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Archive for December, 2011

Brandon Shares What “VC” is Like

(Note: Today’s post wasn’t written for my blog but rather for the Vertical FB page. However, when I read it I thought, with so many guests preparing to share a Christmas service with us there must be many questions in people’s minds of what to expect. Vertical Church Service Programming Director and Student Pastor Brandon Meadows has such a heart to help people understand “what, why and how” and does a great job with today’s post answering the question, “What is Vertical like?”)

With Christmas Services only days away, lots and lots of ppl are inquiring about Vertical Church in ways more than just a Christmas Service. Many of our team members have been asked this question numerous times the last 3 wks while inviting ppl to Christmas at Vertical.

Q: WHAT IS VERTICAL CHURCH LIKE?

A: Vertical Church is a “church” of many expressions. Here’s what you can expect from each of them

WEEKEND EXPERIENCES – gathering together as a large group
The Vibe is refreshingly casual.
The Experience is creatively engaging.
The Music & Worship is excellent – both vibrant and prophetic with a transcendent feel.
The Teaching is all at once helpful, conversational, reflective, and authentic. It’s easy to understand yet thick with meaning – we want you to allow the God of the universe to have complete control of your life, while always applying biblical teaching to everything you do.

The Focus is always around what God has done, is doing, and what’s next.
Our kids are safe and protected, actively and creatively engaged, and challenged to take what they learn about God here and live it out everywhere else.

SERVING OUR CITY – gathering together in our neighborhood
We partner with organizations both faith-based and otherwise that are actively, intelligently, responsibly, and passionately committed to our city.
We do it in the model of Jesus – Together as friends, family, & community.
We use the gifts, talents, and abilities that are uniquely ours to tangibly transform our city.

V GROUPS – gathering together in homes
We pursue Jesus
We share life
We break bread
We celebrate growth
We share our resources
We serve those in need
We challenge stagnancy
We pray fervently
We listen intently
We talk intentionally
We laugh uncontrollably
We cry unapologetically
We live authentically
We party regularly

We would love to meet you.

Next Opportunity to Join Vertical

People often ask, “how does a person join Vertical Church?” If you’ve attended you know that there is no time during our service where we allow people to join. We believe joining a church is more than saying “I want to join” – we believe you should know exactly what it means to join Vertical Church.  With this thought in mind there are 2 things that you should know about joining VC:

  1. People who join Vertical are not members, they are partners. The way we see it, “members” have rights but partners have a responsibility to the organization. We’re not looking for members who will fill the seats on Sunday mornings – we’re looking for partners who will believe in our mission and vision and are ready to join the team to help people who don’t like church meet God.
  2. There is only one way that a person can become a Vertical partner. That process is called:

Verge (vʉrj) noun

  1. the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively: the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

Some of you are on the VERGE of a decision that will change your life forever! This meeting is a time for us to share who we are and what we’re about and what partnership at Vertical looks like. You will have the opportunity to meet and talk with our staff as well as ask any questions you may have about Vertical Church.

Our next VERGE is this Sunday night, January 8 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Village Station – Dinner will be provided (I’m always looking forward to sharing a meal with new friends).

PLEASE NOTE: No children 5th grade and under will be able to attend. 

Sign up here. (and don’t forget, we will not have childcare – this is an adult only event.)

Sunday Nite (December 11)

I just had a “tripped out” moment when I titled this post – HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO ALREADY BE DECEMBER 11TH?!? Good Lord! Where has this year gone? I know that church looked like Christmas (as much as a church like ours can look like Christmas) but still, WOW!

I am so excited for this first Christmas at Vertical Church. It feels like Christmas… the weather is chilly – the lights are happening all over and the presence of Jesus is present. I had a great day – here are the things on my heart this evening:

