Why I am glad we became Church Planters


church plantingIn 1996 we left ministry in Northville Michigan to plant a church in Bedford township or Temperance, Michigan, a bordertown adjacent north to Toledo, Ohio. NCA and  sent us out with love, prayer, and support in every way.  It has been 21 years.  I am so glad Wendy and I stepped out in faith, left the comforts of being a full-time youth pastor, and went on the journey.  Today we have 2 campuses, 4 weekend gatherings, with 50+ small groups, and an amazing staff.  We have built a few times, and have seen many, many people come to Christ, we have started another campus, and God is moving in lives and growing people’s faith.. Here is why I am so glad I did not “chicken” out from the challenges of church planting.

  • I needed to grow in faith.  I had to trust God for everything. My faith grew. I can believe God for so many things as I have seen Him so faithful. I would not have the faith I have now, if I did not plant Compelled Church.
  • I struggled being bi-vocational.  The struggle helped me. I had to be better with time, plan more efficiently, and think ahead. I had to budget money carefully.  We learned to live on less, and not lose our joy.
  • I understand the pressures and challenges of our bi-vocational pastors because  I was.  It is hard.  No one gets how hard it is.
  • My children were part of the church plant and have experienced this, and it is part of their ethos and worldview.  They know God is real. The love the church, and love ministry.
  • The stories!  People’s lives changed by Christ. I know God would have called someone else if we would have said no to the call here, but I get the privilege of being part of the spiritual journey of many. What an honor.
  • Christ is so real to me.  I will never forget that this is his church. He is the head.  He is in charge and He builds the church. I live at His service.
  • Compelled Church has been an encouragement to other pastors and leaders. They gave in those early years, they invested, they encouraged, and their fingerprints are on Compelled.  I know that encourages them to continue to help and support church planters.
  • We planted another campus in Toledo. Many have come to Christ, come back to Christ and God’s people had an opportunity to be missional and believe God for another “church”.  The campus pastor, Tim Rabara, was saved, discipled, and sent out from Compelled Church.
  • We have also supported other church plants, taken dozens of mission trips, given hundreds of thousands to missions, because of this church plant.
  • We have had the opportunity to send many into ministry and missions over the years. Dozens of young people and adults, serve in ministry in so many places. What an honor to be part of their journey.
  • We have made  priceless relationships in the community, as we lived here, imbedded our lives here, went to the public school here, participating in sports, and the community.  God has leveraged those relationships in amazing ways. I have some amazing stories.
  • I met amazing mentors that poured into my life to helped me, and speak into my life.  I will forever be indebted to Dean Grabill, my brother Steve, Todd Winkler,  Otis Buchan and NCA, Hugh Duncan (he never stopped encouraging me, contacting me, writing me, calling me), Dennis Clanton, Marty Eddinger, Jim Rentz, Tim Dilena, Steve Miller, Joel Stocker, Brad and Tom Trask, more friends and mentors than I can even list!
  • Everyday has been an adventure, in the lives, and community of faith. I would not trade it for the world. The last 21 years have been a roller coast ride of amazing, with God’s faithfulness in each season, the great ones, and the tough ones, He is faithful.

Don’t underestimate the power and leading of God.  If you want to investigate more about church planting, multi-site, shoot me a note. I would be overjoyed to invest and help in anyway I can into future planters.   nate@compelledchurch.tv

Some church-planting pics for fun.

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Self-Control will bless your life


resolute.jpg“ A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls”  Proverbs 25.28 NLT

 We live in a time where denying yourself anything one desires is not even a thought.  Hence, our life can suffer without the virtue of  self-control.  We must control ourselves, our desires, our wants, or we will be as vulnerable as a city with no defenses. The enemy will attack, plunder us and our families, and lead us as prisoners.  There is a reason “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5.22-23). Without self-control we will make decisions, that ultimately will have a high cost.

How would you rate yourself when it comes to self-control?  Take some time and really ponder, meditate, and honestly reflect on these questions.

