God is a Missionary-Missio Dei


The day I became a Christian my life radically changed forever.   The mission of God, became real and personal.  I began to realize that His mission was to save me, redeem me, to forgive me, and give me purpose.  I had the gnawing in my heart and soul to help others realize what Jesus can do for them.  That they would also know Christ.  I became a Christian, but I also became a man with a mission. It wasn’t my mission it was His.   The same mission that burned in me in High School, burns in my now. To help people find Christ.

The mission of our missionary God was to redeem the world from sin, and as God sent Jesus, and the Spirit, he sends His church, his people.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18, NIV84)

To miss this part of our faith is to really miss it.  Christianity is not just a doctrine, it is a movement.  We are being sent by God, our missionary God, to help the world see the mission of Jesus, to redeem them. If y,ou are serving God for the next cool sermon or worship experience only, I challenge you to have the courage to investigate your responsibility to others beyond yourself.

When we buy into this idea that we are to be happy, and that is our mission in life, we actually lose happiness and joy.  Joy comes through mission.   When we elevate ourselves to make ourselves significant, we actually become insignificant, self-absorbed, and lose joy, because we have no purpose, no mission. us’ mission filled him with joy.  Fulfilling mission is fulfilling joy.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV84)

Lack of Joy is lack of mission. There is a connection and bond between purpose/mission and joy.   When we live out our future in terms of mission we live with joy.  No matter what we do for money, we are people that need to live on mission.

If we believe there is no higher cause than our own happiness, and our fulfillment personally is the most important goal in life, we will lose joy and live in quite a lot of disappointment.  We will begin to believe God and others also exist for our happiness, and when that is not accomplished we question God, friends, families, and marrriages.

When you quit loving Jesus and lose your mission you will lose joy. Joy and mission are connected.  Living the mission and purposes of Christ is the greatest joy.

When we say “my needs first” then we may perceive that we  gain freedom.  We really  lose true joy. Then one has nothing to live for or die for except themselves, and they’ll do it alone.

Jesus is sending his church. His people are a people with a mission, a purpose, and it’s not our own happiness.  To show the world Jesus, His love, His mercy, and goodness is our mission.  To testify of His reality and Truthfulness so others will also be redeemed and put their faith in Him, through Christ is the mission.

Everything the church deos, plans, funds, must have this as the litmus test of our time, energy, talents, and finances.  No matter what you do for money, your job is a mission for you are a missionary serving a sending God. He has sent you into that classroom, that factory, that cubicle.  He is working with you behind that counter and/or the steering wheel of your car.

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20.21

My greatly missed brother Steve used to say “Be about the Father’s business.”  He was reminding me to live on mission, to serve my missionary God.  I  intend fully to live my life like this.  I pray I never stop.  May we all live on mission.

 

Pastor Nate Elarton

 

Compelled Church is 24 years old! It was a great First Easter in Temperance, MI


Twenty-four years ago April 8, 1996 Compelled Church was started.  It was Bedford Christian Community, then. We changed the name when we went multi-site.   We left as youth pastors at Northville Christian Assembly, and with hugs, tears, and holy excitement, we moved to Temperance. That church supported us, and and sent us off well under the leadership of Pastor “O” Buchan and that loving staff.  Hugh Duncan was my overseer and  was the greatest encourager ever!  Thank you Hugh for pouring into Wendy and I, encouraging us, and giving faithfully in so many ways.

What started as a God-given dream in our living room in Livonia with Mike and Pam Hardy, has become an amazing journey of fun and faith! Rick and Beth Flood joined us a year later. What at team, and priceless friends! They are all  still with us.

A lot has happened in that 24 years.  Many people have came to the Lord, leaders raised up, people discipled, children and youth ministered to.  Wendy and I are humbled and blessed at what God has done, and the amazing people he sent to help throughout the years.  What a joy to be imbedded in this community, to raise our kids here, and to live in the same house since the day we arrived.

My wife Wendy has been right there, ministering, raising our kids, giving, and serving. She encouraged me when I was bi-vocational, when I struggled through a Master’s Degree and at every stage of church-planting challenge.  She still encourages me now so much.  My children love the church, and God’s people because this church has been so amazing.  Thank you Wendy for your support, patient love, and pouring into this life’s work as much as I. Thank you Abby, Gabe and Levi for bringing us honor, and sharing your parents with so many people. We are so proud of you all and so thankful for Justin, Nicole, and Macy!

We have raised leaders, pastors, help start other churches, and have another Compelled Church Campus in Holland, Oh.  We have sent over a million to world missions and missionaries,  had 3 building programs, and have seen God lead, provide, protect, and guide us faithfully for 24 years. We have baptized hundreds, we have seen healing, miracles, healed marriages, people set free, and salvations.

The Lord  was there through every challenge, disappointment, and victory.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged, gave, sacrificed, and supported the work of the Lord here in Temperance and Toledo. You are heroes. People know Jesus because of you.

Happy Birthday Compelled Church!  It has been an amazing 24 years.  It has been a joy to lead Pastor this great Church. Whatever God has for the next 24  years for our lives, and the church, we will be faithful, we will be obedient, we will have tenacity!  May we continue to Love God, Love Poeple, and Serve the World Jesus and His Gospel.

