We just finished our series Difference Maker. We spent four weeks looking at the story in Nehemiah to gain insight into how we can join God to make a difference. It’s been my hope, prayer, and challenge that you would be ‘all in’ to experience all God wants to do through you. God wants us to join him in making a difference in our unique context and calling. So it’s time to commit to that by becoming an All In Partner. It takes all of us who are part of Pantano, being fully devoted to the mission God has given us, to see God show up and change people and things.
What’s an All In Partner? Every year, we ask you to recommit to partnering with others who are part of Pantano to fulfill our mission – loving people to Jesus, launching passionate people to make a difference. This commitment isn’t just an annual “check the box” or fill out the form kind of deal. I want you to truly take some time to reflect on your calling and commitment. God is calling our church to make a difference. That means the more of us who are truly ‘all in’ will be used by God for collective difference-making.
If you’ve decided to follow Jesus and made him Lord of your life, we ask you, as an All In Partner, to actually do four things; this is what you are committing to over the next year as an All In Partner:
The commitment is for one year. If you were an All In Partner in 2020 or any previous year, we start over. Take the time to reflect and make the commitment anew. Together, we can make a difference. We can accomplish more. Imagine if all of us were ‘all in’ what a difference we would make. Let us know you are ‘all in’ by completing the short digital form – click here. I’ll be following up with you in a few weeks.
You can also purchase an All In t-shirt at our Pantano shop.
Next week, we start a new teaching series – This is the Way. Followers of Jesus are to be connected to Jesus, abide in him, to experience a real relationship with him. But often, our lives are too busy and full for that connection. Jesus practiced some things that kept him close to God and grounded in his faith. It’s through these same practices that our souls are filled, and we thrive. We’ll be exploring several spiritual practices that help us to be present to ourselves, with God, and with others.
Glen ElliottSubscribe: https://pantano.church/blogsubscription
I got a box of assorted chocolates at Christmas time. I loved it. And yes, I’m not lost on Forrest Gump’s famous quote in the 1994 film – “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” So my blog this week will be about an assortment of things here at Pantano. You never know what you might find out!
Feed My Starving Children
Over the last 7 years, we packed just over 2.1 million nutritious meals which are shipped all over the world to provide a healthy balanced diet for children in need. We’ve fed a lot of hungry stomachs! Way to go, Pantano!
Elisa Medina – Hands of Hope
If you missed the powerful message Elisa Medina gave at Pantano, be sure to watch her online at https://pantano.church/watch/. Yes, she talked about abortion, but she did so in such a compassionate and unique way. Her personal stories are amazing. No matter what you think about abortion, her message is worth watching. Thank you, Elisa, for your heart for Jesus that’s greater than the cause to which you’ve given your life.
We start a new five-week teaching series this Sunday (January 26) at both physical campuses and online. We are calling it Invitations. Following Jesus is actually a series of invitations. Each invitation from Jesus is meant to help take us deeper in our relationship with God. Here are some of the invitations we’ll be looking at in this series: an invitation to follow; an invitation to encounter God; an invitation to experience freedom God has for us as we let go of our guilt, shame, and regret; an invitation to change the way we think; and an invitation to abide or to be ‘in Christ’. If we’ll say “yes” to each of these invitations, we’ll move closer to God, find greater meaning in life, and grow to be more like Jesus. And there’s one more invitation; this Sunday (Jan. 26th), we’ll have an opportunity for folks to say “yes” to Jesus and express their commitment in baptism.
Movement Day – Addressing Poverty in Tucson
Tucson ranks as one of the poorest metro areas in the United States. This doesn’t have to be this way. 4Tucson is hosting Movement Day where the church in Tucson will gather to address the root causes of poverty and find ways to make a lasting sustainable change in our city. Join us this Saturday (Jan. 25th) starting at 8:30 am at La Paloma Resort (3800 E. Sunrise Dr. 85718). To register go to https://www.4tucson.com/movement%20day/.
All In Partner
If you haven’t done so yet, please make a commitment to be an All In Partner. Cards are available at both campuses or you can “sign” digitally online at https://mypantano.church/allin
I absolutely believe that the church is the hope for our city. There’s spiritual darkness all around us. That’s verified in the fact that Tucson is a post-Christian city. Nationally, we rank 16th out of 100 (1 being the least influenced by the Christian faith) for post-Christian cities. We are more post-Christian than San Francisco – who would ever guess that?! 51% of our residents report that they have no connection or identity with the Christian faith. That spiritual void only feeds the multitude of other problems we face in our beloved town. It is only the church that can bring the influence of God into our city.
