“Is there anything you’re running FROM that you should be running TO?” – Carl Gulley //
This week lead pastor Carl Gulley kicked off our new series, Whales and Worms: Our Reluctance. His Relentlessness. Throughout our series, we are taking a look at the life of Jonah and how God’s relentless pursuit led Jonah into the divine purpose God had for him. The life of Jonah is more than just a story we heard in Sunday school. As we unpack his story together, we’re sure to see parallels in our own lives.
THE ONE THING GOD ASKS US TO DO IS TYPICALLY THE ONE THING WE DON’T WANT TO DO.
We spent our morning unpacking Jonah 1:1-16. At the beginning of the chapter, the Lord asks Jonah to go to Nineveh. In those days, Nineveh was seen as the worst of the worst; violent and full of terror. So naturally, Jonah ran in the opposite direction. From our perspective, it’s easy to judge Jonah for his response. But many times, we have the same response as Jonah because the things God asks us to do aren’t always convenient.
GOD SEES THE RESTORATION ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR OBEDIENCE.
When the Lord invites us into something, He doesn’t promise convenience. Obedience will cost us something, whether it is our reputation, comfort or something else, but the restoration on the other side is worth it. Rather than trying to preserve our comfort, what if we looked at our, ‘yes’ as a win for the Kingdom? Our willingness to be stretched and uncomfortable could open the door for someone else’s breakthrough.
WHEN YOUR RELUCTANCE TURNS TO RUNNING, YOU’LL EXPERIENCE THE RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF GOD.
Because we don’t see the victory on the other side, we typically find ourselves responding in the same way as Jonah. We run. In Jonah’s case, the Lord sent a storm to deter Jonah. For us, He may send people to call us out or something else. Either way, the Lord will relentlessly pursue us because He is more committed to us than we are to Him.
In the end, if the Lord asks us to do something, we can rest in the truth that He sees something we don’t. There is something greater on the other side, and our obedience will ultimately lead to life.
IN RESPONSE //
Is there something that the Lord has asked you to do that feels inconvenient or uncomfortable? Our tendency is to run, but press in. Trust that God has a plan so much greater than we can see.
Be sure to join us next week as we continue our series!
Like we mentioned on Sunday, this summer we are coming together as a Movement to ENGAGE THE ISLANDS. Over the course of the summer, we are sending 75 teams to various locations to share the love of Jesus. Whether you are planning to go to Southeast Asia or not, you can still be a part of ENGAGE THE ISLANDS by partnering with our teams through prayer. We believe that by laying a foundation of prayer, we will see a move of God throughout Southeast Asia.
BELOW ARE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN PRAY FOR OUR TEAMS AND THE PEOPLE THEY WILL MEET:
ACTS 28:2-10 //
Read the following story from Acts 28 and agree in prayer for our teams to experience the same protection and favor throughout the summer.
“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.”
PRAY FOR OUR BASES //
- Pray for our base leaders to be envisioned and unified
- Pray for fear and anxiety to completely cease and be replaced with expectancy for God to move
- Pray for our teams to quickly find people of peace to build relationships with
- Pray for our base leaders and interns to be compelled to love Jesus and people more than ever before
- Pray for protection and a supernatural covering throughout the entire summer
PRAY FOR OUR SHORT-TERM TEAMS //
- Pray for all financial needs to be met
- Pray for travel logistics to run smoothly, specifically that all flights would be made, and that every team would arrive safely
- Pray for each of our teams to be protected and covered
- As each of our teams attend trainings, pray for them to be equipped by the teachings and refreshed by the Holy Spirit as they are sent out
- Pray for our teams to be filled with boldness as they share with those around them
PRAY FOR THE LOCALS //
- Pray for their hearts to be softened and open to the gospel
- Pray for relationships to be built quickly between our teams and the translators they will be working with throughout the summer
- Pray for local believers to be stirred to share the gospel and see the Church established
- Pray for a covering of safety for every local believer
- Pray for salvation and healing to spread throughout the islands
Throughout the summer, you are also invited to join us for an hour of prayer every Thursday at noon in the Prayer and Equipping Center.
