It looks like we had an incredible day yesterday at Vertical. I was not in attendance as I was with my family attending my daughter Madison’s dance competition. We only do this a few times a year (praising Jesus for that – can be wide open) and I hate to be out of town like that… however, we have an AMAZING team, filled with the power of God and His leadership.
We did something a little different yesterday – 2 different communicators at 2 locations preaching different messages. As we were in a transition week between series I felt it was a good day to give Joey Autry (Bladen Location Pastor) and Jon Lloyd (Church Planting Intern, future Steel City Church Pastor) the opportunity to flex their preaching muscles. Though I haven’t heard either message yet (I will) I did have the opportunity to see what many of you said online. If you missed yesterday, here’s what you missed through the eyes of facebook/twitter. The #seriously tags are from Joey’s message – the #go tags are from Jon’s:
As i said, INCREDIBLE DAY! So thankful for God’s leadership, the team He has blessed us with and the opportunity to see Him make a difference in so many lives. Thank You, Jesus. 1 Church, 2 Locations, 1 Savior!!!
Sometimes I just have to pinch myself!
Every Sunday nite is a tired Sunday Nite. Most are rewarding Sunday Nites. And some, like today, are just stinkin’ special.
God moved at both Vertical locations today in a very special way. I REALLY hope that you were with us. If you weren’t, here’s what you missed:
- Vertical Worship at Bladen had Alison and Justin leading worship along with Karla-Beth on vocals, Josh on lead guitar, John A on acoustic, Christoph on bass and Ethan on drums. They were smokin’
Here’s what other said online about today:
- Sandy: The word was fierce, the music was moving, and the hearts were open today at Vertical!!! I have learned so much from this great group of people! If someone is looking for a church or you feel like you need Jesus in your life, bring yourself and your family to Vertical. My family comes home each Sunday filled with joy from the service. #blessed
- Amber: Vertical was awesome as always! Already pumped for next week.
- Nicole: Got baptized today & i couldn’t be more happy! God is good ❤
- Leisa: As a Mom…today at Vertical Church is gonna be amazing…cause my Awesome Aaron is being baptized…God has always taken care of me and my sons and provided our every need…I thank him so much for never leaving my side…Lifechanges being made…I am so blessed…wish my family in heaven is seeing this today cause my strength comes frm them…n I believe they will be celebrating with us today!!!!! God is good…All the time…so as for me and my house…we praise you!!!
- John: so blessed to get to see God using Vertical Church in Lumberton and Bladen each week, it really just never gets old.
- Morgan: All I know is Vertical Bladen was on FIRE today!! Very humbling to see my peers being baptized & witnessing the powerful work of God in the lives of His people! I love it!
- Nikki: All I can am think right now is wow. Look at how far God has let us come and just think about how far He is going to take us. So proud of my Vertical Family.
- Santana: God showed up & showed out @ Vertical this morning! I confessed publicly that Jesus is my King! One of the best feelings I have ever experienced..to God be the Glory! God is doing amazing things in Bladen so glad that my son & I are apart of that!
- On Saturday we had a vTeam party at Camp Grace. We played, we partied, we ate (of course – grin), we competed, we worshiped, we sang, we prayed, and we enjoyed each others presence. You haven’t worshiped until you have sung with this rowdy bunch!
- We were blessed to have my friend Jeff Kapusta (@jeffkapusta), Lead Pastor of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington in to speak at the vTeam party. The message that he brought to our team was so spot on… God-led. God is using Jeff greatly in Wilmington. God is using him greatly in my life also. Thankful to call him friend.
- BTW… Jeff loved our vTeams. He could tell that God is doing something great at VC by your passion.
- I did something at the party I have never done at Vertical Church – I led a complete worship set. I didn’t have to sing much as the crowd was leading. Unbelievable.
- SHOUTOUT TO VERTICAL CONNECTIONS PASTOR JOHN PAUL (and McGee) Deaver for bringing this party together. It was AWESOME and a perfect evening.! Just another reason to be a vTeam member.
- Looking very forward to speaking at the Robeson Baptist Association Semi-Annual meeting. I am thankful for the opportunity to share what God is doing in our midst, our churches and throughout our region. Thankful for pastors who love Jesus and for their partnership in the Gospel. (John 13:34-35)
I cannot wait for you all to see the baptism videos. We will try to get them up this week. I love you all – so thankful for what God is doing in our midst. May we NEVER take this for granted friends.
FAQ Week 2 is in the books. Incredible day filled with worship, tension, questions, conviction, understanding and most importantly:
Wouldn’t it be terrible to go to church and hear that you and your life is in violation of God’s expectations and NOT HAVE someone to tell us how God can fix us and give us steps to do so?
