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Don’t Miss This: $30 for 30 Hours

Vertical Church is proud to be a hub church for the Planting The Gospel church-planting network. Planting the Gospel has a simple, yet important vision… to create 100 Gospel Hubs…1,000 Gospel Churches…10,000 Gospel Church Plants…and change 1,000,000 Lives in 10 years!

The team at Planting the Gospel is passionate about connecting with and equipping pastors and church leaders with the resources necessary to effectively reach
unchurch people in their community with the gospel. This passion led them to create a new kind of church conference that will help them accomplish their mission. The Gospel Centered Church Conference is an event created to bring together church planters and pastors who want their churches to be centered around the Gospel if Jesus.

What is the Gospel Centered Church Conference?

What is it? This two-day conference is designed to build relationships, encourage the heart, equip leaders, and expose you to the purpose and passion of the Planting the Gospel network.

Why another conference? Plant the Gospel cares about more than just our network, we want to reach out to the broader church world. We wanted to create a
resource for pastors and church planters who care about being a gospel-centered church. The goal of the conference isn’t just to share the best resources and information needed to effectively reach our communities with the gospel, but also reignite our passion for the gospel and allow us to connect with like-minded people who can help encourage us as we continue our mission.

Who is it for? Church Planters, Pastors, Ministry Leaders, People who have a passion or interest in Church planting, Hurting Pastors, New Pastors, 80-year-old
pastors. Basically anyone who cares about the Gospel.

When is it? October 15-16, 2012

Where is it? Atlanta, GA

What is the cost? – Cost at the door is $69, but Plant The Gospel is offering several early bird specials. For the first 30 hours of registration (July 30 @ 9:00 AM – July 31 @ 3:00 PM), you can purchase your ticket for $30. You can find information about the other early bird deadlines here.

I’d love for you to join us this year for the inaugural Gospel Centered Church Conference and partner with us as we continue towards our goal of reaching 1,000,000 people with the Good News of Jesus.

How to Build a Discipling Culture into Your Church

Vertical Church is part of a church planting network called, “Planting the Gospel”. One of our goals as a network is to connect and equip pastors with the necessary resources to effectively reach unchurched people in their community with the Gospel. We do this approximately once per quarter and it is so awesome to sit with guys who think like you think. This is what a Planting the Gospel Hub Roundtable is all about – would you be interested in being part of that?

Our next roundtable will be on August 14th at Vertical Headquarters (401 E. 11th Street, Lumberton, NC). Our speaker that day will be David Putman (leader of PTG), who will be unpacking “The Gospel Disciple: Building a Discipleship Culture”. We will meet from 9am-noon and it is absolutely FREE.

If you are interested in gathering with like minded pastors to learn, pray, partner and build a sense of community around the Gospel I hope that you will join us. LET ME KNOW if you will be attending so we can make preparations for you!

Sunday Nite on a TUESDAY Morning (May 20)

What’s up everybody?!? Sorry for such a late “Sunday” post but just could not get to it before now. After an incredible Sunday and a couple of hours downtime I headed into an incredible monthly leaders meeting and then directly after Donnie and I hit the road for Atlanta (more about that).

I tell you all that to say – here’s what is on my mind regarding services at Vertical Church for May 20, 2012:

  • Week One of “Man vs Woman”, our new series about relationships. Today’s service did not disappoint.
  • Donnie brought an excellent, transparent and biblical Word about the subject of sex. Most people, even people who are Christians, have an unbiblical view of sex that was shaped by everything except the bible. This affects our marriage relationship deeply. Mark Driscoll says in his book, [Real Marriage], “Most of the time, a couple enters into a marriage with different views of sex. And even if they agree, rarely do they agree with the Bible. How we are raised, teaching we have had (or not had), and experiences we have accumulated all combine to shape our view of sex.”
  • Shout out to all the fellas that leave their underwear in the floor, pretend like it’s not there and then wonder why their wives struggle with feeling close to them. Pick ‘em up fellas!!!
  • Bottom line – sex is a gift and God means for it to be great! It is to be shared within the confines of marriage and when treated as the special gift it is brings emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy. I hope you’ll check out the podcast.
  • I appreciate his heart and excellent job sharing what we believe God tells us about this most important issue. I can’t wait for my shot at it this Sunday!!!
  • I must give a shout out to Kelly Little and Brandon Smith for the “Man vs Woman” stage set. Once again, raising the bar for excellent environments in church. Notice I said church, NOT portable church! These people are doing more in a portable environment than many do anywhere. Don’t allow excuses to define your excellence – take it to another level!
  • Also, another environments shout out to Sarah Pittman who designs the Cafe’ environment at Vertical.

