New Teaching Series – Three Days There’s never been a greater good news story. It’s so good and great because it transforms all of life. The Gospel (which means good news) is centered on the three most critical days of human history. Our salvation rests on what Jesus did and what happened to him on […]
There’s never been a greater good news story. It’s so good and great because it transforms all of life. The Gospel (which means good news) is centered on the three most critical days of human history. Our salvation rests on what Jesus did and what happened to him on the Friday of his death, the Saturday of his burial, and the Sunday of his resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Paul declares that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our deliverance from all the destructive effects of sin, now and forever. In this series leading up to Easter, we will take a deeper look into the meaning of each of those three days and how they affect and shape us now. We’ll explore what Jesus did for us each day and see how we are to respond to the unique spiritual truth of each event.
The Cross of Friday
This Sunday, we will look at Good Friday, the first of the three days. Jesus experienced excruciating pain and suffering as he was flogged and nailed to a cross. We can’t even imagine the extent of his pain. Right before Jesus died, he cried out My God, My God, why have you forsaken me (Mark 15:34 and Psalm 22:1). Crucifixion is primarily death by suffocation. Jesus could hardly breathe. When he spoke these last words right before his death, he had limited ability to speak, so he just quotes the first verse of Psalm 22. However, Jesus knew the entire Psalm by heart. I believe he was praying the whole psalm, not just the first verse.
We call Psalm 22 a “Messianic Psalm” because many of the things King David wrote about concerning his experiences were the exact things Jesus experienced. I encourage you to read and meditate on your own. Both David and Jesus were mocked and surrounded by enemies. Both had their bones exposed and their clothes divided up by casting lots. David describes his horrible condition and suffering in the first 21 verses, and God used David’s experience in a prophetic way to describe what Jesus experienced.
The most common view in Christianity today is that the moment when Jesus declared God had forsaken him was in fact the moment that God turned his back on Jesus. Why? Because God could not look at all the sins of all humanity that Jesus bore at that moment. Yes, Jesus bore all the sins of the world on the cross. But did God turn away from Jesus? Jesus was being fully obedient to his Father. He was sacrificing his life for our sins. Would God abandon him at that very moment? Or did it just feel that way to Jesus?
Let me make my case. Yes, I’m a rare voice that expresses this view, so, in humility, all I ask is that you consider it and make your own decision. Psalm 22 changes at verse 22. Remember that Jesus knew this whole Psalm. I believe Jesus was saying these very words in his mind. Look at verses 22-24 – I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help (Psalm 22:22-24). David goes from lament and suffering (verses 1-21) to praise (verses 22-31). Psalm 22 and many of the other Psalms follow this pattern. When we are first honest with God about our pain, honesty and transparency bring us back to a God worthy of praise.
I believe it is not wise to say that God turned his back on Jesus at the moment of his deepest pain and suffering on the cross. The very Psalm 22 that Jesus quoted says God “has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” Jesus’ suffering was so intense that he felt like God had forsaken him. But Jesus prayed this prayer in his mind to remind him that his suffering was not despised and God had not abandoned him. Nor will God abandon us in our most difficult and painful moments.
Join us this Sunday as we dig deeper into the meaning of that first Good Friday.
I want to thank you all for the kind words and ways you honored Jolene and me on Sunday during Pantano’s 60th anniversary. We are so grateful to be a part of a church that has loved us so well. We are blessed! Sunday I announced that I’ll be ending my active time on our […]
In January of 1962, Pantano Christian Church had her first public meeting held in a home on 31st Street. There were 32 people present that Sunday for its beginning. Today, after 60 years, several building projects, and eight Lead Pastors, we have grown to average over 3100 people. We’ve started three thriving congregations in southern […]
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Wow, what a tough couple of years it has been for our teachers, school administrators, and staff. I can’t express how grateful I am for all who serve our kids in education. Thank you for loving your students and families in some of the most difficult circumstances. You […]
Sunday I preached on one of my most cherished and helpful passages of scripture – Matthew 11:28-30. I felt so inadequate to teach the power and depth of this passage. I’ve come to see it as Jesus’ great invitation. Here’s the passage: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will […]
Located under a tent in front of the welcome center
Won't start until 15 minutes before each service to allow time for cleaning
Volunteers will ask you health screening questions
If your kid has noticeable symptoms or says yes to screening questions, we will ask you to join us online that day
Masks are recommended for kids age 5 and older.
Limited personal items will be allowed with your child in the classroom - we recommend a small diaper bag or Ziploc bag containing 1 diaper and 1 bottle
If your kid is over the age of 3, they will wash or sanitize their hands as they enter the room
Please remain outside of the classroom
If your kid is over the age of 3, they will wash or sanitize their hands as they exit the roomp
In The Classrooms
Volunteers and staff will wear masks
Snack time will be done as normal, with snacks being prepared only by volunteers wearing masks and food handling gloves
Cleaning between Services
All larger toys will be wiped and cleaned between services
All rooms will receive a deep cleaning between services
God made me & God loves me!
