“Live Compelled” Podcast Trailer is up

We have started our podcast “Live Compelled” this week. Here is the link to the first trailer. This is going to be a podcast with an emphasis on helping us all live a “God-focused” life. I will have Wendy often, as well as other guests. I am going to share some of my own journey into Christian maturity and the deeper walk with Christ I have enjoyed the last decade. Please subscribe and share. it is also available on ITunes and Podbean, as well as Spotify. Enjoy, Pastor Nate Elarton

My 13 hopes for God’s People in 2023

I have hopes and dreams for Compelled Church, but also for God’s people, “The Church” today. I know we are made up of a whole lot of broken people recovering from a plethora of backgrounds, trauma, sin, family of origin issues, and the pressures of this world and current culture. God wants to continue to heal us and make us whole. As I read John 17, I see the heart of God and Christ for His church. May we be less divided and more in unity with each other as Christians and churches than ever before. May this be a year of great fruit for Jesus. Here are some of my hopes, prayers, and dreams.

  1. I pray God’s people would make it a priority to spend time with Jesus to know him, and be like Him. (When I say this, I mean communion, prayer, silence to listen to the Holy Spirit, reading and studying God’s Word, practicing the spiritual disciplines to be transformed to be more like Jesus).
  2. I pray we know we are part of a Kingdom and Jesus is the King. We are not of this world and it’s godless systems, just part of it for a season.
  3. I pray and hope we would stop attacking and condemning each other over petty beliefs and pet doctrines. That spiritual arrogance and judgmental legalism would cease and we would work together for the Gospel and stop being distracted and angry gossiping, slandering and hurting each other.
  4. I hope and pray we would be a people of of greater Compassion.
  5. I hope and pray we would be a people filled with the Holy Spirit and have the loving courage to live our faith publicly.
  6. I hope and pray we would encourage the next generation to give their lives to missions, pastoring, church planting, and full-time ministry as spiritual leaders. I don’t believe God is calling less young people to his full time service than in years past.
  7. I hope we stop judging other peoples walk with Jesus and their spirituality.
  8. I hope and pray we would have joy in Jesus. That our joy would not be dependent on circumstances and things.
  9. I hope and pray we continue to be generous sending missionaries, funding church plants, helping other ministers and our local church will continue with greater urgency.
  10. I hope and pray and we are known for our love for Jesus and everyone else. I don’t mean in just word, but also action and treatment.
  11. I pray and hope The Shepherds and pastors would be encouraged and not quit when attacked, stay close to Jesus during struggles, stay the course when judged and not backdown when in despair. May God help us to lead in faith. I pray when we are so busy, that we will still take our time with Jesus and grow in our interior life. That we will take our Sabbath, to help us stay the course and finish well.
  12. I pray God’s people would have a burden for those lost, and have compassion on those that are perishing.
  13. I pray we would live in our true identity in Christ and who Christ is in us, not being known for what group or ideology we are part of that is of this world.

Let me close with the words of Jesus in John 17 are powerful.

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:16–21, NASB95)

From My Shepherd’s Heart

From my Shepherd’s Heart,

We had a pandemic.  It was awful. People were afraid, people suffered and sadly  people died. Businesses closed, travel stopped, people stayed home, and yes churches closed.  Churches are no longer closed.

We tend to be creatures of habit, and also creatures of ease.  Because of our nature these two things they can affect our decisions and priorities and can take us out  of some very beneficial and necessary parts of life.  This shift happened to many Christians who were active in their faith and in their church community.  Most returned to doing and being part of the things in their lives before Covid in 2020.  Many have not.  They have disconnected from their local church, the activities and events that helped grow and spur on their faith.  Time has been  eaten up by other activities, habits, and the new weekend without worship with their church.

Can I lovingly encourage you to jump back into the things that bring true life and faith in Jesus. It’s time.  Can I tell you that if you pull your children and youth  out of church, children’s and youth ministries, for all the other things, or just staying home all the time they will suffer with a faith that becomes more distant, and unimportant every day. Our decisions send messages to our children.  Can I caution you to remember that decisions made today, affect tomorrow, even though we talk ourselves into believing that might not be true for us.  Our decisions affect a lot of people.

Jesus love you.  God has a will for us and our families.  I don’t want people, parents, children or youth to be lost to a life where He is not present, valued, or acknowledge. The stakes are too high. The world without Jesus, is just too mean, too awful, and too  hopeless.  It’s time.

So, your church misses you, whether Compelled or another.  It’s not as strong if you and your family are there. You can’t give and receive if you are not around, and not a part. You can’t serve, love, receive, encourage someone or help. At the end of the day, nothing is as important as Jesus. Our faith is the bedrock of who we are, and the catalyst for healthy families and friendships.  Don’t lose your first love (Revelation 2). It’s time to ask yourself if that is happening. I know you don’t have to be part of a church to be a Christian, but I also know you do need to be part to be an active, growing, grateful follower of Christ.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for pondering what I am trying to say.  I am reminded in Ephesians 2, which I will speak on this weekend that God changed us by his grace, kindness mercy and love.   I want us all to live lives, and lead our families and ourselves where these gifts are appreciated, and my life reflects that by my love, decisions, and sacrifices.  Our active salvation is so important.  In our dark world, it is so critical that we receive, reflect and live that love and light of Jesus daily. It’s time to turn the page on 2020, and enjoy Jesus and His great love and activity in our lives, families, and church.  