World Mandate 2018 is in the books and it was incredible! We connected across 14 cities to worship God and get envisioned for His mission and His people. Check out some of our favorite moments from the weekend:
2017 has been an incredible year for the Antioch Movement! Our churches are growing, lives are being transformed and cities are being impacted. It has been so encouraging to see what God is doing around this nation, here are just a few testimonies:
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN //
There is a girl in one of our Lifegroups who has considered herself a Universalist since college. She is a young mom and she and her husband have found a lot of life by being in community, but she still had walls up toward God. She had a rough family background, and that played a part in her skewed view of God and herself. As she began being discipled, walls started to come down and things started clicking. On Halloween, she called and said, “I finally understand that God loves me, He died for me and He is good!” There is still a lot of healing that needs to happen, but she has given her life to Jesus, was baptized and is continuing to learn more about God.
A woman from China showed up at church one Sunday, and a family invited her to Lifegroup. As they were doing a Discovery Bible Study, they noticed how she just kept reading verses and flipping through pages. The family soon realized this woman had never been allowed to have or read a Bible in China. The Lifegroup leader shared the Gospel with her and invited her back the next week. We’re excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds, and it was amazing to see her excitement as she read the Word of God for the first time.
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS //
This past summer, a college Lifegroup took an international trip and while there, Josh got a big heart for international students. He started offering rides to international students to go to the grocery store and built relationship with one student named Sham. Since being in America, Sham has struggled with depression. Josh shared the Gospel with Sham and brought him to Lifegroup where he gave his life to Jesus. He has since experienced freedom from depression and anxiety. Go God!
FORT WORTH, TEXAS //
Last month, a freshman from TCU was struggling with suicidal thoughts and attended one of our services. During the service he felt the love and presence of God like never before, and gave his life to Christ. He is continuing to be transformed and is getting baptized this week!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON //
This past year, Mosaic Community Church in Seattle raised more than $1 million to purchase a building in a strategic location in the city. They are now working together as a church to renovate the space and make it their own. Check out their new space, and consider partnering with them financially to see their building project finished.
As I was preparing to pray for our Movement’s three-day prayer and fast, I felt God remind me of the phrase, “Return to Radical,” Antioch Waco’s most recent sermon series. Fervent intercession is always a great time to re-up with the Kingdom and return to the radical principles of our faith. To respond to this I am encouraging you to pray into three prayer points on the theme, “Return to Radical.”
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” – Acts4:31
There are three radical elements of church life we see in Acts 4:31:
- 1. Radical Intercession (Read their prayer in Acts 4.)
- 2. Radical Community (They gathered together under persecution, prayed together and gave to one another in Acts 4:32.)
- 3. Radical Evangelism (They spoke the word of God boldly.)
Let’s pray for our Movement to return to radical.
Day One // Return to Radical INTERCESSION
Here are some ways you can pray for our Movement to walk in and return to Radical Intercession:
- Personal Devotion to Jesus
- That God would raise up intercessors in each of our local churches
- That God would raise up intercessors for the unreached
- That God would fuel our intercession with powerful dreams and visions to show us what to pray
In the modern church, people pray until the prayer meeting is over. In the early church, the believers prayed until a breakthrough happened. Let’s be a people of radical intercession.
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:17, Acts 2:42
Day Two // Return to Radical COMMUNITY
Our faith is called to be lived out in community. But we all know, community life is hard. Jesus even said, “It is impossible that offenses will not come” (Luke 17:1). We get offended with one another. We have forgiveness issues. Across our nation, well-meaning believers struggle with even the commitment to attend church weekly. True friendship is on the decline. We need a return to biblicial relationships. Today, pray for:
- Relational healing from offenses and hurts
- Transparency and confession where it needs to happen in our churches
- Racial unity amongst our churches and in our nation
- Denominational unity in the body of Christ
- Commitment to gathering together in unity
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:42, Psalm 133, Hebrews 10:25, Galatians 6:1-2
Day Three // Return to Radical EVANGELISM
One year while directing a training school I sent the students out to preach the Gospel on a college campus. I didn’t give them much of a prompt because I was curious to see how they responded to the task. I was amazed when more than half of the students came back and reported that they had stood up and preached to crowds! After meeting Jesus, and discovering an awareness of eternity, our default is Radical Evangelism. Unfortunately the cares of this world and our own insecurities often limit our ability to be used by God in such a manner. It strikes me as very powerful that the early Church preached the word boldly after prayer. That must have meant that they believed prayer prepared the way for radical evangelism. Pray for:
- God to raise up evangelists in our churches who are a bold witness for Jesus
- That God would removed blinders off the eyes of unbelievers around us
- God has raised up an appointed time (kairos) where people in our nation are hungry for Jesus. Pray that our churches boldly make the most of this opportunity (Colossians 4:5)
- That the church would respond to social crises and natural disasters with boldness so many people can meet Jesus
- Pray specifically for our 16-25 year olds that God would propel them into a lifestyle of radical evangelism. Pray that they would be “burning and shining lamps” (John 5:35).
