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Our Plan to Affect the Next Generation


At Vertical Church we are so serious about impacting the next generation. Thom Rainer states,

"More than two-thirds of young adults between the ages of 18-22 leave the church – that's a disturbingly high figure."

That statement, from the book "Essential Church" (and more importantly, spoken to me at a conference in the spring of 2008) literally put me on the path to starting a church that would help people (that includes students) who don't like church meet God.

Our solution begins with LDP.

Leadership Development Plan (LDP) will be a very vital program within the structure of Vertical Church. LDP is designed to be a leadershipjourney that combines hands-on experience in a key area of ministry with practical leadership training. LDP is a  program geared for rising 12th graders and college students. Each LDP staff is expected to spend time working in a specific area of ministry and participating in leadership trainings. As an LDP, students will have the opportunity to work within Vertical Church in a coordinator role. We will be looking for students interested in the following areas: Waumba Land = preschool, Upstreet = elementary, Host Team, Student Groups, Photography, Graphic Communication, Production, Church Administration, Student Production, Creative Planning Team, Road Crew.

Our long term plan for the LDP structure, is to offer two LDP opportunities, a 9-month LDP that functions as a part-time (20 hours/week) leadership role and a Summer LDP (May-August) part-time leadership role.

For more information regarding LDP's please contact


One more thing about “Physical Life”

I know that we have moved on this week from our "Physical Life" in our LDP study, but Saturday morning, as I was spending time with God I came across this passage:

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
       may they not rule over me.
       Then will I be blameless,
       innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
       be pleasing in your sight,
       O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:13-14)

When dealing with overcoming temptation and victory, it’s really important to remember the fact that the choices we make are "willful choices" as it says in v. 13. Remember, we do not want to be "mastered by anything" – don’t forget to pray like David prayed in the verse above.

This doesn’t just apply to your physical life – it applies to finances, relationships, our relationship with God – It applies to all of it. Everybody ends up somewhere but few people actually end up somewhere on purpose. And…

I’m still praying against the "short commitments"!

Sunday Nite

Great day today – the crowds seemed better than normal "summer" weekends, maybe that’s the indication that vacation time is almost over!

Man, I’m tired tonite – after the 3 services this morning and a RESCUE ZONE kickoff tonite, I’m ready to literally, CHILL! Here’s a short list of the things I’m thinking tonite…

  • is it just me, or is there absolutely NO REASON that a hyde park attendee should not be in the process of developing a plan for the various areas of our life that our pastor has spoken on for the past 5 weeks! If you are doing nothing with the challenges being offered week after week through the Life Development Plan, you need to check yourself. Our job is to challenge, your job is to apply.
  • Our band was on fire today – our singers on – the choir rockin’ – and i love leading worship in such a free church as hyde park is!
  • Pastor Harrell was so "ON" this morning! Great message – make sure you listen to it again tomorrow (you will find it here).
  • We’re taking our First Impression Team to NewSpring on Sunday, August 19th for a little "team building" – if you are on the FIT team, here’s your pre-warning/invitation – MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDARS, MAKE PLANS TO JOIN US FOR THIS AFTERNOON TRIP!
  • Remember, we have VBS classes for everybody tonite, especially adults!

I am just not really creative tonite – really just wanna "check out" – check back tomorrow! See you tonite at Vacation Bible School!

Fat or Fit?

I found this over on ‘s blog, the swerve on Monday – I thought, in light of what we’re dealing with this week and the overall implication that our choices are more about surrender than anything, I wanted you to read it. Here it is:

Guest Blog: Anna Meadows

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Fat or Fit?

Recently I’ve lost around 60 pounds. With a loss of this magnitude it’s inevitable that one gains a new way of thinking. Since dropping the weight, I’ve become less inwardly-focused, and less concerned about what others think, because I am no longer insecure with the way I look. It’s freed me to be who I am, freed me to focus on others, freed me to engage in activities I would never have considered before.

During this time of transformation, I realized a parallel to ministry. Before came into my life, I had a consumerist mindset. I would have called myself a “fat” Christian. I thought the church was here for me, looked to ministries to fill my needs, complained if the worship didn’t move me, or if the message wasn’t deep enough. Since becoming a part of, I’ve learned the difference between being a “fat” Christian and a “fit” Christian.

Fat Christians say…
“Why don’t you have this ministry at your church?”

Fit Christians say…
“Can I start a group that does this kind of ministry? Maybe there are other people who would like to join…”

Fat Christians…
…sit in the same pew each week, and rarely venture out of their circle of friends.

Fit Christians…
…find opportunities to change things up, and try to involve those on the outskirts.

Fat Christians focus…
…on how to better themselves.

Fit Christians focus…
…on those who don’t know Jesus.

Fat Christians do…
…what’s easy and safe.

Fit Christians do…
…what’s difficult and counterintuitive.

Fat Christians think…
…it’s all about them.

Fit Christians know…
…it’s all about HIM.

I’m working every day to be a fit Christian, and to inspire those around me to this way of thinking. What are your thoughts?

My Personal Discovery

The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "…When i am weak, He is strong." in reference to dealing with the difficulties that He encountered in life.

All weak (pun intended) we have been dealing with the inward struggle of having a strong "Physical Life". Yesterday, after I shared my confession, I told you I would share my personal discovery in the area of finding victory in Glorifying God with our body. Here’s what I’ve found, at least for me: the biggest part of my battle is not one of wanting to eat, wanting to be lazy, wanting to sleep or whatever other "wants" that you place in there – my problem is that I’m NOT in control. I’ve found that…

When my "flesh" (the desire to do the opposite of God’s will) gets too strong it masters me – i do what it wants because i like the way it makes me feel; but…

When i do the opposite of that, I begin to see a little victory. For example, when i work out, i literally do things i don’t want to in a sacrificial mode for the purpose of being submissive to God. I’ve found that as I do this, my (His) Spirit grows stronger in me, it begins to be the dominating leader. As the Spirit becomes stronger, my flesh (or desire for ME) gets weaker. As my fleshly desire gets weaker my desire for prayer gets deeper – my understanding of scripture gets stronger – my dreams become bigger and clearer and my ability to understand God’s will for me incidently becomes better

This is me – I don’t know how this will play out in your life; I certainly don’t have all the answers, just my personal experience. How about you? In what area have you begun to "see the light" of victory in the area of overcoming? In what could I pray for you?