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Archive for November, 2010



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)!

Church Planting is a Learning Process


One of the things that we have been constantly reminded about as we plant this church is that we have never done this before. Funny how many books you can read, how many podcasts you can learn from and how many messages you can hear. These resources, while hugely valuable, can also make you feel like you know what you're doing.

We don't. How's that for transparency?

We have never planted a church before. We have DEFINITELY never planted a church aimed at helping people who don't like church meet God. And in there is the challenge.

As we've been working on developing Vertical our goal has not been to do everything as an organized church, but rather, we have been organizing a church. But in our development there have been times where we failed to communicate things that needed to be communicated. There have also been instances where we failed to follow up with people who were in charge of making things happen. Other times we failed to cover some bases because we thought someone else had it covered.

As we've been working on developing Vertical our goal has not been to do everything as an organized church, but rather, we have been organizing a church.

Important thing is that we have learned from these failures. And that's what we're supposed to do, right. I think we have failed at times to remind people  that we were in the learning process and mislead people to think that the way we are now is the way we will be when we launch. I CAN ASSURE YOU WE WILL BE FAR FROM THIS. Our heart is that on opening day we will function as if we've been doing this for years – I believe we will do this – we will settle for nothing less. 

That being said,  negative feedback isn't negative at all unless we fail to correct. Feedback is positive – we learn from feedback and won't improve if we don't. The reason I'm sharing this is because I believe in transparency. I don't wanna act like we have everything together when we don't and the truth is we are learning from and adjusting and becoming a better organization by the day.

If we would have stayed on the sidelines and never planted we would have never had to worry about failing. I'm glad we decided to lay it on the line – failures and all.

Vertical is Marching in the Parade?

Final_406035600 Not exactly…

But Vertical is taking part in the Lumberton Christmas Parade THIS SATURDAY, November 20th! This will be our next "Love is a Verb" (outreach) event. 

V-Formation Number 3 (our core values) is "WE are viral" -  The Gospel lived out is contagious.  If we are going to reach “our world”, WE will have to do it; We will never accomplish this by paying people to do it. Our method is invest and invite. Our goal is to spread the Gospel to “our world”.  Saturday's Christmas Parade is going to give us some awesome opportunities to meet bunches of Lumberton's residents and live out V-Form 3.

Here's how you can be part in this fun event:

  1. Meet behind JcPenney's parking lot around 9am (parade starts at 10:00 am)
  2. We will have 3 stations set up throughout the parade with hot cocoa. We will need at least 5 people per station. One to pour cocoa, two to hand out, two to give out invite cards and talk to people. More than 5 per station would be great!
  3. Easy event to take part in – requirement: a smile and a great attitude.
  4. Rhonda Lovin will divide the teams and give them duties when everyone meets up.

If you're interested in taking part contact Rhonda here and tell her, "sign me up to serve at the parade".

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.

This Blew My Mind!

Last night was our first V-Group session for our church-wide study, "Sun Stand Still", and I got quite a surprise. Right after Keyna and I walked in the door our host, Greg Blaine, says to me, "I bet you didn't even know where this was", as he proceeded to put this in my hand:


It was my original "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" book. I had given it to Greg to read probably 9 years or so ago. But there's more – he says, "see that bookmark?"


"Look where it goes to." I didn't have to because I already knew – put that marker there. But for the sake of this post I will show you:

Page 23

I was tickled. "I wish I knew where my original copy is – I sure would love to see it again." I thought just the other week as I was reading about Steven Furtick's experience with this book in "Sun Stand Still". You see I also have quite a history with "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" – not only is it the 1st Christian book I ever bought but I have literally bought it 10 times because I continue to give it away to people.

["Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" has affected me greatly in my walk with Christ]

I will never forget the day 13 years ago when I bought this book because I recognized that the author was the Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, whom I had heard their choir on the radio ("Favorite Song of All" was a gospel hit at the time). I looked at the cover and decided to buy it. When I got to this page, tears welled up and stung my eyes and my life was forever changed:


What great timing! God used this book as a compliment to my daily bible consumption to change my life. Don't know if I will be loaning this particular copy out again.