With much Love, Your Shepherd

Pastor Nate

The Interests of God

Mark 8.33-38

But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”” (Mark 8:33, NASB95)

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”” (Mark 8:33–38, NASB9)

     God has interests. God has plans.  God has purposes.  A challenging thing for us is to line up our  hearts and lives to God plans, and purposes.  IN Mark 8 we have the account of Peter rebuking Jesus. That Pete, man, sometimes he is just impulsive.  The Father just has shone Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Jesus then told them that he would have to die, be rejected, be killed and then he would rise again. This is the plan of God.  Pete pulls him aside and rebukes.  Peter scolds God.  He tells Jesus to stop, be quiet, and  tries to correct him because Peter doesn’t like the plan of Jesus, doesn’t want to believe it , or is in denial because of the personal pain it would cause him.  Jesus then makes some powerful statements. He says,

But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”” (Mark 8:33, NASB95)

Peter had his interests on himself, his own agenda, how he would like things to go.  Jesus tell him that he is not thinking about God’s interests but His own.

  • Peter did not want to be in pain of missing Jesus.
  • Peter did not want Jesus to die, if they kill Jesus would they kill him too?
  • Peter thought his ways were better than God ways.
  • The interests, purposes and plan of God is so much better than our own.
  • I am glad Peter did not get his way, that Jesus went to the cross and rose.  Now we can be saved  and know Christ.
  • Peter was not rejected for leadership, but corrected.  People hate correction.  They usually leave the church, not Peter, he learned, stayed with Jesus and grew. He wanted God’s interests more.
  • It must have been a very sobering moment of humility to Peter, but his being used by Satan was called out, and Peter never was used by Satan again.
  • Peter became a bold, apostle, with Kingdom authority.  Acts is full of the many ways Jesus used Peter by the Holy Spirit for Kingdom of God advancement.

What a wonderful lesson, Pete once again , teaches us about ourselves.

How are you like Peter in this instance. Be honest before the Lord?   

What are God’s purposes and plans in your life?  Do you want those more?  Will you take correction?  Are you teachable?

The Key is Galatians 2.20.  Memorize this powerful truth of God’s Word.

 ““I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NASB95)

Press On, Pastor Nate Elarton

Our Sabbatical Document

Sabbatical for the Elarton’s 2022

Why Now?

We have been here 26 years. This is our life’s work. We have given our life here. We have been in ministry 36 years, serving also as youth pastors in Linton, IN and Northville, MI before planting the church here.

During our 26 years we have grown from 5-to over 1000 + people, planted another campus, trained, hired, managed, and released many pastors and new staff. We have had 5 significant building programs, raised over 1  million for missions, raised 3 kids, completed a Master’s Degree, and served in many different District roles, local boards, and leadership opportunities.  For the last 12 years we have had 3 services a weekend, as well as small group leadership, Next step classes, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Ministry.  We have given our lives. We have been all in. We have been available to staff, leaders, and our people all the time for 26 years here, and totally 36 years in ministry.   We lead multiple staff,  classes,  and services, continuously for many years, as well as pastoral care for our families,  funerals, weddings, counseling, tragedies, and discipleship meetings.

Purpose for a Sabbatical

Rest from Responsibilities of Compelled Church Lead Leadership. For myself and Wendy who walks and shares  this life and calling with me. We are in this together and have always have been. She also needs a rest.

Refresh our souls in the Lord without responsibilities, or having to lead anything.

To Rediscover that we are not defined by what we do but who we are in Christ.

To experience what it feels like to not be responsible for the Organization, staff, facilities, people, budgets, giving,  and needs  of Compelled Church, both campuses.

Unplug from the matrix of ministry.

For Wendy and I to have some intentional space, to think, dream, and enjoy Christ.

To set up our souls and spirits to finish so well, as we return to the last season of lead pastoring ministry.

To set a culture of rest, sabbatical, and care for the present and future pastors of Compelled Church.

To be an example to my other Colleagues in ministry.

Dates 2022

April 19-2022   2-Week on-ramp |   May and June  2022 Full Sabbatical  |  July1-14   Return  off-Ramp 

My Scriptures  Theme

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NASB95)

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12–13, NASB95)

What will we do?

We will get away to some Pastor Retreat locations.

We will have a few weeks of total  R and R and vacation.

We will also  be in town and not be in our role as Lead Pastor.

We will spend a week with Scazzero’s at a marriage emphasis with our EHD Cohort

We will read, walk, contemplate, date,  rest, pray, and extend our Sabbath.

I will not set goals or writing, prepping, or planning. To only do what brings  us  life and depth in our walk with Christ and our marriage.   The goal of spiritual refreshing in Christ  and a break from responsibilities of leading will be the target.

We love Compelled Church with all our heart. I am convinced Wendy and I will return refreshed, and ready for what the Lord has for our churches. Thank you for all your love and affirmations. Thank you to our incredible board that is encouraging and supporting this with great love and energy.

