and I was hurting for my six children, wondering if their faith would make it through the challenges they faced. I remember praying, “Lord, will you please send people to minister to my children during this time?” The minute I prayed, I felt like the Lord said, “Now you understand my heart.” I was identifying with Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38; “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to the disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’” I understood the passage in a whole new light. There are so many people whom He wants to know His love, and He is asking us to follow Him in order to draw them in too.

I’m so thankful He kept asking me to join Him. As I’ve followed Jesus I’ve had front row seats to see prostitutes who felt their lives were worthless be given worth by the Creator of the world. I’ve seen HIV positive children given hope for a life and a future. I’ve watched lepers lift their hands in praise to a Father that has given them value and purpose. We have rejoiced as we’ve seen alcoholic fathers set free and returned to care for their families. The joy of seeing the poor in villages that had never heard about Jesus be transformed by Christ, is a joy far greater than I could have ever imagined when I said, “yes,” to come and follow Him. I am so thankful for what He saved me from, and what He called me to!

IN RESPONSE

Has Jesus asked you to follow Him to places you didn’t think you’d ever go? Do you follow Jesus because of what He saved you from or for what He has called you to?

We also encourage you to join us next weekend, January 22-23, at World Mandate. Whether you live in Waco or move to the remote corners of the world, God has called all of us to carry His heart for the nation. World Mandate will be an incredible weekend to hear more about what God is doing in the earth and how you can be a part. Register today at worldmandate.com.

By Julie Steadman

God’s Not Done: A Declaration Over Europe

He is the God who is not finished! Hallelujah! We could stop right there and rejoice that this is the case for every challenge we face today, every heartache that steals our breath, every place where we have been steadfastly contending for breakthrough. Our good Father is not done! This is my hope-filled declaration over Europe.

My husband and I recently moved to Europe to plant a church and the statistics, should they become our focus, are discouraging. It can appear that Europe and Jesus’ love story has come to an end. We have often heard Europe referred to as a post-Christian continent. But we say, God is not done.

Europe’s journey with Jesus is not finished, because God is not finished. He is still and will always be the main character in Europe’s great story.

And while we celebrate the ones and twos that come to know Jesus, Europe needs a wildfire. Europe needs an unprecedented move of the Spirit to sweep the land and the hearts of its people. We cry out for an outpouring of His Spirit that will shake all of our paradigms, shatter the smallness of our expectation, realize Heaven’s vision on a God-sized scale and re-form a true hope in the hearts of a people largely devoid of authentic, anchored hope.

As we pray, He begins to correct our vision. We are consumed by what He is doing and what He will do and we are filled with faith and hope. As I pray, I see a people unshackled, free to gaze into the face of their Maker. A people set free from shame, whose faces are made radiant as they gaze into His eyes of fiery, jealous love. A people who say, “what joy for those whose hope is in the Lord!” (Psalm 146:5). I see a redeemed people, clothed in pure white by His righteous blood.  If you will allow me to paraphrase Revelation 11:15, I see a continent in which the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of my Lord and of His Christ. He shall reign over Europe forever and ever.

Yes, He is the God who is far from finished and we, His children, look with childlike expectation and wonder at the work of His hand both in the now and in the days to come. We see the good plans of God and we call them forth into today. In Europe as it is in Heaven!

IN RESPONSE:

Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death…” We invite you to release words of life, resurrection life, over Europe so that people might know Him in the “power of His resurrection.”

Remember, you are in Jesus and He is in you (Colossians 3:3 & John 17:23), so as you stand in that gap, you stand in Jesus. Because of that you are well positioned to enter into God’s story for Europe powerfully and effectively.

WAYS YOU CAN PRAY: 

  • Please pray our team would have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Father is doing in our city so that we may effectively partner with Him at every turn.
  • Please pray for a breakthrough in our city in the area of depression and hopelessness. We ask that the hope only Jesus offers would shine through powerfully in every encounter that we have.
  • Please pray for our new Hungarian friends. Several have expressed an interest in knowing more about God. Pray for a deep hunger to be stirred in their hearts for Him and pray for wisdom for our team as we introduce them to Jesus.