- For signs and wonders to accompany the preaching of the Gospel
- Radical Church planting amongst the totally unreached
Key Scriptures: John 5:35, Colossians 4:5, Acts 2:43, Isaiah 35:5, Luke 4:18
By Kendall Laughlin – All People’s Church Executive Pastor
Throughout the fast, we will have daily corporate prayer times at 6:30 a.m., noon and 6:30 p.m. in the Kids Auditorium.
On Wednesday, October 11th, we will have a Prayer Rally at 6:30 p.m. in the Auditorium to wrap up the fast together. Kids Ministry will be available at the Prayer Rally for birth – 6th grade.
When Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas, many people thought this storm would not be any different from the power losses and high winds they had experienced in previous hurricanes hitting the Gulf of Mexico. But to their astonishment, this storm took them all by surprise with flood waters rising faster than imaginable. Thousands of home owners in the Houston and surrounding Southeast Texas areas were affected by Hurricane Harvey which caused flooding up to at least 1 and 1/2 feet or worse of mucky water in their homes and many were without flood insurance.
However, no matter how terrible the disaster looked from the outside we knew Jesus was at work through The Church.
From the initial scouting teams hauling boats to help with rescues to the demolition teams walking into houses three weeks after the flood to tear out moldy dry wall, our people have been courageous and servant-hearted to meet the needs for our friends who needed us to respond.
Over the last four weeks more than 1,800 people responded to the Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts to partner with Antioch Houston to serve and bless their members and surrounding neighborhoods. Around 700 of these volunteers came from Antioch Waco, and around 350 volunteers came from one of our other U.S. Church plants. Several hundred volunteers from Houston jumped in though they had their own needs, along with another couple hundred volunteers from different churches, groups and friends forming teams and joining in with our relief efforts. We saw people signing up to go from all stages of life and were amazed by the response of so many willing people.
In only four weeks we completed the demolition process of 230 homes, raised $75 thousand toward Harvey Relief efforts and an additional $20 thousand worth of tools donated. With an average amount of $10 thousand saved per home we demoed, we can estimate around $2.2 million of demo costs and 18,900 hours of manpower provided through the volunteers who came to serve in Houston. In addition, our initial response teams helped rescue several hundred people from their flooded homes and many lives were changed by the power of prayer and the Gospel.
THANK YOU to all who signed up to go, gave sacrificially and prayed for our friends down at Antioch Houston.
Although the work is not finished until the last house in Houston is fully restored, the demolition phase for Antioch Houston is coming to an end and they are now moving into the recovery phase. Therefore all trips to Houston have been cancelled beyond this week as we allow our friends at Antioch Houston the ability to catch their breath from hosting teams and begin capturing the fruit which came from this disaster by shepherding their members well.
From the construction workers, college students, teachers, young adults, evacuation responders, families, pastors and administrators, The Church came together and it was a beautiful piece of artwork seeing God orchestrate His people by causing them to move into the front lines on behalf of those who needed to know there is hope. As Fred Nelson, senior Pastor at Antioch Houston reminded us yet again, “Jesus Christ through the local church is still the hope of the world” and the world is taking notice. Read this article written by the Washington Post talking about the Church’s response towards relief efforts made in the Houston and Southeast Texas area for encouragement.
Thanks again for partnering with us! We will continue to keep everyone updated through our blog and enews as further opportunities arise to serve our friends down at Antioch Houston. If you are not signed up for enews, you can do so here.
“In the midst of brokenness, there is the beauty of the people of God.” – Jimmy Seibert
As the Church, we want to be people who run to the crisis and not away from the crisis. During this time, we want to respond and offer help to those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Take a look at three ways you can be a part of our relief efforts:
1. PRAY //
- For comfort for those who lost loved ones and healing for the sick
- For restoration for people’s homes and people’s hearts
- For protection and provision for our teams that are helping with the clean-up efforts
- For a move of God in Houston and Southeast Texas
2. GIVE //
We are raising money through Acts of Mercy, our relief organization. Our goal is to fund our clean-up efforts as well as offer support to those affected by the flood. If you would like to give, you can do so here. Be sure designate “Hurricane Harvey Relief.” You can also text to give by texting “ANTIOCH” to 444999, be sure to select “7” for Acts of Mercy.
We also encourage you to donate toward Antioch Houston’s flood relief fund. Antioch Houston is leading out in our relief efforts, and you can give directly to them here.
3. GO //
Across the Antioch Movement, we are mobilizing workers to serve the people of Houston and surrounding areas. There are several opportunities for you to be a part of a relief team. Each team will partner with Antioch Houston in tearing down dry-wall, tearing out carpet and other tasks throughout the neighborhoods. Lodging is provided, and more details will come from your team leader. Sign up for a team below:
- Church-Wide // Friday, September 15th – Sunday, September 17th
- Church-Wide // Friday, September 15th – Saturday, September 16th
- Church-Wide // Saturday, September 16th – Sunday, September 17th
- Church-Wide // Friday, September 22nd – Saturday, September 23rd
- Church-Wide // Saturday, September 23rd – Sunday September 24th
- Church-Wide // Friday, September 29th – Sunday, October 1st
- Church-Wide // Friday, September 29th – Saturday, September 30th
- Church-Wide // Saturday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st
There is nothing better than seeing the Church, the people of God, come together to respond in the midst of crisis. Many people from across the Antioch Movement have come together to help in Houston as they begin the restoration process. Antioch Houston is doing a great job hosting teams and organizing our relief efforts.
Check out a few stats and pictures from the last couple of days:
- 905 total volunteers
- 436 volunteers from out of town
- 87 houses completed
For more updates, be sure to like Antioch Houston on Facebook. If you are interested in being a part of a team going to Houston, please fill out this form. If you would like to receive email updates from us, sign up here.
Today ENGAGE THE NATIONS interns from across the Antioch Movement are heading out for three months to 16 different locations. In the coming weeks, many of them will be joined by short-term teams, with the goal to love, serve and share the Gospel with the people in each nation.
Whether you are jumping in with ENGAGE THE NATIONS this summer or you’re staying in Waco, you can still be a part of the work God is doing. We believe prayer lays the foundation for God to move! So, throughout the summer we encourage you to commit to praying for a different location each week.
TAKE A LOOK AT HOW YOU CAN BE PRAYING FOR EACH TEAM:
- The Arab Peninsula // Interns will participate in church planting initiatives and start Discovery Bible Study groups as part of the team’s strategy to catalyze global culture house churches.
- Pray for more house churches to be established
- Pray for fruitful Discovery Bible Studies
- Pray for church-planting initiatives in neighboring cities to be established
- Bangkok, Thailand // This team will be a part of facilitating strategic prayer times and participate in dynamic outreach opportunities using street dramas and park outreaches.
- Pray for fruitful outreaches
- Pray for the team’s village outreaches
- Pray for the team to find creative opportunities to share the Gospel
- Brussels, Belgium // Interns will help develop and pioneer a church-planting movement among Europeans and engage in social justice initiatives, including serving refugees, feeding the homeless, caring for orphans and widows and working with women and men trapped in the red-light district.
- Pray for locals to be stirred and receptive to the Gospel
- Pray for the vulnerable to be protected and empowered
- Pray for refugees to find their hope in Jesus and not a location
- Budapest, Hungary // The long-term team has found younger Hungarians to be open and drawn to social justice work, creating an entry point for the team to serve alongside locals, sharing the Gospel in the process. Interns will have a unique opportunity to develop strategies to reach students in the area and invite them into a bigger vision for their lives.
