Author: Antioch

What We’re Reading this Christmas Season

The word Advent means expectation, and the Advent season is a time of remembering the 400 years of silent anticipation of the arrival of our Savior. Many people celebrate and reflect on the Christmas season with an Advent calendar or special book to help them connect to the heart of the season and the eternal truth that Great Light has come and illuminated the darkness.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE BOOKS FOR THE ADVENT SEASON:

Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio // The Christmas season is one most of us look forward to, yet the rush and chaos of the holidays can leave us dizzy. Often, at this time of year, we realize we are all waiting for something: a solution, a relationship, a breakthrough, a rescue and so on. Christmas is a time that reminds us: God made a promise and then He fulfilled it. This daily devotional book by Louie Giglio will show you what to do while you’re waiting and how to encounter hope over the holidays and throughout your life.

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp // Divided into daily readings starting on December 1st and going through Christmas Day, Voskamp artfully draws the reader into the full love story of the season. She reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the Greatest Gift — through the Advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree.”

Unwrapping the Name of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu // Throughout Scripture, Jesus is referred to as, “Alpha and Omega, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace, Messiah,” and so on. In this devotional beginning on December 1st, Asheritah Ciuciu takes a deeper look at who Jesus is, and what His arrival means for us.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas // Watch for the Light is a compilation of stories and readings that allow readers to connect with the heart of the season. The book includes writings from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich Foerster and many others. The writers explore the significance of the birth of Jesus, not only during this season but every season.

FOR FAMILIES:

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp // Based on her book, The Greatest Gift, Voskamp takes families through the tradition of “The Jesse Tree” and creates a platform for the whole family to connect to the heart of the Christmas season.

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide // Jotham’s Journey is a great book for you to read with your children. Each day has a reading that takes you through 10-year-old Jothan’s journey across Israel as he searches for his family. Along the journey he encounters wise men, shepherds and innkeepers until he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

Women’s Conference 2017

We had an awesome time at our Women’s Conference this weekend! Throughout the weekend we heard from Lisa Bevere, who encouraged and challenged us to step out of a life of comparison and competition and step into the divine purpose God has for us. Shawn and Sean also made a few guest appearances, and it was a blast having them with us.

Check out some highlights from the weekend:

 

A special thanks to our photographers, Emily Times and Ann Martin Foley, for helping us capture the weekend.

Join the Team // World Mandate Social Street Team

JOIN THE WORLD MANDATE SOCIAL STREET TEAM

World Mandate is not just a two-day conference, it is a catalyst to see the world changed through a generation surrendered to Jesus and His purposes. There are countless testimonies of people who have attended World Mandate, whose lives have been impacted.

This may be your story and we want you to share it!

We believe that as people hear about why you love World Mandate and your experience, faith will be stirred for what God wants to do in their own lives. So practically, how can you be a part of sharing your World Mandate experience? Join the World Mandate Social Street Team!

What is the World Mandate Social Street Team?

The World Mandate Social Street Team is made up of people who want to spread the World Mandate love and see people come to the conference and encounter God. Your voice is so valuable because it will be able to reach your sphere of influence better than anyone else! Members of the Social Street Team will be able to share their experience and invite people to World Mandate through their social media accounts. And bonus: members will also receive an exclusive t-shirt from our team!

What do I have to do?

Members of the Social Street Team will be given access to a dropbox with images to use on your social media accounts. We ask that you post at least three times between now and the conference, and please use #WMConf in each of your posts. Through your posts you can share why you love World Mandate, why someone should go to the conference or how the conference has impacted your life. Really, the possibilities are endless with this one.

How do I join?

It is super easy! Just fill out this form. After we receive your information, you’ll be given access to the dropbox and you’ll get a thank you gift from our team!

Questions?

Just send us an email and we’ll get back to you soon.

We are so excited and expectant for all God is going to do at World Mandate 2018! We hope you jump in with us as we invite more people into this life-changing weekend.

Haven’t registered for World Mandate yet? Head over to our website to register today!

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.