Author: Antioch

Watchmen – Guardians in the Body of Christ

On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves.” – Isaiah 62:6

The Bible uses the word watchman to describe a specific part of prophetic ministry because they function in the spiritual realm in the same way as watchmen do in the natural. In ancient times, cities were protected by large walls with high towers. In these towers stood the watchmen.

Spiritual watchmen stand on the walls of the city of God, paying attention to what God is doing and calling the people to respond.

Watchmen also look out to see what evil is on the horizon asking God at the same time for His strategy in how to respond. The main principle of this ministry is not focusing on the enemy, but being in communication with God to get His perspective and tactics.

Intercession is another key area of this ministry.  We are called to pray in to what God is showing us so danger can be diverted and Gods purposes can come forth.

It is the nature of God to protect.

It is part of our covenant with Him. The protection and safety of God’s people and His church is the true purpose of a watchman. They serve as our guardians.

God uses the watchmen to pray for the church as well as individuals so the fullness of what He is doing will come to pass. Watchmen defend the church with their prayers, and their intercession acts as a hedge of protection around the people of God. Prayer and worship will help clarify our sight into the spirit and the resulting prayers can drive away the enemy without having to publicly notify people of what we are seeing. Another important function of the watchman ministry is to know the times and seasons we are living in in relation to God.

As a watchman, it is important to recognize your sphere of authority. The watchmen were not necessarily elders, their job was to simply communicate what they saw with those in authority so those leaders could respond as they felt appropriate. Watchmen cannot dictate the outworking of the prophetic revelation they receive. Therefore, having good relationship with authority figures is important because trust is the bridge that makes this possible.

Trust is required on both sides to see this ministry thrive and be effective.

To find out more about how to grow in the prophetic, sign up for our level two training – Advancing in the Prophetic this weekend, October 20th – 21st. In this course, we will teach on how to activate and grow in maturity in the prophetic. It is aimed for people who already know the basics of the prophetic and have walked this out. Click here to register.

A Recap in Photos: UnBound Light Up the Dark 5K

This past weekend, UnBound partnered with Chick-fil-A to host the Light Up the Dark 5K and raise money and awareness for their anti-trafficking work in our city. In addition to the race, we also enjoyed a concert, played games and had treats from Chick-fil-A and Pokey O’s food trucks.

Check out some highlights from the night:

And a special thanks to Drew Dodge and Rebecca Burris for taking photos at the event.

Learning to Pray: 5 Ways to Grow in Intercession

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” – Ezekiel 22:30

In this passage of Scripture we see the nation of Israel in a state of corruption and sin. God was looking for someone to stand in the gap between Him and the land and cry out for deliverance. The fact that God was looking for someone to stand in the gap shows us it is His intention to respond to the cries of our heart. God is looking for people who will pray on behalf of the people and nations of the earth. He is looking for intercessors – those who pleas the case of another to God asking for His divine intervention.

Prayer is the source of life and power to see things change.

We cannot fulfill God’s work in our own strength – it is impossible. By standing in the gap and crying out to God in prayer we are asking Him to do what only He can do.

Here are five keys to help you grow in intercession:

1) Grow in friendship with God // When we allow God into our lives and develop relationship with Him, we grow in our understanding of what He is actually like. This helps us know His heart so we can pray in alignment with His will. Prayer originates in the heart of God.

2) Growing in your knowledge of the Word of God // We can read the Bible to see what the will of God is for people and the situations we may be in. The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), so when we pray in agreement with it things can change. Pray a specific Psalm over a person or a nation, inserting actual names where possible.

3) Grow in your ability to be still and listen // One aspect of prayer is discerning what God wants to do and then asking Him to do it. As we learn to still our hearts before Him and open our ears to what He is saying, we can pray for the things He wants to do.  It is totally normal to have moments of silence when we pray. Before sitting in silence, pray, asking God to show you a picture or give you a Scripture to reveal the desire of His heart.

4) Take your eyes off yourself and fix them on Jesus // It doesn’t matter what we sound like or how we come across to others when we pray. What matters is that we are engaging the Spirit of God. Perhaps praying aloud in a group setting is very stretching for you. A way to focus on Jesus rather than yourself is to take the risk and agree with others aloud in prayer (Matthew 18:20).

5) Worship // A great way to enter in to intercession is to begin with a time of worship. When we worship Him and let go of our own ideas and agendas, we open up ourselves to connecting with what is on His heart and partnering with Him in what He wants to do. If you typically worship by listening to music, try reading a Psalm aloud. Psalm 27, 33 or 46 would be a great place to start. As you declare each verse of the Psalm, picture what it describes and see God as the Bible describes Him.

