Tag: antioch youth

Making this Summer a
Win for You and Your Family

School is ending and summer is upon us. With less extracurricular activities and no more homework, chances are we as parents have a little more space in our schedule to plan some fun and meaningful times as a family.

HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS:

Have some fun together //

  • Make homemade pizzas or a meal together
  • Play board games – let each family member take turns choosing one
  • Make s’mores in your fire pit, if you have one, or on the stove
  • Invite a family over for dinner, dessert and/or a game night
  • Play disc golf at a park
  • Go fishing
  • Go tortilla tossing at the Suspension Bridge
  • Create a picture scavenger hunt to do with another family
  • Fly kites
  • Get outside and play some sports – basketball, gaga ball, kickball, volleyball, etc.
  • Go paddle boarding or kayaking on Lake Waco
  • Go bowling
  • Go on a hike
  • Take a camping trip, or just set up a tent in your backyard
  • Make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt bar at home
  • Movie night
  • Have each family member take turns planning a family fun night
  • Go out for snow cones

Take some time to connect as a family //

  • Pray and wait on God for a word of encouragement for each family member
  • Ask God to highlight someone in need and bless them as a family – help the with yard work or a house project, write notes of encouragement, make them a meal, etc.
  • Have each person choose an area that feels hard or discouraging and ask God for a verse that reminds them of truth. Share those verses with one another.
  • Family worship time – have family members take turns choosing songs
  • Read a portion of Scripture and share insights with each other
  • Plan a Family Retreat – make it a staycation or take a weekend trip together
  • Have each family member take a personality test and spend time observing how different personalities impact communication and expectations within the family; there are several free tests online
  • Help each person identify their love language and share specific ways they would feel loved by family members
  • Take time to identify goals, as a family and individually; brainstorm ways to contend for each other to reach those goals

No matter what you do this summer, my hope is that you and your family have a ton of fun together and grow closer together.

Have a great summer!

By Shannon Jones, Associate Youth Pastor

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.

LYNSEY RECENTLY SHARED HER EXPERIENCE WITH US. CHECK IT OUT!

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.

Making the Most of Your Christmas Break // Youth Edition

Have you ever come to the end of a Christmas break and felt anything but rested or restored? Maybe you slipped into a lethargic state, ate WAY too much junk food or binge watched Netflix, or maybe you played video games for hours on end, got sucked into a book and forgot anyone else existed, barely tolerated your family or let the days unfold with very little intentionality?

IN THE END, YOU HAD SOME LEVEL OF REGRET ABOUT HOW YOU SPENT YOUR TIME.

HERE ARE SIX TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHRISTMAS BREAK:

  1. Prioritize consistent time with God // This is one thing you need to hold on to in the midsy of ditching the routine and being in vacation mode. Set aside time to meet with Jesus daily. He will fill you, refresh you and give you His heart for those around you. If you have a little more time than usual, mix things up a bit. You could have an extended time of worship, go on a prayer walk, choose a book of the Bible to study or spend time journaling.

 

  1. Bless and serve your family // Look for opportunities to do things without being asked, and go out of your way to show your family love in creative, practical ways (i.e. do the dishes, make a special breakfast, fold laundry, write notes to each person, plan a fun night, etc.). Check your motives, and refrain from complaining or drawing attention to yourself.

 

  1. Invest in the relationships around you // Maximize this opportunity to build memories and deepen relationships with your family and relatives. Enter their world, do things they enjoy doing and pursue family members or relatives you don’t typically get much time with.

 

  1. Have fun // Identify things that are restorative and make time for them. Watching a movie or playing a video game is great in moderation, but don’t forget things like drawing, painting, playing an instrument, doing a puzzle or going on a hike.

 

  1. Unplug and be present // It’s such a huge temptation to get sucked into social media or really anything online. Carve out time to set aside your phone or laptop, and be fully present with the people around you. Come up with a plan for healthy boundaries in advance. One idea is to choose a day or two that you won’t use your phone at all.

 

  1. Reflect on 2017 and dream with God about 2018 // Spend time, individually and/or as a family, reflecting on things you’re thankful for from the past year. Ask God for words, verses, vision and goals for 2018.

Parents, one last thought is that you could designate a “free day,” where everyone has permission to spend unlimited time doing things they chose without feeling guilty. While this shouldn’t be every day, it’s fun to do every so often.

Ready to make a plan for Christmas break? Click here to get started!

By Shannon Jones – Youth Ministry Pastor

 

Making Back to School a Win – Youth Edition

Summer is ending and it’s time to get back to school. You might be a little sad, but for the most part you are probably ready to get back into a normal routine. Each new school year comes with new teachers to meet, new supplies to buy, a new routine to figure out and new classrooms to get used to. All of this “newness” can feel like a lot to handle, but instead of feeling the pressure, we want you to be set up for success this school year.

Check out a few tips to make this year a win:

 

    • Pray and Hear God // 

      Ask God what He is wanting to do in you and your family this school year. A good exercise for this is writing down everything you are putting time and energy into. Work, School, Lifegroup, family, etc. Keep things general. Then, go down the list and ask God what He has for you and how He wants to meet you in each of those areas. Write down what you hear. Share these things with each other and pray for them throughout school year. It is powerful to pray as a family because when we pray together it brings unity.

 

    • Use a Calendar // 

      It is almost impossible to keep track of every event or deadline. Use a family calendar to put everything in one place. It may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but it is a huge stress-reliever in the long run. This kind of organization will help you to catch your breath and just focus on one week at a time without the worry that you are missing something.

 

    • Set goals // 

      Sit down as a family and come up with a set of goals for the school year. What are they believing for? How do they want to grow? Letting them set goals for themselves gives them ownership and allows you to support them and make it possible for them to reach these goals.

 

    • Start Something Meaningful // 

      Often times, a transitional time is the best time to start something you have been meaning to do. Whether that is a lifestyle change, spending more time as a family or consistently attending services, it is easier to start something and stick with it if you commit to making it happen from the beginning of the school year.

 

    • Intentional Check-ins // 

      Even in the midst of the busyness, it is important to check-in with your kids. Be intentional and make a point to ask them about school and how they are doing throughout the year. It is also important to go back to the goals they set and what they felt like God was speaking at the beginning of the school year. The follow through is just as important as the goal setting. This is also a great opportunity to see God’s faithfulness. Maybe things have not looked exactly the way you thought, but God is faithful to answer our prayers and it is so powerful when we reflect on what He has done and they ways He has moved. It is also an opportunity to keep praying for these things and believing with fresh faith for Him to continue to move.

 

  • Have Fun and Laugh // 

    Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh a lot, don’t take the little things for granted and enjoy the season you are in because you will never be in this exact spot again!

By Rachel Tuttle – Middle School Associate

A Recap in Pictures: Youth Camp 2017

Last weekend our junior high and high school students headed out to Latham Springs for Youth Camp! Throughout the four days, students played games, were led in worship, heard from college pastor Carl Gulley and had a blast. We are so encouraged by our students, and we’re believing for God to continue to move in each of their lives! Check out some pictures from camp:

Youth Ministry Mission Trips – A Recap in Pictures

Our Youth Ministry recently went on a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico and Buda, Texas. Check out a few pictures from their trips:

BUDA, TEXAS

 

Some of our middle school and high school students went to Twin Oaks Ranch in Buda, to help run a camp for at-risk elementary age children. Students helped with behind the scenes tasks, led worship, facilitated games and served as buddies to campers.


TIJUANA, MEXICO

High school students went to Tijuana, Mexico to partner with All Peoples Tijuana. Throughout their time there, they had the opportunity to serve local families from the church and had a park and beach outreaches. They performed dramas and saw many people rededicate their lives to Jesus!

Nights of Revival Recap

For the past week, we have come together at Nights of Revival to seek God. God moved in powerful ways as He spoke promises to various people, brought emotional and physical healing and revived areas of hopelessness. Throughout the week we were encouraged and commissioned as we heard from All Peoples Pastor Robert Herber, Antioch Raleigh Pastor Colby Lehmann, Joe Ewen and Pastor J.T. Thomas from St. Louis.

CHECK OUT A FEW TESTIMONIES AND PICTURES FROM THE NIGHTS OF REVIVAL:

“At the beginning of the fall semester I developed patellar tendinitis in both knees. I was upset that my passion for sports was being limited by these injuries and cried out to God in frustration asking, “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? What do I need to do to get rid of this?” I was so focused on my athletic performance and injuries that I felt burnt out and distanced myself from God. As the spring semester started and Awaken was drawing closer, I started asking God what to expect for my future and I felt like He said that my knees would be healed. During Awaken, I was expectant for healing to happen, but it did not come, but I learned how to wait on Him and to trust His plans for my life even if I don’t understand them. On the fourth night of Nights of Revival, I felt like God was inviting me up to the front of the room to receive prayer for fear. During that time, I offered up all my fears to God, including those of not knowing my future. Immediately after, three friends came to pray for healing in my knees, and I was completely healed! All the inflammation, inflexibility and tension in my knees was relieved, and I felt more refreshed than ever. It is truly amazing how God used a place of pain to bring me closer to Him, and then brought me out of that same place of pain because He knows my passions and wants me to have them.”

“On night three, I found myself walking around the Auditorium with a lot of questions in my heart. The main wall I kept hitting was believing the lie that I’d already lived out my best days with God, and that I couldn’t be as close to God as I’d been in the past. As Joe Ewen gave the last altar call to those who needed breakthrough, I decided I wasn’t going to leave the room without hearing from God or getting prayer for the heaviness I was feeling. I raised my hand and got prayer from a few people. Immediately, I felt the weight of His presence fill my body. I clearly heard God saying, “I am closer than an embrace. I am inside of you, a part of your being. ” As God spoke of His nearness, I fell to my knees and felt a peace and protection that I’d never experienced before. During that time of hearing and healing, I was also set free from generational anxiety, depression and nightmares!”

“This might seem like a small testimony, but to this momma’s heart it’s huge. We brought our four very small children, our baby, two-year old, four-year old and six-year old to the Nights of Revival because we want them to grow up experiencing God’s presence at home, through their day and corporately at Church. They enjoyed the night and danced and jumped around as usual during worship. On our drive home my older three spontaneously started praying for a solid 15 minutes, taking turns praying big prayers that were on their hearts. Fifteen minutes of solid prayer is a true miracle for these littles. My heart was full and refreshed even after a very long day of full-time, hands on mommy hood. I am so thankful for an environment to bring our kids into to experience God, and I’m even more thankful for the way He gripped their hearts with His bigness and nearness.”

We are so encouraged and stirred by the testimonies we have heard so far. If you have a testimony from the Nights of Revival, we want to hear it! Just send us an email.

Special thanks to our photographers, Kim Martinez and Josh Lo!

How Can They Understand Unless Someone Guides Them?

Philip, a follower of Jesus like you and me, was traveling to Jerusalem from Samaria. As he traveled with other believers, he preached the gospel to many Samaritan villages along the way. The Lord spoke to Philip to get up and go south toward Gaza. So he went and saw a high ranking Ethiopian official in a chariot. The Ethiopian was departing from Jerusalem where he had been worshiping. He was sitting in his chariot reading the words of the prophet Isaiah. The Lord told Philip to go and stand near the chariot. When Philip ran up to the chariot he heard the Ethiopian reading Scripture. So Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him (Acts 8:31).

In our country today there are a lot of voices bringing confusion to the younger generation.

It is hard enough to navigate the lies to get to the truth, and when truth is found it may be difficult for some to understand it.

