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All posts in Vertical Worship Gathering

Final Practice: Check. 6 Days

Signs So, next Sunday night at this time Vertical Church will have completed it's first official day of weekly services. It seems like the past seven months have just flown by… I know for some who have been part of the planning of Vertical Church may have been ready to go to weekly services for awhile but there was so much to be done.

And now on Sunday night, January 30th we have completed our final practice service, our final VTeam Leaders meeting and we have set our sights on this Sunday's launch. Here are a few thoughts I have before I finally hit it after a long, exciting day:

  • This morning we gathered at the theater for a final run through with our teams. We didn't invite anyone to come, we just set up all environments and then gathered everyone, leaders and children alike in the worship center for a time of worship and celebration.
  • Luke 14:23 is resonating with me in a major way tonight.
  • Love seeing the way that our team is working together to make this happen!
  • I cannot say enough about the way that Cinema Four has already helped us to be successful – we are so blessed to have such a great place to call our home.
  • I also cannot say enough about the way our team leaders are owning their areas.
  • One more…
  • I cannot say enough about my MVP (Most Vertical Person), Brandon Smith. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT BRANDON!!! The work that Brandon has done to get us ready for Launch… just WOW!
  • The original J-Mac, Justin McQueen brought the worship thunder this morning. Very proud of his progress and the way that he is stepping up.
  • Everytime I look out over our crowd of leaders I just wanna cry – seriously… I cannot believe I have the privilege of leading this great group of leaders.
  • We added a new member to our team today that I believe is gonna be amazing! Can't believe the people God is bringing to make Vertical excellent.
  •  I believe that "Game Changer" is gonna be just that. I think that God is gonna use this series to challenge our very foundation… Cannot wait!
  • This week I will be sharing how we will be ministering to teens…
  • …and speaking of teens, I heard that our FUZE Student ministry is having a Super Bowl Party at Mr. P's Skateworld next Sunday at 6:30pm.
  • This week we will be sharing some of our behind the scenes footage of Vertical, not to mention some great pics taken by my favorite photog, Bree!

A quick word to all of our Vertical Partners and attenders: Invite, invite, invite. The "Game Changer" series will make clear what we're doing, challenge us in our walk and show people why we're willing to do what we're doing week in and week out.

That's it… been up since before 4am… too excited… bet I will be snoring within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

Vertical Private Preview Service

Trailer We are 14 days away from the launch of Vertical Church! 2 weeks from today we will finally begin having weekly services. For some it might seem like a long time – for our team it seems like just yesterday that we had our very first interest meeting at the Woodman of the World pool.

This morning we had our 1st service at our new location, Cinema Four Theaters in Lumberton. The reason we didn't say anything or advertise was this service was for those who have been attending along the way only. We hope we didn't miss anyone when we were making our phone calls. To say that we were blown away by everything we have experienced this weekend would have to be the understatement of our short life as a church! Here's what I'm talking about:

  • We received all of our equipment from Church on Wheels on Saturday. Included was full sound, audio-visual equipment, lighting, Childrens environments (birth-5th) and full cafe environments. All of this is in wheeled road cases for easy set-up/tear down and is stored in a 25 foot trailer.
  • Yesterday (Saturday) was the first time we set it all up and learned how we're gonna do this on a weekly basis. Everybody was SO PUMPED by their particular area and the gear they had to work with.
  • After we finished around lunch time on Saturday we tore it down and rolled it all back into the trailer as we looked forward to Sunday.
  • I didn't sleep very much Saturday night – too excited. I bought McDonald's coffee at around 4am.
  • OUR FIRST LOAD-IN (7:30am): we have the best team (Road Crew) setting up and tearing down. I was so impressed how quickly everything was together. 
  • I was tied up in the worship center until about 8:30. I walked out into the Cafe' area not expecting to see what I saw… IMMEDIATELY I CRIED. I cried a lot today.
  • After a quick sound check we got all our volunteers in the worship center for a couple of songs and a great time of prayer. More tears ensued.
  • Conversations… prayers… encouragements… excitements… coffee… seeing a dream come true – making reality what I saw in my heart a long, long time ago – that's what this day sums up to for me.
  • Seeing our people do what they do is unbelievable!
  • Our Connections Pastor Joey Autry was sick today. How sick do you have to be to miss today after praying together for a year?!? Poor guy… many, MANY Sunday's to catch up with.
  • Parking team – amazing. Greet team – the friendliest, most helpful. Vertical Cafe crew – caffeinating people for great worship experiences with the best attitudes. 
  • Audio/Visual team – unbelievable! VIP and NEXT – dream come true. VKidz and Waumba Land environments: your kidz won't be able to wait! The security in those areas – excellent. Our Usher team ushered in excellence and TOTALLY understands the concept behind our decision to truly usher.
  • Our band… I am just blown away by the worship they laid down today – Greater things. 
  • Donnie brought a great message today challenging our people with the thought, "Do you have a heart for our city?"
  • The invitation time was so sweet as our people began to pray for all of those who we are believing will be changed by Jesus through Vertical. 
  • "Why is our Lead Pastor playing drums?" I actually planned for Donnie to preach a while back. The reason I played drums was because our drummer is actually preparing to play for the next month. Me playing was purposeful – I still love to play drums. If you could play with this caliber of band you would jump at the opportunity as well.
  • Tear down was quick and painless. Like I said, the Vertical Road Crew are my heroes!
  • Best part of my day: freely worshiping my King with my new church family in our new facility. 
  • 2nd best part: my wife hugging me with tears in her eyes and saying, "I'm proud of you." I know this journey hasn't been easy for her – Keyna believed God and believed me and sensed His call just as I did…  But I know this step of faith has been unnerving (as it has been for our whole lead team who ALL stepped out in faith w/o jobs or income – God has been and IS faithful). I love me some Keyna Pittman.