Our Sunday classes are designed to incite wonder, provoke discovery and help your child develop a passionate love for Jesus!
Our curriculum is built around simple, but powerful truths, simple crafts and age-appropriate activities that meet little ones
where they are at spiritually, cognitively and socially.
All Bible lessons focus around 3 basic truths:
God made me
God loves me
Jesus wants to be my friend forever
Worship music, crafts, prizes and games
Our Sunday classes are all about digging into the Bible! Kids will be challenged in their spiritual growth through
Bible lessons taught personally and through creative teaching techniques. We also incorporate upbeat worship music,
as well as crafts, prizes and games that help kids remember the lesson and keep them engaged and excited to come back to church!
We want the church to be a fun and safe place to grow, develop friendships and learn about our amazing God!
Safety Info for KidZone
Screened & Background Checked
All teachers and helpers must be regular attendees of Pantano Christian Church, (having attended regularly for at least 3-6 months or past church attendance is verified if new to the area), and must have a Confidential Application and Background Check on file.
Parents are encouraged to have their kid use the bathroom before class.
If a kid has to go to the bathroom, we always have one teacher/helper take up to 3 children, particularly for the preschoolers.
In the elementary department, children can be sent in pairs or groups.
Our policy is to never have one kid alone with one adult in the bathroom
For Benevolence info, please call the church office at 520.298.5395.
Financial Peace University
Take control of your money with Financial Peace University! This nine-lesson class uses Biblical wisdom and common sense to help you tackle budgeting, pay off debt, and make your money work for you!
FreedUp is a six-week program that’s focused on your financial habits and freedom from debt! You will need a cell phone (android or Iphone) or a tablet to participate in this new Biblically-based financial class.
Personal financial coaching in available upon request at no charge. A coach will work along side of you in preparing personalized financial statements,
establishing a budget, a debt-reduction plan, or whatever else in necessary to get your financial life in order. The goal is to assist you in becoming
more effective stewards of the resources God has provided.
We're excited to work with you on your upcoming wedding, and look forward to making your day special. Our goal is to
equip you for a lifetime marriage and to partner with you to have a marriage that reflects Jesus Christ. With that in mind,
we have designed a pre-marriage process for couples desiring to be married by one of our pastors.
Peer counseling is first and foremost a relationship between you and the counselor. It is a free short-term, solution-focused care in a safe and confidential
environment, designed to help you move forward on your personal or family journey.
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Zone 45
When our eyes are set on God, we act right, think right, and live right. God created us to love Him and love others well! This Spring,
our preteens will be studying practical lessons from the Bible in order to put God at the center of their lives and guard their hearts
and their minds in Christ Jesus. Through games, activities, and small group discussion we will check our heart condition and discover
ways to get our spiritual hearts in the best shape possible!
Kinder - 3rd Grades
Finding Jesus under the Sea
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Rooms KZ 11-13
The sea contains many wondrous sights created by God. When we go under the sea and take a closer look, we see that the sea
has much to teach us about God. Join us as we DIVE deeper into what the Bible says about who God is and how he made us!
God's Little Artist
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Rooms KZ 4, 5, 6
God created the Heaven and the Earth; and God created you!! He designed us to be creative and use our imagination! This
Spring, our preschoolers will have fun making Feathery Friends, Mini Maracas, Crazy Creatures and much more as we learn
some amazing stories from the Bible. Come join us as we color, paint, glue and draw our way through God’s amazing world!
Resources For Life’s Issues
We've complied a listing of resources from support groups to hotlines to websites to books for anyone in need of
assistance/help with a particular life issue.
Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Tucson Area Intergroup Inc.
Local Help Line – Available 24/7
800.622.2255 (National Council on Alcoholism)
God, Help Me Stop! A 12 Step Bible Workbook for Recovery from Compulsive Behavior (Claire W.)
12 Steps: A Spiritual Journey (RPI Publishing)
It Will Never Happen To Me by Claudia Black
Abuse & Relationship Issues
National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800.799.SAFE (7233)
Community Crisis Center, 847.697.2380
Child Abuse National Reporting Hotline, 800.25.ABUSE (22873)
National Child Abuse Reporting Hotline, 800.4.A.CHILD (224453)
The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It by Leslie Vernick
Who’s Pushing Your Buttons? Handling the Difficult People in Your Life by John Townsend
Boundaries (When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life) by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse book & workbook by Dan Allender
Into Abba’s Arms, Finding the Acceptance You’ve Always Wanted by Sandra Wilson
Mending The Soul by Steven R. Tracy
Pornography & Sexual Issues
Sex Addicts Anonymous
Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes
False Intimacy by Harry Schaumburg
Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus by Russell Willingham
Every Man’s Battle by Steve Arterburn
Suicide & Depression
National Crisis Help Line, 800.SUICIDE (800.784.2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800.273.TALK (800.273.8255)
Southern Arizona Mental Health Corp (SAMHC) (520.622.6000)
Happiness is a Choice: Symptoms, Causes and Cures of Depression by Frank Minirth and Paul Meier
Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Frank Minirth and Les Carter
Grieving A Suicide: A Loved One’s Search for Comfort, Answers and Hope by Albert Y. Hsu
A Symphony in the Dark: Hearing God’s Voice in Seasons of Grief by Barbara Rainey and Rebecca Rainey Mutz
When Life Changed Forever by Rick and Judy Taylor
If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn
When Bad Things Happen: Thoughtful Answers to Hard Questions (Mini-book) by William P. Smith
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What We Believe
Our vision is to be a catalytic force to bless Southern Arizona and the
world and all of our ministries are dedicated in accomplishing this vision. It is the passion and
calling of our staff to carry out our vision and core values each and every day.