By church, I don’t mean the “institutional” church. I’m talking about you and me – we are the church. When the majority of our church (you and I!) are all in, fully devoted, and sold out to Jesus and his mission, we’ll push back the darkness. When the church is alive and on mission, loving people to Jesus, God will show up in us and through us to make a difference.
I’m asking you to be an All In Partner in 2020. Being All In at Pantano means…
You have publicly confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord through baptism as a testimony of your commitment to follow Jesus. It means you are passionately committed to partner with others in following and becoming like Jesus as you…
It means you’re excited and invested in Pantano’s vision and mission:
Vision: To be a catalytic force to bless Southern Arizona and the world
Mission: Loving people to Jesus and launching passionate people to make our world different
Being an All In Partner at Pantano is a declaration that you want to live an uncommon faith to live for something bigger than your day to day routine. You are affirming that your whole life, your time, skills, energy & resources belong to Jesus. He is Lord. You’ll use your life, to the best of your ability, to follow Jesus to make a difference. Being All In means that you’ll seek to love people to Jesus and help us transform our world & populate eternity. Together, we can make a difference.
We commit to being All In every year. Thank you to those who were All In in 2019. However, this is a new year, so I’m asking you to sign up again. If you haven’t been an All In Partner, now is a great time to start. Declare it as your desire to grow. We do this every year so our commitment is fresh, active and alive.
Together with God, we can bring light to the darkness and advance the influence of God in our city. The gates of hell can’t stop us. All it takes is people who are All In. You can sign the physical card available on Sundays at both campuses or even better, you can sign it online at https://mypantano.church/allin.
It’s common for people to love Jesus, believe the Bible, be basically good and serve others, but stop short of the radical kind of life that Jesus invites. Well, what more is there to faith? I’ll get to that shortly. Now, I’m pretty sure most of these folks are saved (only Jesus knows for sure). They obey Jesus, but often do so reluctantly and mostly out of a sense of obligation. They will be dutiful and go through the motions, but their obedience has limits. They have faith, but it is not a fully surrendered faith.
Jesus invites us to an uncommon level of faith. What does that mean? He calls us to a radical abandonment of that which is safe and predictable and where we are, in the end, still in control. Jesus wants us to embrace an uncommon faith that is so mature that we are sold out, fully devoted and “all in” as we follow him. This kind of faith sets no limits on what we’ll do in obedience to Jesus. This Sunday we begin a new series called Uncommon. I’ll be challenging all of us to join a group of uncommon folks who embrace an uncommon faith. This is going to be good!
One of the places I see this is in a story recorded in Luke 5:1-11. What we see in this story is that Simon Peter responds to Jesus in two different ways. The first occurs as he’s living out of a common kind of faith. Jesus asked Simon Peter to go fishing but he really didn’t want to do it. That’s a characteristic of ordinary faith. We know what Jesus wants, but we drag our heels, question why and often complain (even if only inside). When Simon Peter reluctantly agreed to do what Jesus asked he addressed Jesus as “Master” (see verse 5). The word “master” means one who has status and authority or someone who is perceived as important. Simon Peter saw Jesus as a great person and obeyed him because of his status.
Simon Peter and his partners put out the nets and had a miraculous catch of fish that filled the boats. In response to the miracle, Simon Peter addressed Jesus as “lord” (see verse 8). “Lord” is a different word than “master.” It means owner. There’s a huge difference between Jesus being an important person with status and Jesus as the owner of our lives. Peter moved from a common, normal faith to an uncommon one.
So, I want to invite you to renew or embrace a commitment to live an uncommon faith. We call that All In Partnership here at Pantano. Every year I ask you, as one who’s part of our church, to declare your commitment to surrender to the lordship of Jesus. 2019 All In Partner cards will be available this Sunday or you can sign it online.
Don’t sign up to be All In unless you are sincere about it. Not everyone is ready to embrace an uncommon faith – that’s why it is uncommon. And, declaring you are All In doesn’t mean you will do this perfectly. Join me, and many others, in being All In. Being All In means you affirm that your whole life – your time, your skills, and your money belongs to Jesus. Because he’s Lord, you’ll do your best to follow him in how he leads you to use your life to make a difference, wherever and however. Being All In means you’ll seek to love people to Jesus and help us transform our world and populate eternity.