    Cafe Table Decorations

  • Sunday was baptism day and we had the privilege of seeing 14 people share their stories of spiritual death to everlasting life. These stories… so many of them were the epitome of our vision (to help people who don’t like church meet God!) As I stood in that baptism pool with them and watched the stories that they shared via video I just thought over and over, “thank YOU for letting me be a part of this”.
  • Once again there were people baptized this weekend who I have personally prayed with and for their salvation. It is a wonderful day to see God answer your prayers and the prayers of families before your eyes!
  • I hope that we will be able to post the baptism videos before the end of this work week!
  • Oh, and by the way, we had our biggest non-holiday attendance in the history of our church on Sunday!!!! WOO-HOO! YOU GO JESUS!!!!

Took a trip to Atlanta yesterday for a Planting the Gospel Hub Leaders meeting. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE A PART OF PLANTING THE GOSPEL Leadership team. We have an incredible team including our leader David Putman, David Rogers (rocking Valdosta, Ga), Jeff Hickman (representing Upstate SC), @moviepastor Dave Anderson from Alabama and Chad Hunt from Kentucky. Y’all, we have some big things coming up for church planters and pastors later on this year through Planting the Gospel. Whether you are a church planter or are thinking of planting, or your church would like to be involved in planting Gospel Centered churches, I would love to talk to you about Planting the Gospel, our plan to plant 10,000 churches and how you can be part of that.

Helping People Move from Here to There


Have you ever been on a people-mover at an airport or an amusement park? It’s a pretty awesome concept (I loved George’s idea on Seinfeld to put them around the city). People get on this moving floor and as the continue to walk they move 3 times as fast as normal. People movers make it easier for people to move from Point A to Point B.

Years ago I realized something about the calling on my life: I am in the people mover business. My job is helping to move people from Spiritual Point A to Spiritual Point B and beyond.

At Vertical Church we have worked really hard in this area. We have systems in place that assist us in those goals (Host Team consisting of Parking, Greeting, VIP (1st time guest), Ushers, Cafe, Prayer Room, First time calls). We want to help them to:

  • Move from 1 visit to 2. While our ultimate goal is that people enter relationship with Jesus, our immediate goal is to help them string together consecutive visits. I once had a man say to me, “Pastor, I have never been to church 6 weeks in a row in my life.” Now he has – that’s a win to us.
  • Move from making a private decision to a public decision. When people are sitting under the teaching of God’s word we recognize that the Holy Spirit is at work on that person’s heart and mind. It is so easy for people to make mind decisions that never seem to make it to their heart. It is our job to help them make that transition. We direct everyone who has questions to go by NEXT. NEXT is a table located at the exits staffed with people who are trained to help people take their next step, whatever it may be. We try to make taking a next step easy because we know that actually taking the step isn’t.
  • Move towards being doers and not just hearers. We teach some pretty heavy stuff and the truth we place before our people can change their lives but only if our people apply what they’ve learned. Hearing preaching doesn’t change our lives – doing something with what we hear changes lives. We will not be changed by preaching osmosis (absorbing teaching that changes us).
  • Move from death to life. Never misunderstand, what we are involved in is supernatural. God is changing hearts, minds, lives and eternities. We feel it’s our job to help them move from death to life,  not just in this world but in the world to come. Eternity is promised by God to those who call upon Him for salvation.

This weekend at Vertical we will baptize people that I have personally prayed for… some for a while. This is real and this is supernatural.We’re in the spiritual people mover business and I thank Jesus for allowing me to be part.

Being a Mobile Church is not an Excuse

I have been a fan of church planting for years and have been so inspired by churches that don’t allow their portable status to be an excuse to not make things next level. At Vertical, being portable is not an excuse but a blessing!! I know that some of you who read me are church planters and I challenge you: don’t let being mobile be used as an excuse to not create excellent, exciting and engaging environments.

By the way, I love our creative team! Here are some of the stages we’ve done in the past year.

"At the Movies"


"1st Anniversary Party"




"Share the Love Christmas"


"Real Holiness"


"I Love the 80's"

"Family Vacation"

"Night of Worship Bladen County"


"Uncensored Truth About Eternity"