Love you All

Compelled Church

Pastor Nate and Wendy Elarton

Addictions and Heroine continues to Kill, we need a Life Challenge Facility in the Toledo Area


I was deeply moved last night. Wendy and I attended the Life Challenge Gala in Livonia, as guests of Jeff and Lori Bonzelaar.  They have started an outreach and referral center here in Toledo, but need a permanent facility.  When Jeff first shared this with me, my heart and spirit resonated.  Toledo is in the middle of  heroine epidemic.  It seems daily a young person dies from overdose here.  Many started taking pain killers in high school from a sports injury. Either way, a generation is literally dying. Jesus Christ did not intend lives to end so soon, or for parents to suffer as their children spiral downward lost in an addiction.

Some may be surprised at my heart for Life Challenge and to see people free.  They may ask why? Can I share with you why I believe in this ministry so much.

  • The obvious need and drug and alcohol, lives are being destroyed, youth are dying.
  • I almost interned at a Teen Challenge during a summer of college.
  • I grew up within the context of addictions, for which I am thankful, Christ spared me.
  • I had a wonderful brother, who was in a teen challenge, left the program early, a couple months later, I did my first funeral, and our broken family had to bury our beloved brother.

I just know the Lord is going to provide a facility. I feel it in my heart.

Would you pray with me for the funds and a facility for a Life Challenge in the Toledo area.  There is a director with a vision, and a local leader Martin Hall, and many that would want to be part of this. A generation needs to be free. The church must respond, destructive addictions are everywhere.  Pray for this miracle to happen soon.

Six Signs Your Heart is Drifting From Jesus


This weekend I am going to be talking about the heart of a disciple.  The heart is our center.  So naturally, when the heart becomes deceived by incorrect thoughts, wrong priorities or spiritual neglect we then begin to drift from the Lord. When we drift from the Lord we drift from His ways. When we drift from His ways we drift toward our ways. Our way is selfish, self-centered, and not Christ-centered.  In my experience and knowledge of the Word I offer these five signs that manifest when a believer’s heart begins to move away and drift.

  1. Behavior and Beliefs no longer match up. What you know is right and true begins leaving your life.  What you lived with passion and grace was once fed by your convictions and commitments. Now things are changing. Your behavior is being compromised and sadly most people will align their beliefs to their behavior sooner or later, and simply stop believing.
  2. Time alone with Jesus rarely happens anymore. There is time for TV, IPAD, phone, friends, Facebook  and constant looking at social media, but your private time to be in the presence of Jesus in prayer and the Word has, or is, disappearing from your daily routine. Your desire for that connection with Christ is being lost in the desire for other things of this world. The world’s ways is gripping stronger on your heart.
  3. Being part of the faith community (church) is stopping. There is always a reason why skipping church, not being in a community small group, or serving is now more normal. Always a reason to appease a conscience, but in your heart you know you are jeopardizing a lot. Your kids are learning the habits of their parents. The body of Christ misses out on what you have to offer and the opportunity for worship, encouragement and the voice of the Lord in your life is lost.
  4. Desire to see other’s saved has vanished. There is no thought of the commission to make disciples. Talking about your faith with unbelievers or inviting them to church is the farthest thing from your priority list.  Gone is giving to missions, volunteering for missional events, and crying in God’s presence as you pray for unsaved family and friends. The heart has been deceived that their salvation is not a priority. Your own life and thoughts of you, your needs, wants, hurts, desires,  has gobbled up your heart.  You are into “you”, and others and their eternity has become or is becoming irrelevant.
  5. More connected with your time, money, and interests to the things of this world, than the things of the Kingdom of Christ. My brother Steve once told me; “let me look at your checkbook and your calendar. I will tell you what you really believe.” I have never forgotten that. It’s true.  Talk is cheap, and actions and priorities are manifested.
  6. Your kid’s sports, and schedules, are more important than their faith. The five things above, affect your children’s faith. Parents, not to be fears-ish but we are accountable to the Lord for how we raise our children. I know when they are adults they make up their own minds, and choose their ways, but until then, it’s our ways that affect them.  More is caught than taught. We must lead by example and by heart.  They will follow us, but we must lead them and be a godly example with Jesus and His word a priority of our life.  Disciple your children. Don’t let the world do it.

What to do if you know this message applies to you?

Repent, which means to change direction.  Adjust and calibrate your life to Jesus.  Pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness and recommit your ways to Him.  Open the Bible and read once again.  Raise your hands to heaven and thank Jesus for His grace and patience.  Bask in His love for you and the knowledge that He wants the best for your life, your marriage, and your children. Pray for your family, pray for those that are not saved yet.  Get back to your church and don’t let the enemy give you anymore weak excuses.  Manage your life daily and don’t let the things of this world dilute your fresh commitment to Jesus.  Then, never look back.  Serve Jesus with all your heart.  With prayer and the heart of God.

