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All posts in V Groups

Would You Like to HOST a VGroup?

Would you like to H.O.S.T. a VGroup video study in your home? Here’s what it means to H.O.S.T.
H = Have a heart for Jesus and Vertical Church
O = Open up your home
S = Serve people in your home
T = Turn on a DVD player
If you think that you and 5-8 of your friends could do this study together 1 time per week contact our VGroups Pastor, Danny McLamb on facebook or email him at DannyMc@govertical.org

A Mid-Thursday Encouragement

It’s Thursday. Maybe you’ve had a tough week. As hard as you have attempted to let this week be different spiritually for whatever reason, it didn’t happen and you just don’t understand why. On Sunday you felt great, you were “All In” and today you kind of feel like a failure. Let me encourage you: Follow through is one of the hardest disciplines and it is so easy to get off course.

If satan can get Adam and Eve off course in the middle of Paradise he can certainly distract you on a Thursday.

You CAN get back on course today. The devil is a liar and telling you that you already got off-track so “you might as well quit”. Be victorious for in Christ you have already won the battle. Here’s some things that will help:

  • Catch up on your Bible reading. You have only missed 4 days. Day One is here, Two here, Three here and Four here. You can find each days devotional questions on my website, http://mikepittman.org/
  • Did you sign up to take the NEXT class this Sunday at 9:20 am? It’s time for you to quit just attending and take that next step whatever it may be. Respond in the comments below and say, “I’m coming to NEXT!”
  • Do you have kidz? Make sure to join us for the “ALL IN SplashFest” at White Lake Water Park on Saturday, August 25th at 6:30 pm. This is going to be a great chance for you to meet others including our staff. I look forward to a little splashing with all of you!
  • Who are you inviting to “ALL IN WEEKEND”? Sunday morning, August 26th is the day I would ask you all to be praying for. That person that you have prayed for, the one that you KNOW needs to experience Vertical – do whatever it takes to get them here on that Sunday morning as I am bringing a message that they need to hear.
  • Do you want to learn to how to share your faith with others? VGroups are Vertical small groups that meet in homes all over our region. Our next VGroup semester is going to begin in September and we are starting it with a church-wide study that is going to help everyone of you learn to be confident in sharing what God has done in your life with others. If you’re anything like me you always need help in this area. Make plans to join us IMMEDIATELY after the service for a free meal and the opportunity to be part of a VGroup in your area.
  • Would you like to H.O.S.T. a VGroup video study in your home? Here’s what it means to H.O.S.T.
    H = Have a heart for Jesus and Vertical Church
    O = Open up your home
    S = Serve people in your home
    T = Turn on a DVD player
    If you think that you and 5-8 of your friends could do this study together 1 time per week contact our VGroups Pastor, Danny McLamb on facebook or email him at DannyMc@govertical.org
  • If you were supposed to come to a VTeam Vision Night and missed it you CAN join us tonite at 7pm for our last one. Honestly, this has been an incredible week and I would love for you to experience this. Let me know in the comments below that you would like to attend so we can plan for your meal.

Don’t quit – start today!!! Your lunch hour is a GREAT time to read the scriptures. What a great way to get your heart ready for the 2nd half of your day!

By the way… below is the “In the Know” video that did not play in Sunday’s service. I love you all and am praying WITH and For you.

Meet Our New Staff Member!

Danny and Wina

We are so humbled and thankful for all that the Lord is doing in our midst. The spiritual talent that God is drawing to this ministry is just incredible. I am so excited to announce to you today that Vertical has a new member on our Lead Team, Danny McLamb.

I asked Danny to share a little about himself and his family:

You’ve got it! My name is Danny McLamb, and I’m 54 years old. I have been married for 33 years to Edwina. We have 3 children; Curtis, 25 years old and married to Chrissy for 5 years (and about to have their first child). My daughters are twins, Sara & Jessica, 21 years old. Sara lives in Charlotte and is soon to be married to Reese, and Jessica lives in Surf City and is a youth minister at The Gathering at Surf City Baptist. I have been a pastor for 18 years. I grew up the Barker Ten Mile Community of Robeson County and lived there for 23 years. I love Jesus and His church and am so glad to be a part of Vertical. I’m living the dream.

Danny  has accepted the position to be our new Connections Pastor. Our Connection Pastor position has been held by Joey Autry since day one of VC. Joey is transitioning out of this role in preparation to launch our Vertical Bladen location over which he will be the location Pastor.

Danny and I began conversations about what God was doing in his life a while back. This has been a very long process as it is such an important and integral part of who we are as a church. The Connections Pastor oversees our VGroup system and protects VFormation #6: “We are a church OF small groups, not WITH – There is a difference.” We feel that Danny is the man and has the skills, leadership and strengths to lead Vertical VGroups excellently. Danny is now a member of our Lead Pastoral Team (Lead Team) and will also be serving alongside Joey on the Bladen Location team. We are very excited to have another pair of feet on the ground in Bladen.