Like the Ethiopian man, how can this younger generation understand the things of God unless someone guides them? Now I know we have the Holy Spirit and He guides us into all truth (John 16:13). But, Jesus said to His followers to teach them to observe everything He commanded us (Matthew 28:20).

This is where we come in. We, as older followers of Jesus, can step in like Philip and guide this younger generation.

As our country slips more into moral grayness and declares truth to be murky, God’s Word is clear.

This younger generation needs men and women of God to follow Proverbs 22:6 in teaching a youth the way they should go, even when they are old they will not depart from it.

Like many I came to know the Lord at a young age. I was the youngest of three boys and at that time my mom was doing all she could to keep us on the right path. She had help from God. He sent amazing men and women of God to encourage, support and train her three boys. I remember playing baseball in the church hallways, football in courtyards, going on all-men fishing trips and having other dads take me as their own. Incredible people sent me to summer camp, reinforced the Gospel, led me to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and so much more. Tom Day, Dave Bosman, Bill Blaire and Bob Newey probably didn’t realize how their investment would impact the lives of many.

When we invest in youth and children here in Waco we will have impact in our city, nation and the nations of the earth.

There are more than 32,466 people under the age of 18 in homes in the Waco area. As we reach them and equip them to reach others I believe we could see a youth movement burning bright throughout Waco.

The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few.

 

IN RESPONSE:

Take a moment and pause. Pray to the Lord of the harvest for more laborers. Clear your mind, be still before the Lord and ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him, “Am I one of the laborers you are calling to work in the field of a younger generation?” Like Philip, God may be calling you to invest in a life this season that needs guidance and will go on to transform other lives in the future.

 

By Sean Jones, Junior High Pastor

sean jones for blog

 

Back to School Tips: Junior High Edition

As the school year approaches, the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy comes to mind…”to be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). As you prepare for school, getting clothes and school supplies, I want to encourage you to prepare in three ways:

  • 1. Put God first

Start your day with God. Play worship music in the morning, read a portion of Scripture and pray. Establish this as a part of your daily routine early in the year. Even if you only have 10 minutes, take the 10 minutes you have and give it to the Lord by spending time with Him.

  • 2. Remember who you are

When God made you, He didn’t make a mistake. You are unique, and you are amazing! Don’t compare your strengths, weaknesses, academic abilities, personality, looks, athletic abilities or popularity to anyone else. God created you to be you, and there is no one on this planet that can take your place. The world needs YOU!

  • Take some time to listen to God about how He sees you
  • Ask your parents for input about the unique ways God made you
  • 3. In all you do, do it as unto the Lord

In academics, music, sports and clubs, give God your best! It’s tempting to just scrape by and do the minimum. Be diligent, and lay it all on the line. Do your best, and leave the results up to God.

Hey parents, I haven’t forgotten about y’all:

Ask your student what goals they have for the year and how you can support them. Give them some time to think, pray and get back with you. Let’s be their biggest cheerleaders.

Have an amazing school year!

 

By Sean Jones, Junior High Pastor

Sean Jones blog

Sean and his wife, Shannon

2016 Camp Recap

Over the weekend, our junior high and high school students went to camp! Youth ministries from Fort Worth, Norman and Houston also joined us this weekend.

Our junior high students had a blast in Latham Springs at Jump Camp. 106 students attended the medieval themed weekend, some gave their lives to Jesus and others rededicated their lives!

Our high school students also had a great weekend at Summer Camp. 152 students joined in on a weekend of games and powerful worship times and heard from some of our leaders. Some students rededicated their lives to Jesus and others committed their lives for the first time!

Check out some highlights from camp:

Jump Camp

JumpCamp4

 

JumpCamp5

 

JumpCamp1

 

JumpCamp3

 

Jump Camp6

 

JumpCamp2

 

Summer Camp

High School Camp 2016

 

High School Camp 2016 (2)

 

High School Camp 2016 (6)

 

High School Camp 2016 (5)

 

High School Camp 2016 (4)