I had the opportunity to preach at and experience both Vertical Locations yesterday. I hope that you were with us – if you weren’t here’s what you missed:
- On Week 2 of FAQ we explored shacking up, gambling and why God allows bad things to happen to good people.
- This week Donnie had the opportunity to put ME on the hot seat (revenge?). His questions for me: Paying taxes; Does God promise He won’t place more on me than I can handle; Why do some people raise their hands during songs; Is interracial marriage prohibited in the Bible and is it ok to fantasize about your spouse?
Will post tomorrow.
- This was not an easy message to deliver. But it’s like I said LIVE in both services, please understand that we are FOR you. If you have issues in any of the subjects we are dealing with we want to help you to take your next step with Jesus.
My man DK Lemmons (https://www.facebook.com/DK.Lemmons) had some great summaries of my message so the following are his quotes:
- Is gambling a sin? Bible doesn’t significantly prohibits. It’s not the game, but the manner in which we play it.
- Why do we raise hands? Psalms 63:4 calls for us to raise our hands in praise!!
- Interracial marriage? Most take Deut. out of context. It talks about interbelief not race. It is our duty not to chase after foreign gods.
- Bad things 2 good people? No magical answer, God is God and we are not. Misunderstanding that God will keep bad things from happening.
- Bible never said life will be easy after salvation. John 16:33- u will have hardship, but Christ has overcome the world! Ex: Book of Job
- Why Bad things happen? 1.) Sin. 2.) God tests us. 3.) Satan (destroyer). 4.) Free Will. Our choice a against God.
- God is always just, and sovereign!! He is not always fair. If he did, he would treat us as our sins deserve. How great is His love for us!!
Great notes DK!
It sounds like we had an incredibly eventful day yesterday at Vertical!! I am currently preparing to leave Orlando – our daughter Madison competed in the US Spirit National Cheer Championships. So proud of our girls!
I could tell by the online chatter that we were having a killer day at Vertical Church!!! So thankful for the awesome way that Donnie kicked off the FAQ series with some heavy, HEAVY subjects. Our heart as a church is to lovingly present what the Bible teaches about issues that those outside the church see as controversial. We want to do this in the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus is ALWAYS reconciliation:
 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience….  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:11,17-21 ESV)
This is ALWAYS our intention. Love. Reconciliation. Truth. Remembering that while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Great service this morning. The current series, FAQs, is one that is greatly needed by the Christian Church so that we can address these issues both Biblically and IN LOVE. Donnie, you did a fantastic job in prefacing and explaining the Bible’s answers to these often controversial issues.
Here are some thoughts from Bladen location pastor, Joey Autry about yesterday:
Really awesome day. Love love love hearing what Jesus is doing in people’s lives!
- Great after service convos for our team with people taking next steps
- VTeams are just phenoms right now. Love the heart and passion from our volunteers. Thankful for Sim Asbil and his leadership
- Great message from DP. Truly tackled tough subjects with grace and love of Christ – Truth in love? Heard that somewhere before
- Sweet acoustic set our worship team brought today
- BMed’s team (stage design) created great environment today
- VKidz leaders had awesome time leading kids to learn about Jesus. In particular, great pics from our Waumba Land team having fun on jumphouse
- Thankful that teens & nowgens are serving all over Vertical Church
- Baptism for Bladen (April 21st) is going to be insane! List growing every week
Like most churches Vertical had a most exhilarating day Sunday. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing the reports from all over our nation of the work that God was doing through His “BIG C”. By the numbers that I saw it was obvious that there were a bunch of “little c’s” living out Vertical Intentionality – I love seeing the church at work. I love to see the church working right in the area of intentional influence and outreach.
I took a day to let it all soak in. Here is Vertical’s Easter recap through the eyes of our location Pastor’s, some vTeam staff and myself. I will go first:
- The 1st thing that I noticed when I woke Sunday morning at 5 was the rain. Way back in the day my heart would have fallen afraid of how the rain would affect our Easter services. It’s been a long time since then… my prayer: God, that YOU would make sure that whoever is supposed to be there WOULD be there. Wake them with the thought of YOU on their mind. And bring them to a church that will love them and clearly preach Your Gospel.
- I WAS PUMPED!!!! This message, “A Vertical Life”, was burning inside of me. This thought, that of allowing Jesus to LIVE in and through me has been a crusade of my ministry for years.
- A Vertical life is a life ALIVE to God. God wants to take our “hole-hearted” life and make it a “WholeHearted Life”.
- We did something way different for us for Easter – we used 2 different preachers. Same message, different communicators. I preached live at the Lumberton location, Donnie preached live at the Bladen location.
- We saw record crowds at both. We saw people give their lives to Jesus at both. We saw VERTICAL CHURCH doing what Vertical does at both!!!