We love you all so much! Pastors Nate and Wendy Elarton

Satisfy us with Your Love

I found this song while posting a woodcarving reel on Instagram. As I spend a little time in my evening office and evening compline, I am reminded of this song. I played it and entered into a thin place. I desire so much and yet total satisfaction is found in the love of God. I need nothing else. Prayerfully listen to this song with your heart, not your head, and enjoy your own “thin place.” P. Nate

Courage: Don’t be Ashamed of being His

As we continue our study on the Lord’s prayer, we come to the words “hallowed by Thy Name.” These are found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11.

When I was born from Pat and Lynn, I took their name, “Elarton”. It has been passed down from generations. When I become a Christian, I was “adopted” into the family of God, and I take the Lord’s name as my own. This is deeper than being called a “Christian”. It means total identification with Jesus, the Lord, the ways of God, everything it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus. I was saved by calling on His name, baptized in His name, and when I pray I use his name and identification. I am His.

One big reason that the church struggles with being Jesus to the world that doesn’t know Him yet, is because the world may not know whose we are. We are stealthy that we are born again and belong to Jesus Christ. We are not “all in” with being courageous and bold about be associated and identified with Jesus Christ. His name is holy, we are holy in Jesus, but there’s nothing holy about being ashamed of our family name.

There are two reasons believers don’t want others to know we are His. 1) You are ashamed of Jesus and worried what others will think about you or 2) You are not living what you say you believe.

I am urging us who call ourselves God’s and who call God “Father” to boldly with courage let it be known to all whose we are and why. Without shame, without hesitation, give our lives to him, the same way we gave him our sin, and we do that publicly, every chance we get. Don’t hide your love for your Savior. Have courage. People need to know that we live for the Lord and our faith may just well encourage their faith also. Be loving, be committed, be bold, and be courageous to let other know, you belong to Jesus. He is your Father, and you identify with everyone Jesus values and lived for.

Christmas Lectio Divina Psalm 131

Lectio Divina is “sacred reading”. Ask the Lord to speak to your heart through the Scripture. Read the Scripture over slowly thinking of the words, and intentions of the Spirit of God. Read over several times, and then pray about the thoughts and themes that come to your heart.

Psalm 131 is powerful to me this morning. Christmas is very busy. Worries, can give way to inward grouchiness and judgment. We can miss a special moment so easily! We have friends that are in difficult places in their journey. Some grieving, in hospice, in suffering. These verses “calmed” me this morning as the Lord spoke through them to my soul.

My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;

I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 131, NIV)

Pastor Nate

Where are the Voices for Jesus?

As our world becomes incredibly more media driven, and with the influence that social media us by providing us all a platform, I am seeing a negative trend. I am not going to address the negatives trends upon our society in general but the negative trends emerging from God’s people.

I am afraid that the people of Jesus are taking all of our talking points and narratives and we are communicating reactively to current politics and the media cycle, not the things of God. Many believe this is a spiritual duty, but I see that we are being sucked into debates we will never win, and the communication of the church is being dictating but the powerful voices and influences of culture and not the mission of the church and our Lord, and some of our communication is not in the spirit of Christ and the Law of love.

I know this is a big statement, but since Covid I have been observing and watching the strongest believers fall prey to subtle drawings away from the purposes of Jesus. Jesus did not save us, redeem us and forgive us, so we can be a primary mouthpiece to secular movements, and ideologies that do not further the Gospel. I believe in these last days, followers of Jesus need to get more active in promoting Jesus Christ, salvation by grace, and the Gospel more than anything else in the news cycle and the current controversial debate, conspiracy, or headline that is used to divide, incite anger, and push people away from each otherWhat would all Social Media look like if we posted/tweeted/IG more about godly things, eternal truths, encouragement, and the love of Christ than anything else? We could really influence the whole culture of all platforms of Social Media?

The church, the Christians, the follower of Jesus, need to promote Jesus. It’s our mission and mandate. I don’t see it as an optional position for the people of Jesus. I see it as a natural fruit of a fully devoted life in Christ. this goes beyond and deeper than social media to our jobs, families, extended families and communities?

Some things to think about.

  • What is your voice known for?
  • Do you speak for Christ with all love and honor for others?
  • Have you been slowly drifting into pointless distractions from the believer’s primary purpose?
  • Are you obsessed about making your point that has no salvation or eternal value?
  • Do you internally get upset when reading or listening to views that are not yours and you must respond, speak out or act, and the topics are not of any significance to our Great Commission and Great Commandment
  • Are you a parrot for positions, politics, groups, and not a spokesperson and ambassador for Jesus.
  • Is Jesus speaking to you now about being more salt and light in a dark world?

Paul encourages the young Timothy in a similar way?

Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.” (2 Timothy 2:23–24, NLT)

May we be the voice of Jesus and his message everywhere and be free from thinking we have to have a response and position to every headline the news cycle portrays as the most important thing. The salvation of our souls and our friends is the most important thing. Let’s be the voice of Christ.

With conviction,

Pastor Nate Elarton

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