Everybody welcome Danny and Wina to the Vertical Family (oh, and friend them up on Facebook).

How Do I Know What I’m Supposed to Do?

I have found that the life of following Jesus is one of many important decisions strung together for the glory of God. It is so important that the decisions that we make are the ones that we truly feel God is leading us to make. We cannot haphazardly jump from one decision to the next because it seems to be the right one.

It is so important that we wait on God.

In the story of the Apostle Paul’s conversion God made him wait. If you know the story, he was a pretty bad guy towards God. Feeling like a crusader against Jesus and “the Way” (what they called Christianity in its inception) he literally was a leader in bringing all of these blasphemers against Judaism and God to justice. But Jesus intervened:

[3] Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. [4] And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” [5] And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [6] But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” [7] The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. [8] Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. [9] And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:3-9 ESV)

So he went into the city and waited for God to tell him what to do. The story goes on to tell us how he learned “what you are to do”:

[10] Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” [11] And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, (My note: NOTICE THAT WHILE PAUL/SAUL IS WAITING that HE IS PRAYING) [12] and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” (Acts 9:10-12 ESV)

So he did. Saul of Tarsus received his sight again (scales fell from his eyes – read it for yourself) and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. God told him what to do: 1st, he rose and was baptized then he ate some food. The next thing we see in scripture he is in the synagogue telling people about Jesus, his new calling in life.

This morning as I thought on the fact that it is Friday and Sunday is fast approaching I couldn’t help but think about how many of you who read my blog, whether you attend Vertical Church or not, NEED TO TAKE A NEXT STEP. What is that next step?

What is God telling you to do? I can’t tell you that, YOU need to ask Him. Stop what you are doing, pray right now, and continue that prayer. What is He telling you to do? For some of you your next step is:

  • You need to be saved. You need to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, given in His own blood through His purposeful sacrifice on the cross. What are you waiting on – receive Him into Your heart and life TODAY! (don’t know how, contact me and I will lead you there).
  • You need to be baptized by immersion. New Testament baptism ALWAYS takes place AFTER conversion. 1st you receive Jesus, THEN you are baptized. Many of you are under a continuous conviction because you know that you have this out of order. I would call you to remove this hinderance to growth from your  life. (if you need to be baptized you can sign up for that here - the next Vertical baptism is February 12)
  • You need to repent of sin in your life. Maybe there is something that you have buried that you don’t want to deal with – you try not to think about it but it’s always there. Stop what you’re doing, confess it to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness then TURN (that’s what it means to repent) and go in the other direction from that sin.
  • You need to forgive someone and/or be reconciled. Unforgiveness is poison to your soul – it eats away at you. You may say,”They don’t deserve my forgiveness!!!”, but YOU DESERVE to be free from allowing them to continuously hurt you. Unforgiveness is like you taking poison and expecting the other person to get sick from it. God can free you from this but you must give it to Him and allow Him to free you of all of this.

Maybe you need to join the church. Maybe you need to join a VGroup. Maybe you need to serve on a VTeam. I don’t know the answer for you but I do know that this Sunday at Vertical Church is a day in which we will celebrate Communion with Jesus through the Lord’s Supper. I would challenge you all to enter into prayer in preparation for this important day. Sunday may be the beginning of your new life with Jesus Christ.

So often we want to know God’s big plan for our life – He will not give you that answer until you have done the NEXT thing He is instructing you to do. First things first.

So I ask you, what IS God telling you to do?

How to Avoid Falling through the Cracks

Sunday morning services, as much as you may like them, should not be the be all end all of what church is for you! Have you ever thought, “there must be more to church than this”? There is! Question is, are you up to going there?

We call our core values “the V Formation”. V Formation #4 is, “We are a church OF Small Groups, Not With”. There is a difference. Our church is made up of a bunch of small groups that actually gather together for worship on Sundays. The biblical functions of the body of Christ actually play out within our VGroup structure – our care, discipleship and accountability all happen here. Our ultimate goal isn’t people sitting in rows listening to a speaker but talking in circles where lives really change.

I have continually told our congregation from the stage, “if you aren’t a part of a VGroup you WILL eventually fall through the cracks at Vertical,”  because the VGroup is how we keep up with people. Truth is, if a person isn’t in a group we don’t have another way to provide care or discipleship for them and have no plans to do so - VGroups ARE our way at Vertical.

Wondering how you can join a Vgroup? Make plans to be part of GroupLink. GroupLink is an event where you will meet and connect with others in your stage of life or live in your area to begin a VGroup. VGroups are small groups of approximately 5-6 married couple or 6-8 individuals of the same gender who meet weekly in homes around our region for friendship, Bible study and prayer. Anyone who attends Vertical is encouraged to get involved.

GrouplinkGroupLink will be this Sunday evening January 29, 5:00-7:00pm at the Holiday Inn Ball Room. We’ll have refreshments, some music and an opportunity to meet our VGroup leaders. VGroups launch on the first week of February.

You can sign up for GroupLink here.