The Starting Point

“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18).

Sometimes when I preach at Christ Fellowship I will ask a hard question, and over time, the church has learned (or been trained) to shout out the answer – “Jesus.” And that is usually the right answer. What’s the best way to learn about God? What’s the best way to understand the Bible? What’s the best way to read the Old Testament? The New Testament? What’s the best way to interpret the Bible? The answer is Jesus. And that answer isn’t given lightly. Jesus is the image of God (Colossians 1:15). Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). To see Jesus is to see the Father (John 14:9). No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Himself (Matthew 11:27).

The starting point is Jesus.

He is the Light of the World and that means without Him, we really can’t see. Even though we may think we can see apart from Him…we can’t. That’s why it is so important to clarify that Jesus is the starting point for everything, including how we read the Bible, consider different ideas about God and His character and different teachings. Practically, that means I want to always have ideas about God and the Bible that line up with the way God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. In contrast, I want to avoid ways of thinking about God, the Bible and doctrines that don’t look like Jesus Christ.

How did the  Gospel writers explain Jesus? When they wanted to share the good news what did they do? They didn’t start with a vague concept about a distant God…they started with Jesus. Matthew quickly explains that Jesus is Immanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23). Mark starts his  Gospel by saying this is, “The beginning of the  Gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1). Luke gives a bit more of the historical detail and then finishes his  Gospel with Jesus talking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and “explaining to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).

John’s Gospel is particularly interesting. Irenaeus, one of the church fathers, writes that John had been asked to write his version of the Gospel by the Bishops of Asia about three decades after the earlier  Gospels had been written (about AD 95). What would John say? What would he emphasize? John starts with Jesus. John even goes so far as to re-state the creation story in terms of Jesus and to say that all of life and light is in Him (whether people see it or not). John then finishes his opening statement by saying no one has ever seen God, but we have seen Jesus…and He is the One who makes God known (John 1:18).

In Response

So here’s a little challenge. This week, try intentionally reading the Bible through the lens of Jesus. Whether you’re reading Genesis 3, Psalms 23, or Philippians 3 – let the starting point be Jesus Christ. Try thinking about God in terms of Jesus Christ – and one of the first things you’ll see – arguably the center of the New Testament – is the love relationship of Jesus with His Father in the Spirit. Try reading one of the Gospels (like John) and looking to see what the author thought was most important to communicate about the good news. I can’t tell you exactly what you will see, but I can promise there are “unsearchable riches” for you, just waiting to be discovered. And whenever you’re not sure, you can always say “Jesus.”

Starting with Jesus is always the best move.

By Jamey Miller, Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship

The Power of a Simple Yes

Today we got to hear a powerful message about The Power of a Simple Yes from Director of International Church Planting, Don Steadman. As believers, we are challenged to go, and as a people with a passion for Jesus and His purposes in the earth, we want to do all we can to help and make that possible for you.

You can read about it.

God may be stirring your heart to be one who actually goes. Here are a few recommended resources from Don Steadman for those who want to learn more about going:

Let the Nations be Glad  by John Piper

Bruchko by Bruce Olson

Movements that Change the World by Steve Addison

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Eternity in their Hearts by Don Richardson

You can PRAY.

Moves of God start through prayer. Not everyone can go to the unreached, but everyone can impact eternity by praying. Let us know if you would like more information about praying for a church-planting team.

You can GIVE.

Giving to the mission of God provides for those in need and awakens something in us. You can help and make it possible for others to go though when you give to missionaries or other projects!

You can GO.

God has called all of us to go. Whether it’s across the street or across the world, you can live a go lifestyle.  Let us know if you would like more information about being part of a church plant.

Did God speak to you today through Don’s message about the Church that Moves? Let us know.

 

 

Acts of Mercy Disaster Response Training

You never know when a disaster will strike.