  1. Do you control yourself when it comes to your focused time of listening and learning from God? Do you make sure you are reading, learning, reflecting? Is this easy to skip? Can you go days without being alone with Jesus?
  2. Are you a slave to your phone and devices with no self-control? The desire and OCD to constantly invest your time and life to social media to keep looking at what other’s are posting in their lives, is a time-eater. How much per day get this part of you? What could you do to redeem this time?
  3. Can you say no to temptation? Without self-control we can fall into sin. The enemy tempts all. No one is exempt from temptation.  Our heart can deceive us. Our flesh can attempt to lead us down roads we never want to go. Without self-control we can fall victim and make decisions that can ruin our lives and the lives of our family. We can choose sin over the Lord, and violation of God’s ways over our love for Jesus.  We must grow our faith and walk, as that will build self-control, and our city walls will defend us from our enemy.
  4. How do you entertain yourself? Literally we have 24 hours of non-stop entertainment to numb us and gobble up our lives (time), and even infect our spirit.  You can stream any movie, Youtube never shuts off, social media it always with us. We have any game available.   We are connected and can watch whatever we want, almost wherever we want.  Violence, pornography, lewdness, filthy communication, are available to all.  Without self-control, one can participate in these things and literally forfeit your soul, and steal your passion and desire for the Lord and purity.  We have to be honest, Christian or not, we are losing this front where self-control is desperately needed. The stats on those hooked on pornography is staggering. With its easy availability on every social media platform and our phones, the enemy has found a way to kill a person from the inside out and wreck the love of marriages and view of each other.
  5. How about your family? Do we serve them? Our flesh may never feel like serving, but a person that has control over themselves will serve, and when Jesus has control of you, they will love being with their family, investing in their marriage, spending time with their children.  Hobbies and desires for leisure activities apart from family will take a back seat to a person with self-control. There will be time for them, but not at the expense of your marriage and family.
  6. How is your diet? Our society is sick because we have no self-control with what we eat or exercise. Capitalism has made food big business. So unhealthy food tastes the best, and sells the most, so it is available, in large quantities, everywhere.  Many  cannot go a day without soda, frappe, and drinks with hundreds of calories from sugar. Without self-control, our health will suffer, we will have no energy, or desire to be active, and we spiral downward physically, hoping a pill or a health gimmick will save us, but only self-control will.  This battle is real and I am in it. I am determined to never give up on my diet and health. I want to have energy and healthy to be active with my grandchildren and children.

 

So, with self-control in a life, there is big benefits and blessings. Let me write down some observations I have seen with people you have the self-control of God in their lives.

  1. They grow in Christ and invest in their soul. They read, reflect,and have lives of prayer, thus building their “wall” and protecting their “city” lives (Proverbs 25.28). They enjoy making time daily to commune with the Lord, His Word, and the things that grow them and protect them from evil.
  2. They are not self-consumed, as self-control has sculpted them into being like Christ, being a servant. A person with self-control lives outside of themselves and goes out of their way for others, to glorify Christ.
  3. They accomplish things in life that bring purpose and glorify the Lord. With self-control one can get a degree, learn an instrument, hone a skill, enjoy a craft, start a non-profit ministry etc. They are people who are not afraid of trying new things and working hard to see things accomplished. They avoid wasting large bites of time.
  4. People with self-control are not followers. They don’t allow someone else to lead them into destruction, bad habits, sinful activities. They lead themselves, they are in control of their lives. They want to honor God with their choices. They don’t need to make someone else happy or have their approval.
  5. People with self-control do hard things that make a difference. They don’t take the easy road. They are up for a challenge. They enjoy the fruit of their goals, even if it takes years.
  6. People with self-control can love unconditionally, forgive, and live with healthy relationships, as they know Christ, and Christ forgives and the flesh that wants to be bitter, wants to hate people, wants revenge, is put to death, by the person that is in control of their emotions, as they choose to follow Christ.
  7. They don’t have to apologize much. They don’t lose their cool, say things they shouldn’t and treat people awful. They are in control of themselves, their actions, and what they say. This happens because they are first in control of what they think.
  8. They make wise financial choices. They can say no and control themselves to wait for the things they need or want. They don’t drive their families in debt and live in poverty because they can’t say no and deny themselves. They save, they wait, they are wise. They also have self-control to give generously to the work of the Lord on this earth.
  9. People with self-control have convictions about life. They go to work. They go to church. They serve. They give. They think about others.  They grow. They are not given to addictions, bad habits, vices, and/or laziness with work or spiritually.
  10. They say “no” to their flesh. So they  are protected from starting an addiction, an affair, a bad habit, or a pattern in life that will ruin them. They watch their health, try to eat healthy. They say no to the temptation of the devil. They say no when others try and get them to sin. They can say no to themselves.   They are resolute in their convictions and desire to be faithful to the Lord.

 

Self-control is a critical attribute and no one is exempt.  We need more of it in the day we live.  Without self-control, one is going to have a very difficult life, and so will their family. With self-control, one will enjoy side-stepping and avoiding all sorts of problems in life, and will honor the Lord with who they are  and who they are becoming with every great, godly, self-controlled choice. They will live a blessed life.

Scriptures to ponder

Galatians 5:22–23 (NASB1995)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Proverbs 15:33 (NASB95)

33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,And before honor comes humility.

Proverbs 11:10 (NRSV)

10   When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.

Proverbs 12:11 (NRSV)

11   Those who till their land will have plenty of food,

but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.

Proverbs 12:24 (NRSV)

24   The hand of the diligent will rule, while the lazy will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 13:3–4 (NRSV)

3     Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives; those who open wide their lips come to ruin.

4     The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.

Proverbs 26:13–16 (NLT)

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.

15 Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.

2 Peter 1:5–6 (NLT)

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,

 

Message is on sin this weekend and the remedy, John 1.29


I, by nature, am an encourager. The message this week is on sin and how Christ came to take away our sin as the “lamb of God.” (John 1.29).  As I have been seeking God and praying about the message it dawns on me through illumination and the Logos Word of God, that God is pretty serious about sin.  Sin in the believer and the believer.  For us to understand the Gospel, know about Jesus, and to continue to willfully live in sin, apart from God, is a horrible decision.  Communicating this serious Truth with grace and love will be the challenge this weekend.  Freedom is enouragement and walking in truth is also.

