"Tim, what are you doing now?" is a question that a lot of my friends tend to ask me. About 5 years ago I left a profitable business to focus full time on ministry, sharing the good news of Jesus, and training others to do the same. I am someone who isn't afraid to fail, but I always want to fail forward, and learn from the failure. The good news is, in what at times felt like bad decisions, or wrong choices, turned out to be experiences that were invaluable to understanding who I am, and what I am uniquely called to do. Through all of my different ministry jobs as an intern, a pastor of evangelism, an associate pastor, an interim lead pastor and teaching pastor, one thing has stayed consistent: Compelled, the ministry that God specifically has called me to and entrusted me with.
When Compelled first started, we felt the call to not just lead people to Christ, but to equip, empower, and encourage others to do the same. Over the past 4 years, we have done just that. We have equipped close to 5,000 people in person and with the use of Youtube and Compelled.org, plus creating a workbook and leader guide that is sold on Amazon, we have equipped thousands more all over the country and beyond.
One thing specifically that God has taught us over the past few years is that training people to evangelize without equipping them to also disciple those who they reached seemed some what incomplete.
The thing that I’ve witnessed time and time again is that people start off excited; especially when they hear the Gospel for the first time, or hear it in a way they can understand. However, just accepting the message is not what I believe we should be aiming at as a goal - it should be allowing the message of the Gospel to drive our lives. That is why we created “Compelled to Replicate” which is more of a discipleship training on how to walk along side people and help them, and in turn us, grow spiritually.
Replicate is the byproduct of arguably the most fruitful ministry that God has allowed me to be a part of over the past couple years. Currently, I meet weekly with about 12 men that I invest in, mentor, disciple and learn from as we do life together. These 12 men have many different types of professions including: a few college students, a deputy sheriff, a project manager, a college ministry leader, a gymnastics coach, missionaries, and a few fellow pastors.
The time spent with these men is probably the most encouraging time in my week personally; especially when I get to hear about the opportunities these men have investing in others.
Probably the newest and scariest investment of Compelled’s time is a new type of Community experience called “Compelled Together”. Over the years I have had a stirring to see what would happen if we created a different expression of a worship and community experience. We wonder if it would produce a different result. Over the past few months we have been meeting with people who are not connected to a church community, or have felt a leading to be a part of something different. We take parts of a contemporary worship service and a community group and blend them together. It could be considered a Worship service/Life group/Compelled training hybrid that is focused on connecting people into spiritual relationship with the focus being spiritual growth.
The conviction that has stirred in me is that often when we attend a worship gathering, we observe more than participate. And often we hear the truth of God, but don’t always have an opportunity to wrestle with what was taught or apply the convictions of our heart.
So a small core team and I started to pray, worship, and study scripture. As we did, we realized that being the church is far less about just sitting in the same room together weekly, but to be in one another’s lives; pushing one another towards holiness, striving towards being doers of the word, and ministering to each other through the work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives, while reaching out to those around us with the life giving message of the Gospel.
I know nothing we are dreaming of doing is new under the sun, but as we have practiced this type of community experience, people have bonded with one another, love for Christ and others has continued to increase, we have grown spiritually through the hearing AND doing of God’s Word, and we have experienced another type of worship expression that has been impossible to keep to ourselves.
On Sunday evening July 17th, we conducted a “preview service” at Trinity Church, where the core team and people that were invited by the core team came and spent the evening worshiping together in singing, prayer, the reading, and discussing of God’s Word. Honestly, I was in awe of the authenticity and quick connection of this larger gathering of people, who intentionally connected with one another over prayer, worship, laughter, and tears in reverence to a holy and perfect God. I sat speechless as we sang a song in worship, being reminded that for over 10 years I dreamed about being part of a community of people who wanted to pursue, praise and please God together.
At the end of the evening, I asked everyone to share what their “takeaways” were from what was taught and experienced, and the consensus was a spirit of unity and an expectation of authenticity being met. We laughed and praised God for what had just happened, and many stayed for a while to talk, connect and share contact info to grab coffee together in the near future. Many of the core team and others went to In-n’-Out and talked more about what God was stirring in us. Hearing from those who attended this preview service, there has been this consensus of excitement, because for many of us, we didn’t know that this was something that was possible.
We now have a plan as a core to continue to meet weekly to pray, prepare and participate in community with God and one another. We are focused on quality rather than quantity, but it has been very exciting to watch God continue to add to our number. We started with about 10 as a core team, now we have more than 15, and that first preview service had close to 30 people who were personally invited by someone from the core team. We plan to have a few more preview services and then starting in mid sept we will be offering Compelled Together weekly!
I have been honored and privileged to speak in front of thousands of people in person and on line. I also meet pretty consistently with 12 men weekly at Peets coffee individually and in small groups. I get to influence and meet with many leaders throughout the Bay Area, especially. But I don’t know if I have ever experienced what went on at this preview service of “Compelled Together” . Facilitating a discussion and connection among people who want to pour out their lives may be the most exciting thing I get to do in ministry.
Now here is where the “Big Ask” comes in, so if you would like to stop reading now… I understand…. still reading? Ok, here it goes:
We live in one of the most expensive areas in the entire country, and also the least churched areas at the same time and we think that our ministry is needed in the Bay Area especially.
Compelled would like to continue to reach those who have not yet made a commitment to Jesus, equip followers of Christ to share the hope that they have through our trainings and under the accountability and partnership with Trinity Church of Sunnyvale help create a community experience that focuses on participation rather than observation, while trying and practicing what Compelled is all about, which is helping equip doers of the word to be disciple makers who make disciple makers.
I am currently serving in a volunteer role as a teaching pastor at Trinity Church of Sunnyvale, while honing my skills as a preacher and pastor. But while raising support from men and women like yourself that believe in what we are doing, so we can be full time missionaries and help play our part in seeing the Bay Area won for Christ.
By God’s grace we have 6 supporting churches in the Bay Area. We also have had many supporters in the past few years that have given faithfully for years and many one-time gifts given from participants in the Compelled trainings.
I believe whole heartedly that God has asked us to continue to do Compelled and Replicate Trainings, while guest preaching and doing outreaches throughout the Bay Area and beyond. But this new Community experience is the one that I believe God is asking us to step out in more faith than ever before. As a full time missionary, we are privileged to rely on God in ways that most people have never gotten to experience.
Would you consider helping support us, through tax deductible donations to Compelled over at least the next 12 months? I am honored by anyone who trusts that God’s work in our lives is actually worthy of being supported. And would love it if you would participate in the movement of God through the Compelled ministry.
If you feel “Compelled” (see what i did there?) to partner with us financially, you can write a check to Compelled and mail it to 477 N. Mathilda Avenue, Sunnyvale, Ca. 94085 or if you would like to start a Pay Pal account and give monthly, you can follow this link: http://www.compelled.org/support/
Thank you for considering supporting Compelled, and praying for us. We are continuing by God’s grace to equip, encourage and empower followers of Jesus to share the hope that they have, in an intentional, relational and relatable way. May we all be Disciple Makers who make Disciple Makers.