CEO Newsletter - january 2024
By LaKisha Deon 1-24-2024
Join us at the El Conquistador for the 2024 Blessing Breakfast!
To know and feel the favor of God is an amazing experience. In 2023, we were encouraged to meet with key city leaders addressing systemic issues in Tucson. The work we are blessed to do through our vision is so rewarding. At 4Tucson, we are grateful to have a front row seat to watch God bring peace and prosperity to Tucson.
The ability to live out the vision and mission of 4Tucson would be impossible to accomplish if not for our faithful donors. The generosity that we experience from the prayers and donations have supported the staff and me as we do the work God called us to do in Tucson.
As we interact with others in Tucson, we noticed there is a newfound understanding of what 4Tucson does and how our contributions assist with our community operating as a City Church. We believe God desires to transform Tucson. We believe He wants you to be a part of bringing a city to be aligned with His ways.
God has revealed example after example of how He desires to transform Tucson, and most of us in ministry will admit it is by us all working together. Apostle Paul in Romans 12:4-5 expressed, “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” The openness of Christian leaders in Tucson to work with one another in communion, in union, and collaboration has given space for the Holy Spirit to do a great work.
On the Horizon for 4Tucson in 2024
We still have a great work before us. God is in control and I am grateful to let Him take the lead. In addition to the work of becoming fully funded for 2024, 4Tucson is also navigating significant relationships who want to invite the church community to the table for solution generation and open discussion.
County leaders have asked us to assist with a potential solution that they do not have the relational capacity to do on their own. The Church has an opportunity to be at the table and discuss how county and city government can work together to take care of the people of Tucson. I am sensing (it is only a gut-feeling ☺) that our local government wants to be aligned with their designed purpose; creating and enforcing rules for the safety and well-being of the public. Taking care of people’s personal needs starts to move outside of their designed role. Next month we will discuss how the Church can assist with reducing the recidivism rate, unsheltered population, and poverty in our area. (What a great opportunity to manifest the love of Christ as a City Church!)
In addition to government, business, church, and prayer domain collaboration, I am excited to share some other new things that are happening in 2024.
Building Operational Capacity
As we press into this new stage of 4Tucson’s Biblical City Transformation model, you may have noticed a shift in how we are operating. We have moved from the organizational domain structure. Instead of individuals who are focused in specific domains in our society, we are growing into a team who are specialized in our city’s heritage and systemic issues. We value and understand the importance of building relational capacity among Christians in our city. However, we have found that by collaborating with other organizations focused on relational unity, we can now direct our capacity and resources in building operational unity.
With this internal change, we can focus on systemic issues and follow a solution-oriented model that allows us to observe with empathy, generate solutions, develop projects/programs, and analyze results throughout the year. The city-centric solution-driven model requires just as much relational equity, if not more, to see all who live here flourish.
Over the next couple of months, look for opportunities where you can get involved with biblical city transformation. Currently, we have a few to share:
2024 Blessing Breakfast for First Responders and Elected Officials (Evangelistic Opportunity)
For more than ten years, 4Tucson partnered with Michael Quinn and the 100 Club of Arizona to launch this breakfast in a small conference room with just over 20 attendees; the purpose was to pray blessings over them for the new year. Today, the Blessing Breakfast has grown to over 300 in attendance! It is an event where a sea of uniforms fills the ballroom at the El Conquistador Hotel as we honor them for their commitment to our community.
This year, we are sending a specific request to churches to consider sponsoring a table and create an opportunity to minister to the first responders seated at your table ($520 for eight seats). We envision this as a time of relationship building when first responders can connect with a pastor, deacon, or elder who can pray for them throughout the year.
Movement Day Tucson
Movement Day Tucson is an annual collaborative event that strengthens existing projects and launches new ones, but it is so much more than that. It is a time to see what people are excited about and where God is moving in our city. It allows us to make new relationships and further cement existing ones.
Using the Co-Creation brainstorm method, Brain Trust members will assist Project Owners in developing projects and programs. Movement Day 2024 will feature projects from 4Tucson and other community partners. You may not know this, but one success of Movement Day 2023 was domain representatives from government, business, church, social services, and prayer, as well as city department staff formed a delegation to Austin, TX. This research trip allowed five leaders/ organizational decision makers to observe a potential solution to Tucson’s homeless issues. The delegates continue to meet, strategize, and implement on how we can collaboratively solve this.
Calling All Authors
How many of you are, or know, a published author? Since 2009 the Tucson Festival of Books welcomes over 450 authors/presenters and 50,000 regional visitors to the UofA mall. Over the years Festival attendance has grown to 130,000 people.
In 2023 4Tucson had a small presence with four Christian Authors to showcase their work. (Click here to download the 2023 participating author flyer.) While at the Festival, we noticed the small footprint of christian author and family-centric material. So this year, 4Tucson is mobilizing more christian authors to be present at the 15th annual Tucson Festival of Books.
If you are interested in being one of our featured authors, click here to see how to participate. This year we hope to partner with churches, organizations, and volunteers. Please reach out to Lynda@4Tucson.com for more information.
Supporting Operational Capacity
Above is just a quick snapshot of what is coming in this first quarter. Biblical City Transformation is fun yet challenging. As I shared in the beginning, we have been blessed to experience God’s favor. As you can also see, there are plenty of ways to join in our efforts in bringing our city in alignment with God’s ways so that His peace and prosperity are experienced by all generations.
Working in ministry is a true faith walk for those who answered the call, as well as for their families; it is power through faith and action. We as a staff have faithfully walked into the calling God has placed on us to catalyze our city for biblical change. In 2023 donations were down. Through prayer God revealed that He is calling 4Tucson to shift. And in obedience we are. We believe the fruit produced is a result of our obedience.
In 2023, God allowed us to end the year with raising just enough to cover most of our expenses. We praise the LORD for allowing us to raise $486,910.56. We stepped out on faith and Jehovah Jireh (God will Provide) responded by meeting our needs.
For 2024, we need to raise $560,000.
Examples listed below will help us achieve our annual budget goal of $560,000.
- 5 people contributing at $5,000/month or
- 24 people contributing at $1,000/month or
- 160 people contributing at $150/month or
- 480 people contributing at $50/month
We currently receive monthly dedicated commitments of $22,760. If you are unable to pledge to the above suggested amounts, any amount God lays on your heart will be greatly appreciated. Whether you do or do not have the ability to give monthly, would you also consider one of the following:
- Pray – Would you commit to praying for 4Tucson’s vision, mission, and God’s favor?
- Influence – Would you consider hosting a small group gathering or Spiritual Heritage Bus Tour?
- Volunteer – Would you consider participating as a team in monthly strategy or implementation meetings on solutions for our city?
Once again, thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you and keep you through 2024. In Jesus Name, Amen.