Tag: waco

BACK TO SCHOOL: PART II

It’s Back to School time! Our awesome youth pastors have some tips on how to get back into the swing of things and set your family up for a successful year.

5 WAYS TO BE A JUNIOR HIGH CHAMP

MAKE A PLAN
There are just so many things to add to the schedule right now! Having a planner and hashing out things early is a great stress-reliever.

PRAY
I love it when I hear that families have prayed and asked God for a specific word for the next season of their lives. Is this a time to rest? Press in? Serve more? Change places of service? Spend more time together? Hearing God on this is so important.

HAVE A FAMILY MANTRA
Younger kids all the way to junior highers will think having a family mission statement is cool. If the students themselves are invited into writing it, they will own it.

COMMUNICATE
I harp on this quite a bit when I meet with parents, but open communication is such an asset to practice as a family. If everyone is open (speaking the truth in love), you can deal with anything. Kick off the year right by discussing past hurts, current relational needs and fears of the future.

HAVE FUN
Tough times and busy seasons don’t have to feel that way if you can enjoy them. Practice thankfulness and being present in the moment. Rejoice in today – after all this is the only time you get to experience today.

BE PREPPED AND READY TO ROLL
Ahhh, school.  New shirts, new shorts, new shoes, freshly sharpened pencils, and a possibly even a new backpack to hold all my stuff.   I have so many memories when it comes to the first day of school…  to be exact, I have 18 of them.  Sadly for me, those times are past.  No longer do I get to have the argument with my mom about how I should get to wear my new shoes before the first day of class. I don’t have to worry about where I am going to sit or who I’m going to hang out with at lunch – I am on the outside looking in.

 

5 WAYS TO ROCK YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YEAR

CREATE A CALENDAR OF THE YEAR
Take the mystery out of the everyday by putting all significant events on a calendar for easy reference. Get prepared, not surprised!

PLAN HANG TIME WITH THE PARENTS
I know you’re busy with homework and friends, but I think you’ll find that spending intentional time with your parents will strengthen your friendship, trust and ability to have fun together. Besides they’re the ones who come running when you need help.

SET THREE “CHECKPOINTS” FOR YOUR LIFE
Choose three things that help you keep a good perspective, attitude, and health in life. A good question to ask yourself is, “If I don’t __________, then my life tends to seem hectic, overwhelming, or hopeless.” After you choose these three things, ask yourself how you did in each area that week.

CLARIFY WHO YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS ARE
Friends change often in high school and that’s ok! But intentionally choose the friends you know will influence you to follow Jesus and make an effort to spend the biggest amount of your free time with them.

PRAY AND LAUGH
Just like us, Jesus loves to laugh at all the funny things that happen in high school. He loves it even more when it’s WITH you. Pray for your family, your school, your friends and for the lost!

Giving Back to the Community

We are so excited to have been able to provide backpacks and school supplies for every student at Provident Heights Elementary School!

Antioch is located in one of the poorest zip codes in Texas. Many kids in our neighborhood are struggling in school, which can be a barrier to getting out of generational poverty. One way Antioch is addressing this challenge is by supporting Waco Independent School District in practical ways. We want the administration, parents and students to know we’re behind them. Providing the more than 450 students with backpacks and school supplies was one of the most practical things we could do to help. Our hope is that students will know someone cares for and believes in them and that it will help the school year get off to a great start.

We also support WISD through the STARS Mentoring Project, which provides mentoring for local, at-risk third through fifth graders at Provident Heights and Waco Charter School. Antioch is a part of a larger, community-wide initiative with other churches to mobilize 1,000 mentors for students in the Waco Independent School District. Apply today to be a mentor!

Thank you to all of our volunteers who spent the day packing and delivering backpacks!

Find Your Spot

I will state the obvious – I am a kid person. I find them hysterical, honest, endearing, emotional and pure. Kids love unconditionally because most of them haven’t learned how risky it is to love that way. I tell people, “If you want to feel loved, spend some time with a kid.”

I have found my spot with the kids at this church. My job is a dream job for someone who loves kids and loves Jesus. In the Journey (Antioch’s Kids Ministry for 1st through 3rd graders), we get to encounter, enrich and shape the spiritual lives of little humans who will grow up to be big humans with the potential for international impact. We get to play a supporting role to our parents, and sometimes be the voice that shares the Gospel with a child for the first time.

Kids need people to love them. Even the pastor’s kid with a prayer warrior of a mom probably wouldn’t turn to you and say, “It’s okay, I don’t need you (a person whom God has gifted uniquely) to love me right now.” Being involved in kids ministry is not about providing childcare while the grown-ups sit in “big church.” It’s about having the God-given honor of discipling and loving kids into their identity and destiny as Jesus followers.

I did not grow up following Jesus. And I have a lot of friends who gave their lives to Jesus at a young age, but for normal reasons, turned or fell away from God somewhere in their early teens before turning back to Him with a passion. I pray the kids at Antioch will have a different story; that their relationship with Jesus starts now and never falters. Not because of what it would say about me or this church or the Bible belt. But because of the righteousness that comes to those who believe Jesus is greater than their desire to sin. And maybe it would save them from some of the pain that inevitably comes during those wonderfully/horribly awkward teenage years and beyond.

