After the Resurrection
Easter 2017 – What’s Next?
What an amazing Easter weekend at Pantano! God was clearly present. On Saturday we hosted our New Life Celebration and had about 3600 people on our campus and ran out of parking! Then on Easter Sunday we had 4,283 people in our adult services and in KidZone. Plus, we officially launched our Pantano live streaming and had 357 join us online from all over the world. You can remotely join us for the FULL service – including singing – from now on. So the total attendance was 4,640. But the most amazing number of all were the 77 baptisms this weekend. What a great celebration we had concerning the core of our faith: Jesus is alive! But what’s next?
I’ll bet the disciples of Jesus had a similar question. What’s next? I try to put myself in the place of Jesus’ eleven disciples after he was crucified, buried and God raised him from the dead. After Jesus showed himself to them as alive, they truly believed. But what went through their minds during those 50 days between his resurrection and the day of Pentecost when the church was born. They had to be wondering and asking “what’s next?” In time, Jesus directed them and gave them the power of the Holy Spirit to launch a worldwide spiritual revolution. They went into the whole world with the good news of Jesus.
77 People Beginning a New Life
But what’s next for us after a spectacular Easter celebration? First, may I please ask you to pray for the 77 people who made a promise to follow Jesus in baptism on Easter. Pray that the Holy Spirit will protect them from the evil one who will be working overtime to tempt them and try to distract them from their commitment. Pray that as we follow up with these precious folks that they will take the next step toward becoming a disciple and follow through on their commitment in becoming more like Jesus.
New Series: Shattered
I can’t count how many guests I met this past weekend who were at Pantano because YOU invited them. Thank you! But don’t stop. We are launching a new teaching series this Sunday called Shattered. We’ll address how Jesus instructs us to respond when our lives are shattered. Some of us grew up in a toxic, unsafe family, and were verbally, emotionally, physically or even sexually abused. Some of us have been abandoned or betrayed by loved ones or we watched our dreams trashed by a selfish and evil person. We’ve lived with an offense and the pain for far too long. Maybe this is your experience. Or maybe you know of people whose lives have been shattered. Prayerfully consider inviting some folks to join you for this three-week series. We intentionally create a series like this after Easter that can be helpful to those who are just coming back to God or finding an interest in God. Our living Jesus is still in the business of repairing shattered lives!
The Pantano Path to Discipleship
And we’ve changed the naming and pathway to help people be discipled and to find a place where they both can belong and serve. It is our discipleship pathway. We had to change the names of the places because the old ones were a bit confusing to new folks. The first place for someone new to start will now be called Starting Point (formerly called The Connecting Place). Then from Starting Point, we’ll invite people to a four-week class/group called Discover Pantano (formerly Starting Point) where they will learn more about Pantano and discover their next step in following Jesus. Then anytime someone wants to get connected or serve, the place to go is Launching Point (formerly Next Step). All three rooms are off the south side of the courtyard facing the courtyard for easy access. And if you forget what or where these are, just go to the Guest Services kiosk and they will help you.