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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Thy Kingdom Come…really?


The Lord’s prayer that Christ taught the disciples has this line for us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6.9-13).

I have heard teaching on the mostly as a proof text that God wants to heal everyone for there is no sickness in Heaven. So on this earth we should all be healed and in perfect health  ( I do not believe the Scriptures teach healing this way, but I do believe in divine healing).   I believe the intention of what our Lord was teaching is a little deeper.  Remember, usually our theology slants toward our comfort.  The Kingdom of God is more than physical healing so we can just avoid suffering in this life. It is about Jesus Christ.  His Kingdom wants to reign in us.  In you.  But there is a problem.  For that to happen, you must allow your “kingdom” to be dissolved. To live in His kingdom we must not have our own kingdom.  We must get off the throne of our life and kingdom and let Christ and his will reign, and we must live in His Kingdom.

He wants to be here in our lives, on this earth, in us.  He has to violate our kingdoms for His Kingdom to come in us.  Simply His Kingdom is His will.  What Jesus has say over. Our Kingdom is our will, it’s what we have say over.  So how much of our lives are living in Him, His will, His desires, His Words, His ways, and His goals?  Do we look to what he says, before we decide and have say over?

  • Is your time His Kingdom or your domain?
  • Is your money under your authority? Or in His Kingdom?
  • How selfish or selfless do you live for Christ.

The benefits to living in the Kingdom are awesome!  His will gets done in your life, not yours.  Our will is always janked up with selfishness, but his will is glorious. Your time and efforts will produce heavenly fruit, not earthly results which are always so disappointing.  A great marriage is a Kingdom of Jesus marriage.  Greatness is in the Kingdom. Perceived greatness, is our kingdom, and in reality, it’s self worship.\Pray the Lord’s prayer differently maybe.  With divine intentions, that may have more to do with discomfort, than your comfort on this earth. In Him, regardless, is the greatest comfort and joy.

Thy Kingdom come (in me and overtake my Kingdom)  Thy will be done (I relinquish my say and want yours)  on earth (in my heart, my mind, my words, my life, my marriage, my time, my money, my talents) as it is in Heaven (in your amazing presence!)