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Archive for September, 2010

You Should Check out Vertical

For everybody who is interested in finding out about Vertical Church you need to know that the next Vertical Gathering will be on:



Vertical Church will worship together on October 10th, 4pm at the Holiday Inn in Lumberton. The name of the message will be

Resisting the pull to be like anything you've experienced

“Find the answers to life’s most important questions – look Vertical.” 

Invite a friend and join us on October 10th

3 Cities, 7 Events, 1 Month

As I shared yesterday, we have declared October the month that we will put V-Formation #2 (“Love is a Verb”) into motion – 7 events in 3 cities all in the space of a month! The question that you may be asking is:

Volunteer How can a church that isn't even having weekly services actually pull this off? One word: together.

Let me share something with you about the team that has gathered at Vertical:  Our Launch Team is not comprised of a bunch of lonely, bored people who have nothing better to do – our group is made up of amazingly talented people who lead complex, busy lives. Organizations would give anything to have these kind of people serving on their team. One thing these same people have in common is the belief in Vertical Vision and want to "lead people to become passionate about Jesus so they can lead people to Jesus". They are the kind of people who want to help people who don't like church meet God. 

We’re not expecting our whole group to serve all 7 “Verb” events – instead, we would ask that they serve the ONE “Verb” event that falls closest to their community and then pick one other event as well. For those are really on-fire they might add a third. I believe that as we serve in one-another’s communities together we will not only live out V-Formation #2 but we will also activate #1 as well: “If we love Him we will love them” and are the kind of people who want to help people who don't like church meet God. 

If you want to be part you may ask, "What do I need to do next?"

  • Order your “Love is a Verb” t-shirt. This will be the standard Vertical uniform as we minister together. When you order HERE state the name of everyone you're ordering for and sizes.
  • Sign up for your Verb Events. You can do that HERE (make sure you tell us which events you will be a part of)
  • Begin to pray now for these 7 “Verb” events (V-Formation #7 is “Pray Now, Speak Life”) – SERIOUSLY, if you believe God can supernaturally change situations, cities and lives, pray for each by name and daily.  


Love is a Verb

Our Vertical core values are called the V-Formation. 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. If the mission of Vertical Church is "To lead people to become passionate about Jesus so they can lead people to Jesus", then the V-Formation keeps us moving in formation towards that goal.

Loveisaverb V-Formation 2: Love is a Verb. Love is not something you feel, it’s something you do.

We believe that the best way to reach into our community is to find out where they are and serve in those situations. The way we will do that is by finding ways to meet needs within our community by participating in community gatherings. We believe God has called us to our community – not our community to us.

In our short existence we have identified 2 things: 1) that we are a regional church as we have 9 different towns represented on our launch team AND 2) our target area of influence is Lumberton, Fairmont and Bladenboro (which is determined by the largest concentration of our people. 

Months back we identified in prayer that October was going to be a month where we put V-Formation #2 into action and we are excited to say that we thank God that the doors of opportunity have opened for Vertical to participate in 7 engagements in each of our target areas during the month of October:

  • Friday, October 15th – West Bladen HS Football Game
  • Saturday, October 16th – Fairmont Farmer's Festival
  • Friday, October 22nd – Lumberton HS Football Game
  • Saturday, October 23rd – Chevy to the Levy in Lumberton
  • Friday, October 29th – Fairmont Football Game
  • Saturday, October 30th – Bladenboro Beast Fest
  • Saturday, November 6th – UNCP Football Tailgating

We are in the process of ordering some great tshirts featuring the "Love is a Verb" graphic seen above that we want you to wear when we serve at each of these events – we will be selling them for $12. Please send your tshirt orders (include sizes) to Joey here

Sunday Nite

IMG_20100926_114455 I am SO excited tonight… seriously, my heart is just overflowing as I think all that Jesus is preparing to do in this region through Vertical Church!

This was week two of Vertical Basic Training (VBT) and we once again had the privilege to teach our new flock HOW Vertical will do the ministry that God is leading us to in this region. Because of the amount of people we have taking VBT we decided to teach it on Saturday and Sunday. I love this because it allows us to be way more personal than we would if we had everyone participating at the same time.

