I read stories to my kids.
Some books are one chapter long and contain the complete storyline. Others follow the story through scene changes and adaptations within the new and different chapters. Each chapter seeks to convey the story in ways that pull the reader along.
Our lives are similar. Each of us has ‘chapters’, if you will, to our journey – our story. These are marked by those transitions in life that we all pass through. (Though puberty is the one chapter many wish they could skip.) Each chapter is necessary and builds the development of the storyline in necessary, engaging and significant ways. You can’t have the next without the previous…
So, I write this post to mark a transition for my family and myself.
The chapter is turning.
As the next page is being revealed there are all sorts of emotions and memories circulating.
I will be setting out with old friends in new ways to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. I’m answering a call that has been growing within for a few years, and if I’m honest, has been underneath the surface for much of my life.
In 2013, Amy and I will become fully invested in the dream, the adventure and the movement of a new church here in Tucson – Elements City Church. A partnership and plant from a couple very healthy churches here in town – commissioning Elements to be a ‘light of the world’ kind of community in the heart of our beautiful city of Tucson.
(*To watch a short video about this partnership – click here).
I am fully and forever indebted to the people of Casas Church. I’m honored to have been one of the pastors who has tried his best to shepherd people to know God, love God, grow with Him and passionately point others toward Him. From my days as a child having people love me and pour their lives into teaching me; to the days of my youth and all the folks and peers God used to shape my character and calling; to the days of having people like Roger Barrier, Glenn, Gary, Julie, Phil, Danny, Doris, Larry, Steve, Jerry, Darin, Frank, David, Carol, Andy, James and a host of others believing in me and giving me opportunities to grow in my leadership; and to our current congregation that has allowed me to grow in my preaching and has been a constant source of encouragement in my life and the life of our family – Thank You.
We are all a product of those who have invested in us, and I am one who is forever grateful for those God has used to help mature me. I’m grateful for a mother who, though no longer around, her training and molding is never out of reach and still shapes me today. I’m grateful for godly parents. I’m grateful for an Uncle and Grandfather who were ministers and church planters and whom God used in ways to pull me into this chapter long before I knew these pages would be written. I’m grateful for a godly wife who listens and has courage to follow God into the ‘next’ alongside me. Her encouragement is paramount. Her discernment is guiding. Her love is replenishing.
Back to the story…
Elements is a service that has been meeting at Pantano Christian for the past few years and was commissioned to be a future church plant. Well, the future is now.
We currently are meeting at Pantano Christian Church on the east side of town on Sunday evenings. We are going to be moving to midtown Tucson in 2013. Church isn’t a building – it’s a movement of Jesus and we will be a people who move with him to make a difference in our city. We’ll be a church that gathers and grows, but also a church that scatters to serve.
Elements City Church is a collection of people. Some of us are followers of God and others are beginning to investigate him. Nonetheless, HOPE pulls each of us to ‘next steps’ in our spiritual journey. We’re a gathering of people who believe this available HOPE truly can change things. Because, we believe that HOPE has a name. His name is Jesus.
We believe the LOVE of God is too good to keep to ourselves. Love after all, is best when it’s shared and hope is only powerful when it’s unleashed to do its work. We believe those who focus on God first have the rest of their lives fall into proper and fulfilling alignment.
We believe people are hungry for a love and hope that can satisfy their search. So, we want to bring the HOPE of Jesus to the HEART of our city here in Tucson. The city is full of activity, but full of activity doesn’t equate to a FULL life. We believe that Jesus’ mission of coming to bring ‘life’ is more relevant today then maybe ever before. (John 10:10)
So, the next chapter is one that entices me to keep following my Savior, Lord and Leader of life into adventure. The adventure of being in partnership with Him to bring ‘life’ and ‘light’ into dark places in order to be a life-giving and life-changing source of HOPE.
My last day at Casas Church will be January 6th, 2013 and the first official day in the next chapter begins January 7th.
Here’s to the adventure of the future.
Here’s to the legacy of the past.
Both are great treasures.
-Jack & Amy