- Pray for Hungarians to find their hope in Jesus
- Pray for strong relationships to be built with locals
- Pray for hunger to be stirred in the locals
- Cape Town, South Africa // Interns will take part in fulfilling Jesus’ command to care for the least of these in our city while investing in others to see house churches planted in the area.
- Pray for the house churches planted within the townships to thrive
- Pray for spiritual and practical needs to be met for people living in the townships
- Pray for those living in poverty to be empowered and encouraged
- Cusco, Peru // Interns will have the opportunity to pioneer church-planting initiatives in the villages through exploration and building organic relationships with locals.
- Pray for local children to know the love of the Father
- Pray for the unengaged and unreached to be receptive of the Gospel
- Pray for the team’s village outreaches to be fruitful
- Detroit, Michigan // The team has been given a unique opportunity to serve refugees within the city. Interns will also have the opportunity to teach ESL classes, serve in women’s gyms and safe houses, develop urban agriculture and run sports camps.
- Pray for crime and violence to end in the city
- Pray for the refugees to be welcomed and cared for
- Pray for unity in the city
- East Java, Indonesia // The team is looking to seek out local believers to disciple and train in hopes of creating a sustainable disciple-making movement in the region.
- Pray for breakthrough within the house churches
- Pray for the team to be filled with boldness as they share throughout the city
- Pray for the team to encounter people of peace
- Jakarta, Indonesia // Interns will share the Gospel broadly with the goal of pioneering a disciple-making movement among the ninety-percent of the population that has never heard the true story of Jesus. They will also work with at-risk youth and care for refugees from the Middle East.
- Pray for refugees to be cared for and to be open to the Gospel
- Pray for the unreached to be reached and filled with hunger
- Pray for the youth programs our team will be starting
- North Africa // Interns will be a part of scouting locations throughout the nation, and help lay the groundwork for church planting in the future.
- Pray for the underground church to continue to grow and be protected
- Pray for the team to have fruitful Discover Bible Studies
- Pray for God to give our team wisdom and clarity as they seek to lay the foundation for future work in this nation
- Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic // Interns will get to be in on the beginning of a disciple making movement while having the opportunity to engage in increasing awareness and prevention of sex trafficking.
- Pray for trafficking to end and for victims to find healing
- Pray for the spirit of religion to be broken off, and for people to be invited into relationship with Jesus
- Pray for discipleship relationships to be established
- Sicily, Italy // Interns will offer assistance to refugees who have recently arrived, provide practical and immediate needs, host sports outreach events, take part in a food and clothing aid program and share the love of Jesus in the process.
- Pray for the refugees’ hearts to be softened toward the Gospel and for every need to be met
- Pray for the new ministry center the team will be opening in the city
- Pray for trafficking in Sicily to end and for the vulnerable to be given a voice
- South Asia Epicenter // Interns will be a part of church-planting and have the opportunity to serve with their talents in either a justice, ministry or business track.
- Pray for those trapped in slavery to be set free
- Pray for the unreached to have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel
- Pray for businesses to serve as a place of outreach
- Thessaloniki, Greece // Interns in Thessaloniki will work in refugee camps to meet practical needs, build relationships and share the love of Jesus.
- Pray for the team to be filled with wisdom and direction, as things in Greece are constantly shifting
- Pray for the practical and spiritual needs of the refugees to be met
- Pray for hope to be restored and for the vulnerable to be protected
- Tijuana, Mexico // Interns will develop relationships and lead discipleship groups as the team contends for the younger generation and invests in the lives of orphaned children.
- Pray for the people of Tijuana to be set free from addiction
- Pray for the children in the orphanages our team will be working in
- Pray for feelings of hopelessness and fear to be broken off the people
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia // Interns will not only experience city life, but will also travel to the center of the country- sharing the Gospel and starting churches. Interns will experience Mongolian nomadic life, of which little has changed for thousands of years.
- Pray for the work of UnBound Mongolia and for trafficking to end
- Pray for the discipleship relationships to be established
- Pray for unity among each of the house churches
In addition to praying for our teams throughout the summer, join us in praying for each of our teams as they travel to their new homes today.