This dream of kids who are sold out on loving Jesus at an early age won’t happen without the buy-in of the older generation. And while God is more than capable of doing all of this on His own, He miraculously invites us into the journey and says, “Can I work through you?” I feel like inviting people to work with kids is almost an advertisement for an ancient cure-all. “Do you want to feel beautiful? Important? Hysterical?  Like you’re actually making a difference in the world?” Yes, it’s about changing and molding the lives of the greatest first through third graders on the planet. But God seems to have a thing about blessing those who serve Him – and His children!

As we gear up for the fall, I am believing for our kids to have more fun than ever at church. And I am believing for kids to fall more in love with Jesus! It is always an honor and a privilege to be a part of what God is doing. And it’s a blast when He does whatever He’s doing with super soakers and ridiculous hats. I can promise you this – you couldn’t spend a year volunteering in the kids ministry without learning to see God in a new way. God is big. But He really likes those who are small.

By Jessie Nahom

Journey Pastor (1st – 3rd grade)

You can find your spot and serve in the Antioch Kids Ministry today! Start your application.

A letter from Jimmy Seibert

Dear Antioch Family and Friends,

It has been a few weeks since I have seen you face-to-face, and I really do miss being with you. I wanted to give you an update of my most recent travels and all that God is doing in our movement.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Mongolia to celebrate the twenty years our team has spent there. There are now upwards of 3,000 people meeting all over Mongolia out of our movement.  Recently, our long term workers, along with our college team and Serve team, started a new church for college students and young professionals in the middle of the capitol city.  What an incredible work God has already done over the last two months! More than 200 people are gathering there now, worshipping Jesus and being transformed by the grace of God.  Mongolia is now the second fastest growing economy in the world.  God is at work in every way in that country and our team gets to be a part of shaping its future for the glory of God.

From Mongolia I flew to Utah, where we gathered with 350 of our leaders and staff from our 25 U.S. churches. I am so encouraged that God has called us not only the unreached of the nations, but the unreached of our own nation as well.  The stories of people being saved and lives being transformed continue to pour in.  One of the most encouraging things about our time there was that I did not know half of the people.  The new leaders being raised up and added to our work in the United States makes me so expectant for and excited about the future.

Our travels concluded after Laura and I had the privilege of speaking together at a conference outside of Frankfurt, Germany to a group called the “Greater European Mission.”  The Greater European Mission has been around for 60 years, starting Bible schools and church planting throughout Europe.   We met with more than 500 workers from around Europe. Their stories of what God is doing there would blow you away! God is moving in Europe like they have not seen in years.  I also had the privilege of speaking alongside Dr. Crawford Loritts, the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church and a leader in Campus Crusades and Promise Keepers. I look forward to continuing our friendship with them as we all work together to see the name of Jesus high and lifted up.

Wherever I go I see people who are hungry for Jesus.  It gives me great hope that Isaiah 60 will come to pass in our lifetime. I am looking forward to being back in the pulpit this Sunday, and on August 25th I’ll begin a series on Romans.  I can’t wait to see you again, face-to-face!

In His strength and love,

Jimmy Seibert

Senior Pastor

When God Speaks

A formless void is transformed into a spectacular world filled with light, land, water, vegetation, creatures and human beings. A man and woman holding on to a promise from God receive a son in their old age against the odds. A nation is brought out of slavery and conquers its promised land. All of these things are the result of an almighty God speaking.

Eighteen months ago, I was sitting on my couch sipping a cup of tea when I heard a still, small voice say, “You need to make the most of your time in Scotland because I am moving you to the USA.” My response went something like this; “Surely that’s not you God. I mean, that sounds crazy! If it’s you, then some big things need to happen. So I’m leaving it in your hands for you to do what only you can do.”

At that time, my life was very full.  I had a great job at the local children’s hospital, I was helping plant a church and I had just bought a house.   My life was becoming rooted and good things were happening. It did not make sense (to me) for God to speak to move to America.

I thought nothing more about this possible jump across the pond.  In fact, I didn’t even mention it to anyone and simply continued going about my everyday life.  However four months later, I received a phone call that changed everything. “Leisa, we would like you to pray about moving back to Waco to work for Antioch.” My initial reaction was one of shock and discomfort as I thought about all the things I would be giving up, but I remembered the prophetic word God spoke four months earlier. I thought, “There is something in me saying this is the right thing to do. But I still do not understand why you would take a woman from a nation in so much need of God and plant her in the Bible belt of America!” It took me six months to say yes, and in that process, God spoke to me about places of deep surrender. As I stepped out in faith, I would step onto the path to inherit His promises.

So in February of this year, I left my bonnie home-nation of Scotland and landed in the lone star state of Texas; all because of a simple whisper. I wonder how Mary felt when the Angel visited her and told her she would birth the Savior of the world?  Her response, “May it be done according to your word,” always amazes me (Luke 1:38). She knew the road ahead would be difficult, but at the same time, she knew her God.  She magnified the Lord as the “mighty one [who had] done great things” for her in the midst of what seemed impossible (Luke 1: 49).  Her response was a simple, “yes.”