We are part of a group of churches often referred to as the “Independent Christian Church.” We have no formal connection to a denomination – hence the word “independent.”
There are about 5,600 churches like us around the US, with more than 150 averaging over 1000 in attendance.
Mission: Loving people to Jesus, launching passionate people to make a difference.
Our vision is to be a catalytic force to bring God’s influence to Southern Arizona and strategic places in the world.
This is our dream – the dream that God has given us. It currently does NOT exist. It is something we are reaching for in the next 10 to 20 years. It is what we are seeking to become,
a long-term view. This vision describes our preferred future. It is bigger than any of us and dependent on God. Our vision is that Pantano would become a catalytic force to bless
Southern Arizona and the world.
“This is my dream… to see really authentic healthy communities of Jesus followers or churches throughout our city and Southern Arizona. I see these churches as primarily existing to
bring God’s influence and God’s blessing to their immediate neighborhood. I see these churches as giving so much back to their “hood” that they are an indispensable part of the
community. These churches disciple people to follow Jesus well. These churches help start and support the social agencies that serve people. These churches engage to make their
schools better. These churches make their immediate community a good and desirable place to live. These churches will populate heaven for eternity.”
There is an ancient saying, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love.” This reflects our heart and belief at Pantano Christian Church. We are a non-denominational
church that seeks unity in Christ, based on the essential truths of Scripture while allowing for diversity, differences, and even disagreements over non-essential doctrines. Below are six
statements that reflect our corporate essentials and upon which we base our unity in Christ. We all believe much more than these statements and we encourage those who are part of Pantano
Christian Church to vigorously search the scriptures and discuss “non-essential” although important doctrines, while not making those views a test of fellowship. Therefore, we believe in
and are committed with our whole being to…
The one eternal God who is love, revealed in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus, who is the “Christ, the son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), who died for our sins, rose again and will return one day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Titus 2:13).
God, who is always present in all believers through the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is active in transforming us into Christlikeness and empowering us to make our world different (John 14:16-17; 1 Peter 4:10).
The Bible as God’s primary message or word to us, a guide for living and our trustworthy and final authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
A loving God who wants to save every person from the power of sin so that we may be free to do what is good. Salvation is a gift from God through Christ which allows us to be in deep relationship with our Father, now and forever. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-8).
God, who is bringing about a spiritual revolution and wants to transform our lives and our world as his kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 4:17; 6:10).
The above statements do not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For the purpose of Pantano Christian Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, discipline, and policy our Elders are the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
The following are core beliefs that shape who we are as a church community and define how we do ministry.
We seek first the kingdom of God. Being kingdom first drives us beyond our own church community. We strive to join God wherever He is at work to advance the kingdom of God and his influence. We are an externally focused church that is not church-centric, but kingdom-centric. (Matthew 4:17; 6:10, 33; 28:18-20)
God created his church to be both unified and diverse (gender, race, generations, and socioeconomic status), which best reflects the heart of God and the way of Jesus. (John 17:20-23; Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; Revelation 7:9-10)
God created sex to be practiced in the context of marriage. God ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and God himself. Therefore, we recognize biblical marriage to be between a biological man and a biological woman as given at birth. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-12; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5-8)
Women may minister, serve, lead and teach in any and all ministry positions, contexts, and roles except one, that of elder. Specifically, women may be ordained, serve as pastors and perform pastoral ministry, teach in groups of mixed genders of any size or location, and lead departments or programs of the church. (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28; Romans 16:1-16)
Jesus called his followers to be all in and focus on making disciples of Jesus. It begins with ourselves. Being “All In” means that we are growing to be like Jesus, reaching lost people, helping others to be like Jesus, sharing life together, serving, and being generous with our time, talents, and treasures. Worship services at Pantano are designed to both reach lost people (Luke 15) and inspire believers to put the Word of God into action (James 1:22-25). True discipleship happens best in the context of a small group. (Matthew 4:19; 16:24; 28:18-20; Luke 6:38; Acts 2:42-47; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 3:15; 4:8-11)