Tonight we focused on our mission – to lead people to be passionate about Jesus so they can lead people to Jesus. Why? Because we want to help people who don't like Church meet God. We'll talk more about this teaching this week.

IMG_20100925_180209 As we shared the fact that everything we do is designed to spread the Gospel and build the Kingdom of God, our Connections Pastor, Joey Autry, shared our vehicle for  serving at Vertical, V-Teams. I love seeing Joey break down our process for serving the people that we love. After all, "If we love Him, we'll love them".


This morning the V crew headed down to our "2nd home", Newspring Church. I'm not ashamed to say that if there wasn't a Newspring I don't know that there would be a Vertical. What God has done in Anderson, SC has given me hope for our region. If you've ever been to Anderson you will know exactly what I'm saying – it's very similar in size to our city. Understand, I know that what has happened there is a God-thing – their circumstances speak to that immensely. 

Steven-furtick By the way… Vertical Road-trippers, I'll go ahead and share that we will return to Newspring Florence next week as Steven Furtick will be preaching. Furtick is the Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte and If you haven't heard Furtick "bring it" you're in for a surprise. I am praying this week that the message will rock your world!

I'll close by saying what I said to the crowd tonight: 

"Your 4 pastors are still getting to know you… there are people that Donnie doesn't know well that I don't and like wise. There are people who don't really know Joey or Brandon and like wise towards them. But something amazing is happening – God is giving me a new heart for this flock daily; I am falling in love with you as Jesus gives me a new love for the people of Vertical Church. As I pray for you daily I am humbled and amazed that HE has chosen us to do this… I believe with all of my heart that together God is going to make Acts 8:8 a reality in our lives as He brings great love and joy to the 9 cities represented on our launch team. What a humbling and life-changing experience."

I love you. 

Because I Love the Organ So Much

CrazyMan2 What makes a church a church?

By Donnie Paschall 

When I say “church” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For some of us the first thing we think about is a steeple. For others of us the first thing we think of is a group of people gathered together to participate in some type of religious ceremony or a special building with ornate furniture. Depending on who you ask, and what their experience has been with the concept of church, the responses are varied.  But the Bible has another picture in mind when it refers to the church. In fact, this picture is really the only true picture we should have when we think about the word “church”. So what should come to our mind when someone says the word “church”?

The answer, JESUS!  Jesus is what makes the church the church. There are many definitions to describe the church, but if Jesus is not included in that definition all we have is a definition describing a group of people either practicing religion or establishing a social club. In Matthew 16 Jesus told Peter that He would build the church on Himself when he said to Peter, “on this rock I will build my Church.” The “this” Jesus was referring to was the statement of faith Peter made in vs.16 that declared Jesus as the long awaited Messiah who would bring salvation to the world. Jesus is the foundation stone upon which the church is to be built and He is the message we are to proclaim. Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road drives home this point even further when we consider that when Jesus confronted Saul about persecuting the church Jesus asked him in Acts 9:4, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Jesus is making a declaration that His name should be synonymous with the church. He is the foundation we stand on and it is by His Spirit that we have life.

Church is not about style of music, type of dress, type of building, ornate furniture, worship choirs, or even a gathering of people. Church is about JESUS!! It is about loving people like Jesus loved, forgiving people like Jesus forgave, being patient like Jesus when things don’t go our way, and proclaiming salvation like Jesus proclaimed. As we step out to launch Vertical Church we want people to think about one thing when they hear the name Vertical Church – JESUS!. We want to be known for our love and that our love reflected the love of Jesus. We want to be known for our forgiveness and that our forgiveness reflected the forgiveness of Jesus. We want to be known for our message and that our message was consistent with the message of hope that Jesus preached.

What is a church? A church is Jesus. A light that shines brightly in the darkness that all who are bound in that darkness may find the way of everlasting life. 

 By the way… the picture of the dude at the top… he doesn't like my definition of church