  • Today was an incredible way to kick off our Christmas series, “Share the Love”.
  • My message today was titled, “God Chooses Who He Uses” from Luke 1 and Matthew 1. My heart for this Christmas season is to help our people to have the most Jesus focused Christmas ever and I believe activating their faith is step one in that endeavor.
  • We’re gonna share the love throughout our region!
  • People gave their hearts to Jesus this morning. It is always amazing what God does… today’s message wasn’t what I would term evangelistic but what I’ve found is that a man filled with the fire of God preaching the Word of God – it doesn’t matter if he is trying to be evangelistic or not – God calls who He wants WHEN He wants. Too cool! Hallelujah!
  • There were a few people who seemed shocked about the people who were in Jesus’ genealogy. As one person said, “that was an interesting take”. I see no other reason for the way GOD laid out Jesus family tree than to make the point that there are a lot of jacked-up people that He uses to bring Himself glory!
  • God chooses who He uses. We don’t choose. If it were up to us I’m sure we would certainly mess it up by picking the wrong people. I know this, he picked me despite all of my flaws and hang ups and I praise Him for doing so.
  • Boom-chicka-wow-wow! (grin)
I told everyone that the best way to make this Christmas the most Jesus focused that they have experienced is to activate their faith and gave them suggestions:
  1. Do a Share the Love Project for someone.
  2. Serve somewhere
    1. Lumberton Christian Care (Soup Kitchen – 1st street)
    2. Meals on Wheels
    3. Backyard bible club – Fairmont
    4. donate old toys to the Family Violence center, Grace Court or His Little Ones Pregnancy Support Services.
    5. Allow your children to participate
  3. read countdown to christmas (the 5 day) http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/the-christmas-story
  4. “Vertically adopt” a family for Christmas
    1. Invite them to church and personally give them the VIP treatment.
    2. Give them a tour of Vertical’s Sunday morning layout and have a coffee/hot chocolate/lemonade.
    3. Invite them to a V-group meeting/party
    4. Get them tix for our Christmas Services at Carolina Civic Center.
    5. feed a family this Christmas.
    6. pray about how you may bless them with presents.
  • The new stage was so good. Kelly Little is our set designer at Vertical. Every time we begin a new series I so look forward to seeing the design that she will bring to our stage. It’s the little things (like changing up a set) that make the biggest difference in a church like ours.
  • Our band just flat brought it today. Just an incredible Christmas worship set. As a worship leader (in the early days) I used to hate it when Christmas came around because I was expected to sing carols out of the hymnal. We had a thriving worship program that would just screech to a halt as we had to do the Christmas thing. I am so thankful for the improvement in Christmas arrangements through the years. Jon and his team showed this morning that Christmas can be bangin’!
  • The song the band did, “Everything Changed” along with the Nativity scenes was so moving… and when the band came in for the last chorus – SHOUT WORTHY!!! Jon’s vocal was excellent… everything about this number was so great.
  • They finished the set with “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)”, and Bree just flat slammed it. Such a powerful voice backed up by a powerful, talented woman of God.
  • You got your Christmas tickets yet?!? Get them today!!!
  • I heard from our team what the Christmas service pre-service will be like – DANG! I AM SO EXCITED – CANNOT WAIT! It’s gonna be a powerful service.
  • Our team is hard at work putting our music together – we have some incredible elements happening BESIDES music and my message (which I am so excited about). All I can say is do whatever you can to make sure that your lost friends come to Christmas services with you!!
  • Every week I have conversations with people who attend Vertical and didn’t attend church prior to attending. I LOVE these convos and hearing what Jesus is doing in people’s lives.
  • Jesus is so alive – I am SO thankful to be a part of His plan to bring His Word to our region.

Christmas Tickets are Going Fast!

CHRISTMAS IS A CELEBRATION, the yearly announcement to our world that God is here and that He loves them. There are so many people in our region who need a visual reminder of this – they need HOPE and JOY (Acts 8:8).

Have you reserved your tickets for your family and friends for one of our 2 Christmas services at the beautiful Carolina Civic Center in downtown Lumberton? We are meeting in this historic location to help you to better serve those people God has placed in your life to reach. Services are Thursday, December 22nd or Friday, December 23rd and begin at 7pm Nightly.

You will leave this service with a “bring Christmas ON!” attitude – a worship party thrown in the Vertical style! Get your tickets and tickets for your friends NOW before they’re gone!

PS… make plans to arrive by 6:15 pm for pre-service events like downtown Lumberton hayrides for the kidz, hot chocolate and more!

Vertical is Planting Churches!

Before Vertical even had a name, our executive pastor Donnie Paschall and I, felt God calling us to be the beginning of a movement of new churches. We always knew that we weren’t going to plant A church but that we were being commissioned to start CHURCHES. Today, I am excited to share with you the first of what I hope to be many future Vertical first church planters.

Let me introduce you to, Fuzion Church and Pastor Matt Harmon. Matt is currently serving at Vertical as a church planting intern. Matt has been in ministry 18 years and has served in churches in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina.

Fuzion will be located in the town of Raeford, NC. Last year, Pastor Matt felt led by God to move to Raeford to begin a new work that people who don’t like church would love to belong and meet Jesus. Fuzion is on fire, meeting for prayer and planning weekly and are planning to launch in the Fall of 2012.

I hope that you will check out their new website where you can learn about them and “Like” their Facebook page. You need to follow these guys – I think it’s gonna be HOT!

GET READY RAEFORD – WE’RE COMING!!!!