Today was an amazing day. Very proud of all our team leaders leading their areas… This is gonna be good! We're gonna help people who don't like church meet God! So in 14 days we will do this… we want YOU to check us out! Look Vertical for the answers to life's questions.

This is Exciting

Latest_news I hope all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday with your family and friends. We are full bore heading towards the Christmas Season – I don't really like the music (long running joke) but I DO love the season and all that it truly represents.

This is an exciting week for us at Vertical as this coming Sunday will be our very 1st morning service! This Sunday, 10:45am in the Holiday Inn Ballrooms. V-Kidz will be in full-effect, we will celebrate the Christmas season and its true meaning and celebrate in true Vertical fashion. We are also excited to be having our very 1st baptisms at our new church this weekend. If you have not been baptized since you believed into your relationship with Jesus it's not too late to let me know.


Also, in "Love is a Verb" news – we will be participating in 2 events this week:

  • Lumberton Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday night which will conclude at the Carolina Civic Center with a showing of last year's Jim Carrey version of "A Christmas Carol" – what a great way to share Jesus with our community and have some family fun in one shot
  • Bladenboro Christmas Parade on Saturday where we will give out candy canes and Vertical invite cards. You can learn more about how you can be involved in this event here

I'll close by saying how much I love the team the Lord has put around us. We are 3 spots away from filling our leadership team and the meeting we had last night was just a blessing. God is doing something amazing in our midst. I am so thankful He called us out.



So glad that you decided to check out what I'm excited about today! In no certain order I'm pumped that…

  • On Saturday evening we are headed to Elevation Church in Charlotte – Vertical Road Crew! In my opinion, Elevation sets the standard for what a young church can be. Even if you haven't been out with the Road Crew you can still join us this weekend – but let me know you're coming. During the early days of Vertical we have been “road triping” together to different churches throughout our area. These road trips allow our LAUNCH TEAM the opportunity to worship together, clarify our mission, build relationships, strategize, gain insight and see similar models “in action”.
  • Our next "Love is a Verb" event is this Saturday morning as we're taking part in the Lumberton Christmas Parade. Our Vertical hot chocolate stands are going to give us some awesome opportunities to meet bunches of Lumberton's residents – LOVE THESE TYPE OF EVENTS!
  • Just got off the phone with someone who I believe God is going to use in a mighty way at Vertical Church. Said he had been praying about signing our Membership Covenant because he took it seriously (PRAISE, because we want you to) and he really felt like our area needed this kind of church.
  • We are in contact with some local assistance agencies about ways that Vertical can make a difference this Christmas – We have a big announcement coming soon about that.
  • Have I mentioned that we are "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!"????
  • Very excited that a close friend of ours who we've been praying for got some great medical news today! We know God is good despite any and all news but it sure is nice when the news is good too.
  • I am loving the "Sun Stand Still" Home study! Have you found that audacious vision for your life yet?
  • Our next Vertical Worship Service will be December 5th, will be our 1st  morning service (10:45am) at the Holiday Inn Ballrooms and we hope that you will begin your Christmas Season off right with us as we share with you the Gift Revolution (we'll talk about Gift Revolution soon)!

The BIG Announcement!

ComingSoon_shadow I am about to answer the most common question that I have been asked since I made the announcement about starting Vertical: "So, where will your church be meeting?"  I have been waiting SO LONG to make the following statement: 

Vertical Church is excited to announce that beginning February 6th, 2011, we'll begin having weekly services at the Cinema Four Theater in Lumberton.

This is so exciting because from the very beginning of this dream (going back more than 2 years) we have ALWAYS envisioned meeting there. Why am I so excited to meet at Cinema Four?

  • Location, Location, Location – Cinema Four is located at the busiest intersection in our area. Most people who live in Lumberton go through this intersection (and by our church building) daily. We plan to utilize this wonderful placement to spread the news of our growing church that we might share the true Good News with our region.
  • Familiarity - One of the issues that many who don't go to church struggle with is going into unfamiliar places. Let's face it, going into an unknown place can be weird for the bravest of us. Vertical Church is meeting in a place that almost everyone that we are targeting HAS ALREADY BEEN TO and is familiar with! Awesome! So much for not knowing your way around. You know, I believe that this is gonna be great for inviting your friends to!

Let's face it, going into an unknown place can be weird for the bravest of us.

  • Size of our Location – One of the things we have struggled with since we began meeting is having enough room to do things the way that we envision. The square footage of Cinema Four gives us the room to do all of our environments including a full scale Waumba Land (preschool) and Upstreet (k-5th) including our full teaching production (can't wait to do this!)

Seriously, this is so exciting for us – to finally have a place to hang our hats on and to be able to tell people "this" is where we're meeting. For more info contact me.