In Response:

Is God asking you to intercede for a person, a nation or an area of breakthrough? Is He asking you to be the one to stand in the gap?

As a part of our three-day prayer and fast, which of the five keys listed above could you focus on to help you grow in intercession?

Church-Wide Prayer & Fast Prayer Guide

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

Prayer Times:

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.

An Update from our
Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

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.

Four Ways to Manage Your Time

Over the last few years, I’ve grown to appreciate the process it takes to make a balanced cup of coffee. It may slow my morning down more than usual, but taking time when it comes to coffee is always worth it. When your coffee is imbalanced, you know it. It will taste sour if you rush the process, while at other times bitter depending on what you overlooked.

Here are some guiding principles for brewing coffee that I think will help you learn to steward your time well and give your life the healthy margin it needs.

1.Consult the Maker //

Coffee is as complex as our own lives when you think about it. There are different types of coffee beans. They undergo different washing processes. They are exported to different roasters with different roasting methods… you get the picture. Whoever roasted your coffee beans probably knows more about them than you do. The roaster should easily be able to tell you where the beans came from and how best to brew them. Building a relationship with your roaster can give you much greater insight into coffee than you can pick up on your own.

In the same way, time is a gift from God and we can ask Him how best to use it.

It shows God honor when we give Him a say in how we will use our time.

One of the greatest ways to grow in stewarding our time is to consult the one who made it. He gives us access to the source of wisdom.

What question can you ask God today? Consult your Maker and make time to listen to Him after you ask Him something. He made you. He knows what is best for you. He loves when we ask for His wisdom in humility.

2.Find your filter //

Coffee without a proper filter will leave you with a coarse, off-tasting coffee. You need to be sure to add a filter before you start brewing. When it comes to our time, what filters do you have in place that will keep you from losing track of what is important to you? A good filter would be writing down a plan and some goals for how you’d like to steward your time. Keep your plan and your goals before you, don’t allow them to go unnoticed.

Jesus was good at saying no:

  • He said no to the devil in Matthew 4 when He was being tempted.
  • He said no to things that would cause Him to lose His time secluded with God (Luke 5:15-16).
  • He said no to answering misguided questions (Matthew 21:23-27).

Jesus could say no because He knew what He was saying yes to. Having a yes will filter your no. What are you planning to say yes to today?

3.Don’t rush it //

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 12:2

The word, “world” in this passage is “aion,” meaning age, the time in which we live. It is the construct our surroundings are built upon. Our culture puts out this underlying pressure to perform, to be quicker, to be better, to be more efficient. But faster is not always better in the long run. Our tendency is to get lazy and to cut corners. To do the least amount of work to get the job done. But life doesn’t always work out when you live this way. Life requires diligence and finesse. The ability to slow down can be the greater skill in many situations. Making time for something or someone can be of more value than trying to save time for elsewhere.

The same goes for coffee, if you rush the process you will be left with coffee that tastes sour and acidic. Taking the time to slow down in the morning to make a balanced cup has helped inform other areas of my life that are constantly in hustle mode.

4.Make some for someone else //

Sharing coffee is a great joy of mine. Having a cup of coffee together is a great way to get to know someone and allow life to slow down. My time does not exist solely for me. It was made to be lavished on the feet of Jesus. It was given to me to give to others in help and encouragement and service. Time serves me, but it will never serve me well if I refuse to let it serve others. Make time for someone else in your schedule. Put it on your calendar if you have to.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” — John 13:34

-This post is from a staff member at Antioch Dallas. To read the original post, or similar posts, check out their blog.

How You Can Respond to Hurricane Harvey

“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 //

    1. For comfort for those who lost loved ones and healing for the sick
    2. For restoration for people’s homes and people’s hearts
    3. For protection and provision for our teams that are helping with the clean-up efforts
    4. 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:

An Update from our
Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts // Update 2

Today our College Ministry sent around 200 students to Houston to help with clean-up efforts. They are joining teams from Fort Worth, College Station, Austin and Houston. Antioch Houston also held their Sunday service in the parking lot of their office building this morning. It is amazing to see the people of God coming together to worship and and serve. We are so encouraged by the response of each and every one of you, and we encourage you to continue to join us in praying for all who have been affected.

Here are four things you can pray for today:

  • 1. Pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have seen destruction in their homes
  • 2. Pray for restoration for homes and for the hearts of those who have been effected
  • 3. Pray for our teams to have safe travels and to be effective
  • 4. Pray for a move of God in Houston and the rest of southeast Texas

An Update from our
Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

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.