Our greatest life is to be forgiven and honor God with our life. To walk away from sin, sinful behavior, sin of ignoring Christ and what we know, bring amazing joy, peace and freedom, and removes the wrath of God from our lives (John 3.36). Pray for me as I teach these truths. Pray for us all, that we would be aware of sin, and believe, be forgiven, and walk in grace with thankful hearts.

Pray for those who know all of this, yet seem not to care anymore.

Pray for those who will hear the Gospel for the first time.

Pray for those filled with spiritual pride that think this message is for everyone else, not them.

Pray for this pastor.

Below are the handout notes.

P. Nate

John One|1.29

Compelled Church,

July 6, 2017

 

John 1.19-34

1.29   “ The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “

 

Some Definitions

“Lamb of God”

The Lamb provided to Abraham Genesis 22:8 “ Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.”

The Passover Lamb- Exodus 12. 1-13

The Lamb of Isaiah-Isiah 53.1-5

The Lamb of Revelation  (Rev. 5 1.1-10   Revelation  5:9–10 (NASB95)

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Sin- Gr. “harmartia”  sin, evil actions, guilt

Two Types of Sin- 1)Omission 2) commission

Of the World-  The atonement of Christ is comprehensive-

1 John 2:1–2” My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

  1. The foolish view

I don’t care about my sin.  (God cares)

It does not bother me to sin.  (you are deceived or heart has become hard)

I don’t feel guilty when I sin.   Guilt could be covered by selfishness and rebellion

James 1:14–16But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. “

 

  1. The significance of “sins gone”

The guilt of sin is gone Hebrews 10.22 Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95) “ let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. “

The punishment for sin is gone from us (1 John 2.1-2)

John 5:24- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

  1. The gift of “sins gone”

John 1.12- We are adopted as the Father’s Children

  1. The response of “sins gone”

We live thankful.

We walk in God’s Grace

We stop willfully sinnin

1 John 1:9 (NASB95)

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

What about the Christian that continues in sin?

What if we do not stop, confess, and repent of sin?

 

 

The Effects of continued sin in our life.

  1. Drift happens
  2. Selfishness inflates
  3. God thoughts diminish
  4. Compassion begin to dissolve
  5. Love for God, becomes a doctrine, not an action
  6. Priorities of life become scrambled
  7. Desertion starts becoming complete.

 

We stop desiring to serve the Lord or honor him with our life.

 

Believe in Jesus as your Savior and have him forgive your sins by asking.

Acknowledge sin and ask forgiveness and be free.

 

 

Knock it off


Romans 13:12 (NASB95)

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

I am speaking this weekend at Compelled Church about the darkness not being able to overpower the Light from John 1.4,5. I decided this verse did not fit into the message, but the message of this verse is amazing.

Paul is encouraging the believers (us) and the Romans to “lay aside” acts of darkness.  The word in the orignal Greek means exactly that, but I define it as “knock it off” or “stop it”.  If God’s people are mingling light and right things in our life with darkness or deeds that are not of God, we need to knock it off.  Deeds of action, thoughts, or speech do not reflect the Jesus in us, so He is our Armour of Light.

Think of this

  • Are you involved in something of darkness?
  • Are you ok with watching “dark” things?
  • Is your talking light and life, or darkness?

This is good

Ephesians 5:7–17 (NASB95)

7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you.”

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 

Leaving yesterday for Life Today: a journal excerpt 


Encouragement in Life's Journey

a final journal excerpt, reflections of Mexico – 4/28/16 Thursday (Malachi 1:1-10)

How quickly we can become in snared by yesterday’s, therefore allowing ourselves to be impaired for life today. As I look back on what was an incredible nine days in Mexico my mind rolls further to where and who I was before I left. It’s been four days back in the “real world” of everyday choices, relationships, decisions, responsibilities and a menacing cloak has begun creeping in. The quietness of my sprit has started to feel the noise of a transcending yolk of yesterday’s. As if it were reaching out to squelch every moment that God intended to be life altering and turn them into a static of mundane memories.

Such is the way we hear life, through the headphones of our past not receiving the clarity of a God who’s voice is outside our everyday frequency.

I…

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Foundation


A great read from my friend and family life pastor here at Compelled.

Mreinhart

What are you standing on?

The Bible says is Psalm 75, “When the Earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I  (God) am the one who keeps its foundations firm.”

It is interesting to me to read that something can “quake” and yet be held “firm” simultaneously. How can this be? How can something be shaken and yet stand still?

As I think on this verse I am challenged….

I know for my life, I have been in situations where it felt as though the ground beneath me had been swept away, like the floor dropped out on me as though I had stepped into one of those crazy, spinning carnival rides. In those moments it is easy to forget where I stand. It is easy to forget what I am standing on.

I am challenged to let my roots grow deeper into Christ as if I wanted them to…

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