– Nate

I Don’t Want to Grieve Jesus


hard heartIn my reading this morning a verse jumped into my heart from Mark 3.5. “After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart...” Jesus then healed the man with the crippled man. He was angry as the religious were waiting to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath. They wanted to accuse him if he healed. They cared not about the man who needed the healing. They cared more about the law than people.
This verse shows me that Jesus grieves (greek word “syllypeomai”, to be sad and deeply distressed from BDAG). Jesus was deeply hurt and upset that his creation, the religious had hard hearts. This distressed Jesus. This bothered Him. So, does the state of my heart grieve Jesus? I would say, yes it does at times. At times it can be hard, apathetic, un-engaging, distant, and selfish. We must “guard our hearts: (Proverbs 4.23). Read through these revealing questions about the heart, and take some time to pray and ask Christ to keep our hearts, soft, filled with the heart of Jesus, and not hard and distant.

1. Does the things of God move you inside? Bring you to tears from time to time? Motivate you for the Kingdom.
2. Have you argued over doctrine with more allegiance to that, than to your brother or sister who holds a different view?
3. Have you wept for the lost lately, and really cried their names out to God with compassion and conviction for their salvation?
4. Are you irritated when you are asked to sacrifice for the Gospel so lost people will be saved? When you are asked for money? For your time?
5. Does the moving of the Spirit move you?
6. How’s your kindness meter? Speech at home? Are words of comfort, humor, affirmation, and love part of your daily speech?
7. Does the poverty, lack of medical care, food, water, and education of most of the world move you?
8. Do you hurt for/with hurting people, regardless of the color of their skin, what country they are from, what part of the city they live in, what they look like, or what you perceive they are hurting from?

When I am consumed with myself, my schedule, my plans, my wants, my hurt feelings, my bad attitude, my aches and pains, my agenda, then I am pretty much the most uncompassionate and hard-hearted person on the planet. When I focus on Christ, His work, His life, His desire to live in me and through me, His mission, His calling, His love for all, His brokeness over the lost, over suffering and war, over the poverty of the world, then my heart is “strangly warmed” (John Wesley). I must stay connected to the vine, to the Savior, to the life of Christ or my heart will not be soft, and my Lord may be grieved with me. How soft is your heart today?

Missional Living, Outreach to Toledo, Monroe, Temperance, West Virginia, and Family!


ImageThe Christian life is a life of self-denial, sacrifice, and the ability and action of seeing others as more important than yourself.  This is pretty tough for most people, including believers in Christ.  It is clear Christ has called us to 100% devotion to Him, his transformation power in our life, and His mission, which the every believer is called to and must not neglect.

Thursday we will converge on 3 communities Monroe, Toledo, Temperance with our Light the Night Outreach.  It’s really a giant party for Jesus and we invite the public, in fact we go to them.  We will reach out to around 3-4000 people for Christ, giving out hundreds of pounds of candy, hot dogs, drinks.  Let me know if you want to help and need more information.

November 8-10th McDowell County, Welch W. VA, missions trip.  This is one of the poorest counties in the United States.  We will travel with 2 semi-trucks full of food and give-aways. We have rented the armory and we will give it all out with a service ministering to over 1000 people for Christ.  Right now over 50 people are coming but drive down and help. Let me know if you need more information. 

Then we have the Holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time for the love of Christ to flow from  your homes, mouth, and life to your family and friends.  Your own personal mission “trip.”  Pray, forgive, and love your family, extended family, and God will give you favor and ideas to shine like Jesus!

We are “Compelled” By Christ’s love!  We must not be lazy with our Savior’s love.  We are the redeemed to help others be redeemed.  Thank you Compelled Church for embracing the missional calling of Jesus Christ.

A new location for the Compelled Toledo Campus, and an old lesson in trust!


logo with locations SMALLI was reminded of these verses the other day.  I emailed out to 80 men.  Thirty-five of them replied with thanksgiving for the reminder.  Two called me.  I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.  As we prayed and fasted for a new location from the Toledo Campus, God has answered!  It took us over a year to find our current location on Trust drive, where we rent 5 hours on Sunday.  God helped us find this new location in 2 weeks and we will have the building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It is a step of financial faith for Compelled Church.  It is going to move our Toledo Campus forward to Love God, Love People, and Serve the World.  In the next couple of weeks we will need many hands to get this building ready. It was a church, so it is cleaning, painting, and moving equipment and things. Pray, we also need chairs and tables, but I am reminded of God faithfulness. Here are the verses in Proverb 3:5-7.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Pr 3:5–7). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

25 Tons of food to be given away Saturday in Toledo, Ohio


Saturday is our Food Outreach.  We are planning on showing the Love of Jesus with over 1200 families in the Toledo area.   We are doing this ministry in partnership with an amazing ministry out of Blissfield, MI, called “Hope and Encouragement for Humanity” (click on name for link.)  If you know of someone that needs this information please invite them and give them this link.  Each family will receive a box of groceries, fresh loaf of bread and 1 dozen eggs, and chilled Juice also.   We are praying for a great day to represent our Lord and His love.  Each box will also get a Bible and an invitation to our Compelled Church Toledo Campus.    Pray with us!  Thanks , Nate Elarton

 

 

 

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