In the spring 2013, Antioch Norman brought 12 volunteers to the first ever Acts of Mercy disaster response training. At the time, they had no idea if or when they would use the skills learned during the training. Little did they know that within a few months they would find themselves in the middle of the Moore Tornado disaster response, only a few miles from their church and homes.

The skills learned and relationships made at the Acts of Mercy training allowed their team to mobilize and respond within 24 hours of the storm. Young Adult Pastor Josh Terndrup said, “We are so thankful we were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus when our community needed it most.”

Acts of Mercy is offering the training again this year, February 28th – March 1st at Antioch Waco. The disaster response training equips people to offer emergency relief and immediate care to people in the midst of war or following a natural disaster. Erika Kraus, director of Acts of Mercy, is especially excited about the different experts who will be teaching, offering experiential training for first responders. Erika says, “People will have the opportunity to align their attitudes and values, as well as their skills in a collaborative team environment.  Last year so many people had stories of ways God had confirmed and clarified their calling as well as set them up to successfully engage in serving people in times of crisis.”

This training is not for everyone, but it is an amazing first step for professionals with a background in logistics, medical care, mental health, social work, safety and security or engineering/construction who would like to serve in crisis relief. These particular skill sets can be utilized to practically serve people both locally and globally. It’s an amazing opportunity to get God’s heart to rescue, heal and restore, while empowering and strengthening churches to transform their communities.

Want to become a first responder? Register today.

They Cast Their Crowns

“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.”

“They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.’”  Revelation 4:9-11

I’m the proud father of three beautiful boys.  My oldest, Aidan, is 3 years old.  One fall day a couple years ago I was in the front yard watering the flowers around our magnolia tree while Aidan was wandering around the yard in his diaper and t-shirt, inquisitive about nearly everything.  After a while I felt a little tug on my hose I and I turned around to see Aidan standing behind me, grasping the hose with his little chubby hand and grinning from ear to ear.  He couldn’t talk yet, but his face communicated the pure joy he felt trying to do what daddy was doing.  I loved it!  My son wanted to join me in my work. So we proceeded to move about the yard, attempting to water the remaining flowers, but our efforts yielded little. In fact, it probably took three times as long to accomplish the task at hand because Aidan was “helping” me… but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!  The task became a by-product of fellowship with my son.

That day with Aidan has really helped me understand the nature of my relationship with God. Are you overwhelmed because you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?  Do you struggle with pride in your accomplishments?  Or have you been debilitated by your failures? Me too. Once we understand we are His children and that He accepts us apart from our works, we are set free to work with great joy because now relationship is the goal and not productivity, which becomes a by-product. I still aim to please Him in my work, but I do so BECAUSE He loves me, not in order that He MAY love me. Relationship with God is the goal, not simply doing things for God.  And the funny thing is the more I focus on relationship, productivity improves in just about every area of life, but without the usual stress.

So what does this have to do with Revelation 4:9-11? It is a picture of what will happen at the end of time when we see God face-to-face.  It goes something like this: God gives us the ability to store up treasures in Heaven.  Then He rewards us with that treasure when we die, even though it was Him working through us all along!  But when we see Him as He really is… face to face… we won’t wonder who actually achieved the accomplishments of our lives.  When we see Him in His glorified form, the only appropriate response will be to throw our crowns at His feet.

In light of this, I believe we should respond in like manner today and not wait until Heaven.  Do you wear a crown?  Have you been successful in ministry, business, school or sports?  Is your child top of his or her class?  Do you really think you accomplished any of this?  Or do you get overwhelmed because you carry a burden that’s too heavy for you?  When we begin to grasp how much He loves us and simply enjoys our fellowship, we get the benefit of working WITH Him on this earth like Aidan did with me, and not just FOR Him. We can cast not only our crowns but our burdens at His feet as well. Give God the glory for the successes in your life.  Look past your failures to the One who is walking with you through the pain.  And let God fill you with hope now that you aren’t carrying the world on your shoulders, but rather walking with the One who is.

He delights in working with you and delights in you slowing Him down. What crown can you properly place at His feet today?

 

By Mick Murray, Senior Pastor of Antioch Lawrence