PASSION & PURPOSE: Believing the Church Can Still Change the World by Jimmy Seibert Set for Release, 4/7
When a group of people commits to intentionally listening to God and radically obeying His word, it's no surprise that an incredible story unfolds. Now, in the upcoming book PASSION & PURPOSE: Believing the Church Can Still Change the World (Clear Day Publishers), Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor of Antioch Community Church and President of Antioch Ministries International, tells the firsthand account of a church that is cultivating a global impact. With an intentional focus on intimacy with Jesus, discipleship, church planting and evangelism, Antioch Ministries International has become one of the fastest growing evangelical movements in the country as well as a common case study among students of church planting and mission work.
Based out of the Antioch Community Church of Waco, Texas, the Antioch Ministries International movement is spearheaded by Seibert. Seibert experienced a powerful encounter with God during his college years. The trajectory of his life was changed, and eventually the lives of thousands of people around the world.
After deciding to follow Jesus at any cost, Seibert started Antioch Community Church in one of poorest, most crime-ridden and drug-infested part of Waco. Along with a small group of like-minded believers, Seibert embarked on a journey to simply say "yes" to the next thing God was doing. The result has been an astounding adventure of walking with the Holy Spirit, building intimate community, and living with radical intentionality.
"God has called us to be a people who passionately pursue Him with all our hearts and are deeply committed to His purposes. Nothing more. Nothing less. Now after 26 years, we feel like we can tell our story with integrity," explains Seibert, when asked about the timing of this book about Antioch and his personal journey. Seibert speaks with humility. A leader who has purposefully avoided the spotlight, Seibert prefers the role of teacher who seeks to encourage and motivate the church. "We have a heart for the body of Christ to believe in the church again, and to know that Jesus is enough."
The once small gathering has turned into a network of 78 churches around the world in 24 nations, with 30 churches in the United Stated alone. At the original Waco, Texas home base, more than 3,000 people now attend regularly, with 170 Lifegroups meeting in members' homes across the city.
Since its infancy, the church has focused on growing in relational and spiritual depth at home, and sending the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The movement has inspired hundreds of Antioch members to leave their lives of comfort to proclaim the Gospel around the world, often in remote and even hostile environments. Currently, Antioch has more than 200 long-term missionaries who are active around the globe.
In 2001, two of Antioch's missionaries who were in Afghanistan, Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, were arrested and held prisoner by the Taliban. The captivity-and the missionaries' miraculous rescue-became a major international news story after the 9/11 attacks, bringing Antioch's evangelical intentionality into the international conversation.