Happy New Year! It takes some practice to type 2018, instead of 2017! And one of our Pantano traditions in the new year is to prayerfully pick one word that we’ll focus on for the entire year. We use this to replace the normal New Year’s resolutions. One Word provides us a focus that increases our ability to allow God to truly transform an area of our life.
I shared the idea this past Sunday in my message. If you missed it you can watch it online. Your One Word could be a character quality or habit you want to develop. It could be an action or attitude you want to be more prominent in your life. It could be a dream or hope you have.
Once you get a sense of the word God wants you to focus on, share it online and use the hashtag #oneword. I have loved reading the posts of folks who have been sharing their One Word. The more you share and talk about your One Word, the more cemented it becomes in you. If you are in a life group, be sure to share it with those you do life with.
We’ll have One Word cards you can fill out to remind you and for taking a selfie to post. You can find them in the lobby or Guest Services on Sunday. If you’d like an online version of the One Word card (to download and print), just go to mypantano.church. It will be the main item on the front page this week.
This is the fourth year I’ve done the One Word focus. God has used it to change me in ways I would never have thought possible. The thing I like about the One Word focus is that God consistently surprises me. Every January, once I’ve identified my One Word, I think I know what God wants to change or grow in me. But as the year continues, I find that the Holy Spirit takes me in directions that I hadn’t anticipated. He takes me deeper and further than I had imagined.
My word for 2018 is LEGACY. Here’s how I think about it as we begin the year. I’ve been in full time ministry now for 40 years. Hard to believe, huh?!? I’ve tried to be a good and faithful pastor and missionary as possible during those years. I’ve seen my primary role as teaching, leading and doing what I can do to help the church be healthy and expand the kingdom of God. But with this One Word, I want to adjust my focus. Starting this year, I want to be more focused on building into other pastors and leaders. My “legacy” won’t be the work I do, but the people I prepare to carry on for me when that day comes when I can no longer do the work. In other words, I want my legacy not to be what I’ve done, but in the people I’ve developed to be Christlike leaders who will make a difference for Jesus. I’m so looking forward to 2018!!! Let the journey begin!