- Donnie was sharing with me on Sunday afternoon how Vertical Bladen blew him away. He said worship was incredible and the vTeams were “vertical”. In his words, the leaders who were trained at the Lumberton location have absolutely re-created the Vertical environments/atmosphere that we expect.
- SO PROUD OF OUR vTeam staff and their excellent leadership!
- Baptism Sunday at the Lumberton location (Bladen baptism day is April 21). We saw 11 people express their faith through baptism Sunday and it was just incredible.
- Worship music was just “vertical”. In Lumberton we had Rhonda, Justin, Karla Beth on vocals, Robby on lead, Andrew on drums and John Astle on acoustic. Gary Floyd, our newest band member filled it out on bass guitar in an incredible way. I have watched Gary play for over 25 years and I have to say that Sunday was the 1st time I have ever seen him touch a bass guitar (he’s a guitarist). As usual with Gary, he was impeccable. I am so excited to have him playing with us!
Vertical Bladen Location Pastor, Joey Autry:
- Dude, there’s too many highlights to remember!!! Thank You Jesus!
- The sun broke through at about 9:40. Absolutely beautiful to see as I was outside just thanking Him.
- Vertical Bladen VKidz egg hunt (kids had blast and learned what the Savior of the world gave for them)
- Worship team blew it out of the water today. Vertical Bladen Worship was Alison, Jon and Bree handling vocals. Band was Josh on guitar, Joey Hinson on bass, Ethan on drums and Joe on keyboard. Loved ‘Beautiful Things’; ‘Your’s is the Victory’; and ‘Revelation Song’
- Vip team sharing home made baked cookies to give to guests as they left today
- Lots of hands raised indicating they had received Jesus! Prayer room indicated that Two souls went from death to life (plus one re-dedication).
- Vertical Bladen set record for adult worship AND vKidz.
- Our vTeams were amazing as always but Spirit flowing from them was just Jesus through them today
- Had ministry opportunity with my favorite student pastor BMed at local hospital after service where we prayed with family and connected with others as we were walking through.
- Donnie brought awesome word today. Very passionate and know people were dealing with some heavy stuff in the house.
- Really just unbelievable how we’re living Eph 3:20.
- Brandon backed Vertical trailor in straight for load out (that’s a WIN!!)
Vertical Lumberton Location Pastor, David Collins:
- vTeams were on fire today at Lumberton. Shout out to our Connections Pastor, John Paul Deaver, for the way that he coordinates these people to do ministry.
- VKidz Lton set all time attendance record. Which brings out ANOTHER highlight for me…
- Seeing Waumba Land and Upstreet overflowing with children that we could teach about the love of Jesus allowed me to witness people who serve in other areas head to our kidz area to love on them. Servants hearts man!
- My biggest highlight has to be baptizing my daughter, Madison. Speechless. My daughter is my sister.
- 2nd biggest highlight: Baptizing my former college professor, Dawn.
- 3rd biggest highlight: Baptizing my daughters best friend.
Vertical Connections Pastor, John Paul Deaver said:
- TODAY was Awesome!!! Unbelievable! Godly! Amazing! WOW!!!
- vTeams were amazing. Baptisms were incredible! Videos were inspiring.
- Did God show up at Vertical or what?!?
Nancy Wyer, Lumberton VIP coordinator, said:
I love getting VIP (1st timers) reactions when they come over to claim their first time tee shirts….they are so excited….and lots of them say that they are coming back…..Mike Pittman
really brought a great sermon. A great Easter Sunday….enjoyed working with Joanna Edwards Powell and Casey Lawson…..and rocking bunny ears…..
said: 2 SEE MANY SOULS BAPTIZED EASTER SUNDAY WAS AWESOME! I WAS BAPTIZED ON EASTER LAST YR & I WAS SO OVERJOYED!
Sonya McGirt has some pics from Lumberton here:
It was an unbelievable day. Praying this week is so great for all of you as we allow Jesus to LIVE in us as we LIVE in Him – Love deeply in everything you do.
DON’T FORGET: This weekend we will begin our new series, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Over the upcoming weeks we are giving YOU the opportunity to CREATE our series by asking those questions that you think about but no one seems to ever really clearly talk about. If you want to ask a question you can inbox it on facebook here. You can also text them to Vertical@tsig.us Your identities will be confidential – we won’t be like, “Edgar wants to know when it’s ok to have sex with his girlfriend?” (grin). You Bring on the questions and we will try to tackle them with the biblical answers. We probably won’t be able to answer all of them but we will do our best.
Here’s what we are going to do, this is very, very different. If you are new, this is not what we normally do. You are going to ask a lot of questions, I am going to cover a lot of ground really, really quickly. We are going to deal with some things that may be a little controversial, it may make you a little bit nervous, so let me cover the ground rules.