Tag: youth ministry

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 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

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!

Back to School: Junior High Edition

It is back to school time, ya’ll! Can you believe it? The summers always fly by. Though August is my birthday month, it is always a little sad for me. For one, it is way too hot. Plus I am pregnant, so I’m like double hot and I want ice cream every night. Two, it is the month my husband goes back to teaching school. I am going to miss him being around the house!

I vividly remember how getting ready for the school year felt growing up. Getting all my school clothes was fun, and I LOVE school supplies. But, I also felt that ramp-up. For me, it was almost a nervousness. What is it going to be like? Will my clothes be like my friends’ clothes? Will my friends still want to spend time with me? Will I see people I know in the halls, in my classroom or at lunch?

We need grace for each other this month. Whether we are going back as teachers (or jumping back into the school year as a youth pastor!) or a student going back to school and trying to navigate relationships, academics, sports and getting back into a schedule, we need GRACE! It’s ok to struggle; let’s talk it out. It’s ok to be nervous; let’s pray together. It’s ok to be tired; let’s get some rest over the weekend. We need each other’s support this month. It’s hot out there, so let’s get some ice cream.

Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

By Kelly Woods, Junior High Pastor

How to Make the Most of Your Summer – Junior High Edition

Folks, can you believe that summer is here?! I am pregnant, so that means I am NOT looking forward to 90+ degree weather. Oh wait, I NEVER looked forward to the 90+ degree weather! But, thankfulness prepares the way for the Lord, so I’ll be thankful for snow cones and air conditioning and sunscreen.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the junior highers being home for the summer. I think it’s safe to say that even if they have a job, it is a minor one at 12 and 13 years old. Maybe they babysit or mow lawns, but overall, what do they do with all that time? I hope they get the opportunity to play outside and go to camps and have fun being a “kinda kid” for awhile. But, the fearsome reality is that a lot of them may spend their summer staring at a screen.

And, another sad reality is that sometimes they learn those habits from us. Their parents, leaders, extended family, older siblings, etc.

“As parents become more attached to technology, they become detached from their kids, who in turn attach themselves to their devices.” – Mark Foreman

So, this summer, lets try something different.
  • Shut off the TV
  • Power down the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iMac, iEverything
  • Look one another in the eyes and talk. Go outside and play some ball. Parents, leaders, older siblings, grandparents, let’s model how to let go of the screen and be present for these junior highers.

Another great opportunity for our junior highers to make the most of this summer is Jump Camp! This camp will be for incoming 7th and 8th graders on August 1st – 4th in Latham Springs. Registration will open June 1st and you can watch for more info here. Take advantage of this time for your kids to unplug, be outside, play and learn this summer!

By Kelly Woods, Junior High Pastor

Week{end} in Pictures

We had an awesome week at Antioch! From our youth events to the Alpha Course retreat, people were meeting with God in new and powerful ways. Check out the pictures below and be encouraged at all God is doing in our midst.

antioch alpha course outside

Our Alpha Course members enjoyed spending time in their small groups outside at Latham Springs

Van Vandegriff gives a great teaching on the Holy Spirit at the Alpha Course Retreat

Youth Pastor Blake Foster leads an awesome Winter Retreat with high school students at Latham Springs

Our High School Winter retreat included some dynamic worship.

Our Junior High Ministry has an awesome time at their all-night lock-in on Friday night!

Junior High guys!

And of course… wild and crazy games were included!

Some of our awesome Junior High ladies!

Senior Pastors Jimmy and Laura Seibert send off Elder Kevin Johnson and his family to serve in Indonesia. We will miss them terribly!

We finished off the weekend with a Worship Night, celebrating God for all He is doing among us.

Outreach in India: A Youth Ministry Testimony

I was privileged to accompany 70 high school students (including two of my own kids) and leaders to Bangalore, India for two weeks. In a nation of roughly 1.25 billion people, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the chaos of the masses and the daunting charge of sharing the Gospel with them. However, God reminded that He sees each person as a unique individual.

Our teenagers spent their mornings engaging in worship and receiving practical equipping for sharing the Gospel in the most unreached nation in the world. They spent their afternoons meeting people on the streets, in the parks, at the shopping centers and in schools. Their focus was to help each individual they met to move one step closer to knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

In the evenings our small outreach teams met to rejoice over every “win” from the day. Sometimes the “wins” would be seeing an individual confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior or one of our students sharing the Gospel for the first time. I remember a student being overcome with excitement as he told us about praying with a handful of boys at the park to receive Jesus into their lives. One of our girls, whose family had served many years on the mission field, was overcome with joy after sharing the whole Gospel for the first time by herself and praying with the individual to receive Christ. Some of our girls were moved by their experience of feeding a group of street children and singing with them. Many of our students also witnessed various kinds of healings. We had so much to celebrate each day!

Near the end of our trip some of our outreach teams had the opportunity to visit an orphanage while others visited a home for the destitute and dying. My team visited the latter and was stirred with compassion. We learned that despite the language barrier, God’s love could be communicated through holding a hand or giving a hug. Many of these people were handicapped and/or elderly and had no family to care for them. They enjoyed be held and cared for by others. One lady with a contorted body was unable to speak to me, but she took my hand, placed it on her head and closed her eyes waiting for prayer.

I was so moved to recognize that although the body may be crippled and the mind may be failing, the spirit is still intact and longing for its Creator.

I’m so thankful for our youth leadership team for giving students the opportunity to invest in God’s kingdom on another side of the world. This trip had a great impact on my own teenagers’ lives and I was blessed to experience it with them!

By Carla Huggins

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!