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Get Your Vertical Christmas Service Tickets!

Sunday Nite (Christmas Eve, EVE Service)

Vertical Candlelight, sans candles

I hope that everyone had an INCREDIBLE Christmas that was filled with the people that you love and thoughts of a Savior Who is truly WITH us.

With this Monday being Christmas Eve I decided to “turn it off” and postpone the weekly “Sunday Nite” until Thursday. You all weren’t on your computers anyway, right? We DID have an outstanding Christmas Eve, EVE service. I hope that you were with us, but if you weren’t, here’s what you missed at Vertical Church this weekend:

  • Our Christmas service opened musically with a killer version of “Oh Holy Night” arranged by Vertical Worship’s Robby Gaddy. I loved the heavy simplicity in which this version was brought. I’m a sucker for fat guitar tones and this version of possibly the most popular Christ centered Christmas carol had them. Great job on this one, Robby.
  • We finished up “A Simpler Kind of Christmas” series with the message, “Light up the Darkness”. No doubt that there is so much darkness in our world. Maybe the most striking thing about darkness is how easy it is for all of us to resist the light once we get used to the darkness.
  • [4] In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light (Jesus had) shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 ESV)
  • In the fullness of time our world had grown dark and God became silent. And just when people began to wonder where God was and why He had become so quiet while the darkness increased He did something about the darkness – HE SENT HIS SON, THE SAVIOR, INTO THE WORLD. The amazing thing was He didn’t send Him to talk about the light, He sent Him to BE the Light. He did something about the darkness and continues to today through those who have trusted in Him.
  • We celebrated His light with a “light” service at the end – an opportunity to pray, make decisions and take steps towards Him. Of course, at Vertical candlelight would have to be candlelight simulation in the form of the glowstick. So incredible to see those sticks lighting up across the auditorium as people prayed and called out to God.
  • Sunday’s music was Christmas and just great! As I said earlier, the musical opener was “Oh Holy Night” (arrangement Robby Gaddy). The next song was a favorite Christmas song of mine, Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest”. Next was a great uptempo song that led into the message, “Do You Hear” (North Point Music). At the end of our message the band was back up for the time of decisions with Elevation’s, “All things New”. They closed the message with “Silent Night”.
  • The band consisted of Jon Lloyd, Justin McQueen, Chris Rich, Robby Gaddy, Andrew Hester, McCray Bowen and Rhonda Lovin. It was great to have McCray back with the band this weekend! Missed seeing you up there, dude!
  • We have been so blessed in the area of music.
  • btw… this weekend will be a HUGE weekend if you love Vertical’s music. Our congregation picked the whole set for this weekend online – we will send out 2012 with a BANG!!!
  • This coming weekend will also be Jon’s last weekend as the Worship Arts Pastor of VC. He will be around until the summer but in a different role. A common saying around our staff is that this is “bittersweet” – no better description than that. We love Jon and are truly excited about Steel City Church, but his leaving is not one we hoped for. We are reminded in times like this that God is not about building A church, He is building a Kingdom. We are thankful to be a small part of His plan.
  • That being said, we have a great plan for Vertical Worship going forward – we will be talking about it in the upcoming weeks.
  • Shout out to Vertical Production for this past weekend!!! Our Media and Lighting directors were travelling this weekend and production did their thing. So proud of all of them. They had moments where trouble-shooting was necessary and they WON! Love our team!

So like I said, don’t miss this weekend! Gonna be an awesome morning celebrating all that we have experienced together over this incredible year!!! God has been so good!!!

About This Sunday’s Christmas Services

The purpose of light is to illuminate the dark. Think of all the sights of Christmas – what’s at the center of it all: LIGHT. Christmas is the season of light!

READ the words of John as He speaks of Jesus:

What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by… The Life-Light (Jesus) blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. (John 1:4-5,9-11 The Message)

As we celebrate this season I want to remind you that the light God has shone into you through Jesus has made you to be your “true selves,” your “child-of-God selves.” As we embrace this truth I ask you to embrace this secondary truth:

As His light God is calling US to shine light into darkness.

This Sunday we will have our Christmas services at Vertical Church. They will take place at our normal times (9 and 11 am) but I want you to know that THIS is no NORMAL service. We are preparing for you and for those whom you will be bringing. This Sunday is an optimal time to invite those who do not normally attend church. We are praying you would receive the boldness necessary from God, embrace the sometimes discomfort of an invitation to church for the purpose of being God’s light in your world.

Like I said, we are praying for you. Please pray for all who serve from the parking lot to the stage as we make preparations for the people you love so much. Merry Christmas. See you Sunday.

The Power of a Testimony – Rhonda Lovin

Yesterday I shared the 1st of 3 life change videos we showed at #vertical Christmas. These vids, produced by James Lewis from Jilsav and our worship Arts Pastor, Jon Lloyd we real, raw and I believe touched everyone in the room.

This 2nd video is of my great friend, Rhonda Lovin. Rhonda’s story hit me so hard because we lived it with her… I have watched this woman of God stand strong in the midst of the hardest adversity that she had ever experienced. I can tell you, she’s the real deal. As hard as it’s been for her she has served Jesus with everything she could. The more adversity that Rhonda faced the more she loved and served others. I couldn’t be more proud of my friend.

Rhonda was one of the 1st people who came to me to tell me that she wanted to be a part of Vertical Church. She truly felt that God had been leading us to this place for many years so from day one she’s been there. Rhonda is mom to 2 great boys, Mason and Seth and friend to many teenage girls (as a FUZE HS girls VGroup leader). Rhonda leads our NEXT ministry, helping people to take their next step towards Christ, is a VGroup leader and is a leader of Vertical Worship. I know it wasn’t easy to share this story with the world, but I know God used it greatly. Here is Rhonda’s story:


The Power of a Testimony – Meridith Allen

This last video from #verticalchristmas is of my friend Meridith Allen. Meredith’s story was powerful and shows us that God can reach down to us wherever we are. You gotta see where she met Jesus… POWERFUL!!!

Today Meridith is helping people make their way towards recovery and Jesus. She’s a great mom and has taken her challenge and turned it into an opportunity to bring glory to Jesus and we are so proud of her! Meridith became a Vertical partner in our first Verge class (our membership opportunity) after our launch and is a leader in our “Rebounders” ministry which ministers to people struggling with hurts and hang-up situations.

Here is Meridith’s story: