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Archive for August, 2010

Flying in Form

GeeseFormation What is the V Formation?

The definition of the V Formation for Vertical Church is that they are our core values. They are the philosophy and common direction behind everything we do. We use the V Formation as a decision filter; if you understand our core values then decision are easier. The V Formation defines our culture as an organization. Now I know that if you are a church person you may struggle with the use of the word culture to describe our church but think about it, every church has a culture that defines who we are.

The reason we call them the "V Formation" is because of a lesson learned from geese. Have you ever seen geese fly in formation? Ever wondered why they fly that way? The short lesson would be…

  1. when geese fly in formation they add 72% momentum than if they flew alone;
  2. when one falls out of formation it feels the resistance of flying by itself and moves back into formation to take advantage of the other birds momentum;
  3. when the lead goose tires it falls back and another takes the lead;
  4. the geese honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed (honk, honk!)
  5. when a goose is wounded, sick or shot down two others follow it down to help and protect it.

Social-media-people When we "fly" in formation, in the same direction we will get where we are going quicker and easier because we are sharing the momentum of one another. So let's get in formation, follow the One who has saved us and "Honk!" like peoples eternity depends on it (because it does).

One of the Best Weeks Ever!

Logo I know the title of today's post might make some of you say, "REALLY?!?" Yeah, no kidding. 

  • After beginning the week last Sunday with the 1st public Vertical Church gathering ever we began our "Breakthrough Prayer" gatherings that met all over the area.
  • I heard report after report about how great the gatherings were going. People were getting out of their comfort zones, meeting new people, opening up and seeking God together. Awesome!
  • …and go figure; after praying for "Breakthrough" it appeared that great things began to happen. Though many of the things that began moving are not ready to be shared publicly, I PROMISE YOU that HUGE stuff started just going on… Glory to God!
  • Words don't describe how much I can't wait to tell you about the above statement! 

And then today… we took a Vertical Roadtrip to Newspring Florence and, well, unbelievable!

  • 1st let me say I am so proud of the Newspring Florence crew – they are absolutely ROCKING THE HOUSE!!! Our team was so amazed by how on top of things everyone was! Their hospitality to such a large group was a blessing (and unnecessary – we didn't deserve the treatment that they gave to us). Thanks for showing our future launch team how to do things right in a portable setting!
  • The atmosphere today was powerful. It was obvious that many people prayed-up today's gathering's. 
  • Perry gave such a simple explanation of the Gospel. His opening candy bar illustration was a great way to open people's hearts to the truth!
  • I'm with Perry: I'm praying Isaiah 62:6-7 over Ltown!! And I believe Vertical will bring Acts 8:8 to life in our city!
  • Newspring saw 516 people give their hearts to Jesus Christ today over all of their campuses!! Glory to God!! The best part of that one of our number is part of the 516 – that's right, a Vertical Road-tripper gave their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ this morning and we rejoiced!!! It was amazing that before the service even started that I was sharing with her the need for this kind of church in our area to which she was very enthusiastic about and believed that God could use it to reach people who don't attend church.
  • YES!!!!
  • The group that went with us today was amazing! I won't say how many took the road trip (I do know) but I'll just put it like this: there were more on the Vertical Road Trip today than attended my 1st church!!! Seriously. I can't believe what the Lord is doing and that I get to be part of it!
  • After church we went across the street to the food court at the mall and filled it up. Other than us there were just a few people in there. We had some wonderful fellowship. It is so good to see people who didn't know each other a month ago becoming a group – this is a BIG answer to your Lead Team's prayers (at the top of the list) One thing that I know for sure: the food vendors in the Florence Mall Food Court were thankful for Vertical Church today!
  • Did I mention that a bunch of people gave their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ today and one of ours was part?!? Couldn't remember! 
  • In other amazing church salvation news: Steven Furtick reported that Elevation Church saw 581 people give their lives to Jesus today!!! That's over 1000 between two churches!
  • I long to see such an amazing supernatural move of Jesus to come to our region. There are so many here who need to meet Jesus. February 6th, 2011.
  • In Hyde Park news – I heard that Dr. Michael Moore did an amazing job in his last message as Interim Church Administrator at Hyde Park. I for one am so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve there with him. Dr. Moore's encouragement and wisdom was a big factor in my stepping out in faith to begin Vertical Church. I will be eternally thankful for his love and friendship.
  • I'm praying for my Hyde Park friends as they welcome their new Pastor tomorrow. I'm believing that together we will "impact this region with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!" Jesus is so in love with the lost people of this region – I'm praying for all of my Hyde Park family as they begin a new chapter in the life of a great church.  

Looking forward to another amazing week of Breakthrough Prayer – I hope to see amazing breakthroughs as well as publicly share some information about the next phase of Vertical Church.

A Quick Update/Video

It really has been a Breakthrough week for many involved with Vertical Church! A couple of random thoughts:

  • As we began our Breakthrough Prayer Emphasis in homes around the region the reports that we have received are beyond encouraging – people gathering in homes to pray, stepping outside of their comfort zones and getting to know new people. As people have joined together as one to agree together in prayer we believe that God is molding our heart to be more like His.  
  • If you have a prayer that we could join you in lifting up let me know or inbox us.
  • Our Vertical Roadtrip this weekend is to Newspring Florence. We are very excited about taking part in such an exciting week in the life of Newspring. If you haven't already let us know that you're RT'ing w/ us do so we can give you the details. Read what their pastor said about this weekend.
  • btw… those of you who are going: this would be an outstanding weekend to bring someone far from God to church with you!
  • VERY, VERY excited about a meeting that I have today at noon. If you read this prior to 12pm on Friday stop and pray that God would be with us and give us ears to follow in His direction. Sounds like it could be a breakthrough!
  • Very, very excited about 2 more meetings that I will be involved with this morning – prayerfully hoping that breakthrough's abound today.
  • Today is a really important day!
  • Got a direct message last night that God might be making major moves in the life of what I believe to be another major piece of Vertical. Pray.
  • Had a happenstance (not really – nothing is happenstance with Jesus) run in on what could be an amazing opportunity and breakthrough for Vertical yesterday afternoon!
  • I told you this was an important week!

I am reading back over this and realize that there is a lot of vagueness in today's post. Sorry to be so "mysterious" about these references; I wanted to share with you that it appears that God is truly Breaking Through in lives associated with you – we're just not at the place of being able to share details. I promise that WHEN WE CAN SHARE PUBLICLY WE WILL!

We close this morning with another excellent testimony from Newspring Church! Have a great weekend – hope to see you on Sunday!

I Love My Church: Josephine's Story from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

It’s Stories Like This…

Simply, we want to lead people to be passionate about Jesus so they might lead others to Jesus. When we live this out in a practical way stories like the one below will begin to surface.

We're so thankful for the example Newspring Church has set for the Vertical Lead Team. Don't forget: this weekend's Vertical Roadtrip will be to Newspring Church in Florence. If you are planning on joining us please inbox one of the Lead team and we will share the logistics of the trip with you. Check out this short video that will remind you WHY we are doing WHAT we are doing at Vertical Church.

   

I Love My Church: Emmett's Story from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

For Insiders: A Peak Inside of Doing VC Right

(This post seems a little longer than most but is an inside look at the Vertical Church right way. I shared this short message at Sunday Night's Meet, Greet and Share)

IMG_20100824_094111

As I thought and prayed towards tonight's meeting I found myself spending a lot of time in Isaiah chapter 1.

The mission of Vertical Church is "to lead people to be passionate about Jesus so they can lead people to Jesus." What does it mean to be passionate – what are we talking about?

1st, I believe to be passionate at its core is to be what Jesus has called all believers to: discipleship. A true disciple (among other things) 1) live in a way that reflects Jesus, 2) share their faith with others and 3) are a worshiper. Disciples understand that worship is not a church activity but rather it's a lifestyle that is lived out through everything that they do. That's what we strive to lead the partners of Vertical Church to do.

We understand that if we go go through the motions of worship God will not bless the ministry of Vertical Church. I want us to understand the depth of what the Lord is calling us to – Listen to the words that God speaks to His people, Israel in v.11-12:

  "The multitude of your sacrifices— 
       what are they to me?" says the LORD. 
       "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, 
       of rams and the fat of fattened animals; 
       I have no pleasure 
       in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

   When you come to appear before me, 
       who has asked this of you, 
       this trampling of my courts?

A heartless offering is meaningless. Thoughtless worship is worthless as well. Look at v.13a

     Stop bringing meaningless offerings! 
       Your incense is detestable to me.

Meaningless worship is at best offensive to God. Have you ever gone to church and found yourself just kind of going through the motions? I know I have. When we bring this kind of worship before the Lord we literally offend Him! Read v.13b-14

    New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— 
       I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

       Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts 
       my soul hates. 
       They have become a burden to me; 
       I am weary of bearing them.

Ever heard someone go on and on and on? "Blah, blah, blah…", right? That's what God says meaningless, going through the motions worship sounds like to Him! And let me clarify that by worship I don't mean the singing part – He is talking about every part: the singing, preaching, giving and praying. Now listen to what God says to us if we are that kind of people or that kind of church (v.15-17).

    When you spread out your hands in prayer, 
       I will hide my eyes from you; 
       even if you offer many prayers, 
       I will not listen. 
       Your hands are full of blood;

   wash and make yourselves clean. 
       Take your evil deeds 
       out of my sight! 
       Stop doing wrong,

  learn to do right! 
       Seek justice, 
       encourage the oppressed. 

0;      Defend the cause of the fatherless, 
       plead the case of the widow.

Stop doing what you're doing! Turn to Him! Allow Him to clean up your heart and life! Receive His forgiveness! We must learn to do right! Seek justice; encourage the oppressed… in other words – get your eyes on the right things! As we talk tonight about these things, the sacrifices and blood and offerings you might think that they don't really concern you – after all, we don't do that today, right? A great question would be "Mike P, why are you standing in a bowling alley talking about animal sacrifices and blood of bulls and burnt offerings? 

Friends, there are things that might not seem a big deal to you but they are really important to God. God's not looking for the church with best Sunday services, the best music or the coolest people. God's not looking for the religious stuff that these people were skimming through with the wrong attitude and heart either . GOD WANTS YOU AND I TO "GET IT" AND DO VERTICAL THE RIGHT WAY. 

It is the desire of your Pastors, Donnie, Brandon, Joey and myself to DO THIS THING RIGHT! The reason that these 4 men are laying it all on the line is that we believe God has called us out to live out these verses in a modern context. In closing, this morning I was communicating with some friends and I wrote the following statement that I would share with you:

This isn't some new fangled idea that has distracted us; rather, we believe that there is truly a need in this region for that kind of Church. The Church that we see in our hearts is faithful to God and His word in practice, passionate in its worship style integrating new forms into its services. The church is simple in structure YET excellent in all areas. This Church is welcoming to new attenders and structured with the thought that new people will be coming every week. The people of this church believe that JESUS is the Savior of the world and gave His life for them on the cross; they understand that it is THEIR responsibility to share the need for salvation with those who are part of their "world". The people team together at their gatherings to create environments that their partners will bring lost people to visit for the 1st time. They do this weekly because their goal would be to introduce a friend to this church and ultimately to JESUS Himself on a weekly basis.

We believe that God is calling Vertical Church to live out Acts 17:6, to turn this region upside down with His message! But for us to see this happen it will take committed partners, people who believe in this as much as we do. Tonight I am challenging all of you to go home and prayerfully decide with your families whether you can be "ALL IN" or not. We're not looking for half-committed members – people who are looking for a new experience or the next religious show… we are looking for people who are ready to lay it all on the line – ALL IN!

(we then introduced Donnie Paschall who shared the "Breakthrough Prayer" initiative to our friends – there is still time to be part of Breakthrough – let us know if you want to participate)