There is a creative power released when God speaks and we agree with it. In Isaiah 55: 10-11 (NASB), God says:

“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

As we agree with God in the things He speaks to our hearts, whether it be through his written Word or his still, small voice, He will be faithful to accomplish all He desires in and through our lives.  There is always something He wants to say. The question is, are we listening and are we responding to him?

So, the next time you are sitting down to your cup of tea, or coffee in the case of a considerable amount of Americans, take a moment to tune in to the whisper of Father God.  You just never know where it may take you.

 

Find it, Keep it

I grew up in a Godly home. When I was a kid, my parents had pretty strict media standards for our family. I’m grateful now, but that means while you were watching Saturday cartoons on network television, I was watching Bible cartoons on the Christian channel. You had Transformers, I had Superbook.

The one story I never understood was the parable in Matthew 13:45-46 about a merchant who sold everything to get a pearl.  I still remember watching this cartoon of a wealthy man who had it all.  He a nice robe, really fancy turban and a beautiful home filled with nice furniture.  One day he went out and found a man selling a pearl, which to me just looked like a small, shiny rock.

But the man’s eyes lit up when he saw the pearl, and he went and sold everything – I mean everything.  The cartoon showed the man’s possessions being sold off in detail until all he had left were some cheap old clothes.  The man grabbed the money and exchanged it for this little rock.  And then the story was over.

This story just did not make sense to my five year old mind.  Why would someone give up all of that just to get a dumb rock?  Aren’t the clothes, the furniture, the home and everything else better?  It felt like a story of a poor man getting scammed, not something to celebrate.

The problem was my perspective.  I did not understand the value of the pearl so I did not understand the purpose of the sacrifice.

Pearls in the first century were the most valuable jewels in the world.  There are historic accounts of Roman emperors spending the equivalent of over ten million dollars on just one pearl.  One general financed an entire war by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings.  To understand the sacrifice in this parable you must first understand the value of the pearl.  I’ve found the same is true for our relationship with God.

Following God is costly, but the treasure gained is far greater than any price we will ever pay.  When we see what He is worth, the cost starts to seem insignificant, and like the merchant, we will gladly pay whatever it takes.

If you want to live wholeheartedly for Jesus it will be costly, but if you keep your eyes on the treasure, I believe the cost will start to seem rather small compared to what is gained.  Do whatever it takes today to find the Treasure, and when you find it, do whatever it takes to keep It.

By Drew Steadman

Director of Strategic Development

Did you miss this sermon? You can watch it here!

Buck The Stuck

I remember riding up the chairlift one clear, crisp winter day with a buddy of mine as we spent the day snowboarding. As we flew over the tops of the trees beneath us, he asked if I had ever heard of a tree hole before.

As a born and raised Texan, I was new to the whole winter-sport realm and had no clue as to what he was talking about. What I learned that day, though, I will never forget. You see, as snow falls, the branches of a tree act as a ruff and stop the snow from gathering directly at the base of the tree. Still, the wind throughout the winter blows the snow underneath the tree, making it look like the snow has a consistent depth across the forest floor. In reality, that illusion of snowy, level ground is a deceptive false floor. If you find yourself in one of these tree holes, it is virtually impossible to make your way out alone. You are stuck with nothing to hang on to and no where to go.

It’s interesting that even though most of us haven’t been stuck in a tree hole, and have no clue about how that would feel, we know exactly what it feels like to be stuck.

Stuck might be one of the worst feelings on the earth, and trying to get unstuck on our own can at times result in becoming even more stuck. The heart of God isn’t that you would live stuck in a tree hole, but that you would “buck the stuck” in your life and live free of what seems to be holding you down. In Mark 5, Jesus has a run-in with a woman who was right there; she was stuck. She had been bleeding for 12 years and in verse 24 it says, “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”

Have you ever felt like you were doing all the right things and getting all the wrong results?

This woman at the end of herself took an aggressive step to be in a place where she would have an encounter with a man she had heard would “unstuck the stuck.” Starting in verse 27 it says, “ When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ His disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’

If you want to buck the stuck in your life, you need to break the silence and reach for Jesus. This woman did what very few of us are willing to do; tell the whole truth and reach out for help.

I believe if we get real, open up about what is happening in us and reach for Jesus, we will find ourselves rescued from what we thought we would have to endure.

I believe this week is a “buck the stuck” week in your life. Go ahead; break the silence and reach.

By Jady Griffin

Did you miss this sermon? You can watch it here!

Building Campaign Update

Way to go, Antioch! Last week, we raised a total of $139,143 towards our current goal of $375,637.

That means we only have $198,949 left to raise in our current phase as we put up the exterior shell of our building. In the past two weeks, we’ve started roof installation, framing of the exterior walls and pouring concrete onto the second floor of the auditorium! Keep praying – we know Jesus has every moment and dollar of our building journey planned!