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

Spiritual Leadership in the Local Church – What a pastor needs.

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I want to write the next week or so on spiritual leadership within the context of the local church. I know a lot of pastors and leaders read this, as well as leaders within Compelled Church. I pray you will revisit here every day and be challenged, encouraged, and your own leadership will grow. As I look back on the 17 years of ministry here at Compelled, and some of the victories we have seen, the storms we have navigated, and the spiritual fruit in lives, I am deeply reminded that God has blessed our church with great spiritual leaders. It has been the key to our growth and unity we have enjoyed and been a part of. God blesses pure and faithful people. I have read a lot of books on leadership, so many that I am going to approach this not from a book or academic perspective, but from a practical perspective from a pastor/spiritual leader, in the ministry for 25 years. I am going to write honestly with my weird humor, so enjoy.
Now we have all heard “everything rises and falls on leadership.” It is really still very true. But I also want to remind us that in the work of the ministry, the Spirit is at work also, and we must not forget the evil ones too. Ministry success is not based on the size of the ministry or church, but on the obedience and faithfulness of the leaders and participants.
Let me also say that in the context of the local church, spiritual leadership is critical for health and growth! I am going to assume the pastor has that, so every pastor needs strong and steady spiritual leaders surrounding him/her. This means from the board, to the ministry leaders, to volunteers. Without solid volunteer leaders, any church in ministry will be severely handicapped. Every pastor needs forward thinking, faithful, committed, responsible, engaged, godly, reliable, available, teachable, visionary, and relationally mature leader and volunteers.
So as I jot down a few things on leadership I have created a pretty long list of attributes and character qualities leaders must have to be effective in the local church. Over the next 2 weeks I am going to daily write on one of these, and I do encourage feedback. So let’s grow as leaders for the Kingdom of God!

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