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Archive for January, 2012

Let’s Talk Planting and Eat Some Food

I have had lots of conversations with Pastors in churches asking great questions about church planting. A lot of guys would like to start churches but just don’t know a lot about it or even how you start. I’m glad you decided to read this post.

Yesterday I shared our new partnership with Planting the Gospel Church Planting Network (PTG). Vertical Church will be a Church Planting Hub for PTG. I am excited to share this great opportunity for you to learn more about what it’s all about!

On Thursday, February 9th from 11:30-2:00 pm, David Putman will be with us in Lumberton as we host a Planting the Gospel Church Planting Roundtable. If you are interested in discovering more about our gospel-centered church planting movement committed to making disciple you should check it out. At our Roundtable you will…

  • Discover what is a “Gospel-Centered Church”.
  • Meet likeminded pastors.
  • Hear about how you can be a part of a growing movement.
  • Enjoy some good food (YES!!!! And it’s Free!)
  • Have others pour into you.

The Roundtable is FREE but you must sign up so we can be prepared for your lunch. You can sign up HERE.

Our Newest Partnership


Long before we had a name for our church we sensed God’s leading that we were to start a church that planted churches.

Fifteen months before stepping out to plant Vertical Church Donnie and I fasted and prayed for God’s leadership, guidance and clarity about what we both sensed God leading us in. It was an amazing journey – we agreed that we would not meet together or speak during the time so we could come together at the end and share with each other what we heard from the Lord. Incredibly, we were blown away when we opened our journals to read the highlights to each other and realized HE had said the same thing to both of us.

We were called to plant. If not us, then who, if not here, then where? We also discovered something else: We also strongly felt that we weren’t just starting a church but were part of the beginning of a movement. We had no idea how to begin a movement – shoot, we didn’t even know how to start a church at the time. Understand, WE AREN’T THE MOVEMENT. What we did feel was that God was calling us to lead in a movement of re-seeding our region with the Gospel in a way that unreached people will respond to. Today, just 11 months into our life as a fully-functioning church plant we have 2 church planting interns as well as plans for a 2nd Vertical location in 2012. We are excited about taking the Gospel to new places in 2012.

It is for this reason that we are excited to announce our partnership with a church planting network we greatly believe in, “Planting the Gospel”.

Planting the Gospel is led by David Putman. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach.  He is author of Detox for the Overly ReligiousBreaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer (a book which greatly shaped my definition of what it means for the church to be on mission).  I love learning from David – this dude has a passion for church planting.

Planting the Gospel is unapologetically a Gospel-centered, disciple-making, Kingdom focused, church-based, multiplying movement that believe the least, the lost, and the lonely are beaming with potential. It’s not just about training planters – it’s about discipling planters.

Our mission is to catalyze 100 micro church planting networks that are committed to planting 100 gospel-centered churches each. Our vision…

  • 10 years of prayer and preparation
  • 100 micro-church planting networks
  • 1000 partnering churches
  • 10,000 church plants
  • 100,000 prayer partners
  • 1,000,000 at least one million new disciples

 We accomplish this by…

  • Connecting with catalytic leaders through vision and a common DNA.
  • Catalyzing collaboration around micro-church planting networks.
  • Raising-up potential church planters out of the harvest. 
  • Discipling gospel-centered church planters.
  • Reproducing churches and micro-networks.

Vertical Church is one of these churches and a possible micro-network for PTG. As a church planting, Baptist State Convention Church plant we believe that adding Planting the Gospel to our team will help us make our dream of planting churches that plant churches reality.

Now, who’s ready to talk about planting?


Baptism Videos – January 15 – Part Two

Baptism Videos, Jan 15, Part One

I love it when people share their story and tell the world that “Jesus is my King”.

Sunday Nite (January 15)

Every Sunday night, unless I was out of town, for the past 12 years I have walked down to the end of my drive way. On this “spiritual” journey of taking our trash can to the road, I stand in the same drive way, I look to the same sky and I thank God for all that I experienced that day.

I don’t know that I have ever been more thankful than I am tonight.

Today was one of the greatest day’s EVER at Vertical Church. Seriously!!! I know it constantly sounds like I’m trying to hype or blow up what is happening in our church but I’m not. For me, what we are experiencing at Vertical Church is just unreal. Prayers are being answered in a major way. I just can’t contain it – I gotta let it spill out – here’s what’s on my mind tonite:

  • The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident, palpable, electric in the house this morning. It is obvious there was a great anticipation for His movement today.
  • Today was week 2 of our “RE:” Series. Today we talked about ReFocusing our lives with the most important things. We cannot underestimate how important it is in life to ReFocus our spiritual life, marriage, our parenting and our priorities.
  • Donnie taught this morning’s message and just slayed it. I am so blessed to have Donnie on our teaching team. He is my partner in the ministry in every sense of the word.
  • If there was one thing that I would say to all Pastor’s, especially church planters, you need to have another pastor whom you can count on to compliment your teaching. Pray, ask the Lord to open your heart to make that a reality. It’s a powerful thing for your church when their pastor can stay fresh as a teacher. Too many guys are carrying the load by themselves. One of the ways that we ensure continuous power from the pulpit at VC is staying fresh by sharing the load. It takes humility on both sides to share that load. I am very thankful for a humble partner in Donnie Paschall who is always great when I’m not in.
  • Donnie’s message was the classic scripture from Luke 10:38-42.
  • Here are the resources that Donnie referred to in the message: YouVersion, which is so good especially when you download the bible app on your smartphone. Every morning I listen to my daily bible reading on YouVersion while I’m driving home from dropping Madie at school (so, yeah, even the preacher uses and LOVES it!!!) Find a plan that works for you. I am currently using Chronological. The One Year, Life Application and Joyce Meyer devotion are all great as well. Ladies can find the Proverbs 31 devotions here. Men can get the Power to Change devos here. Here are some great online devotions for students as well.
  • I WAS A MESS ALL MORNING!!! I showed up in the place filled with the holy spirit to the point of overflowing!!! I literally wept off and on the whole time. I cannot imagine what my God was up to in the hearts of people in the place.
  • We had the privilege of seeing 12 people take the step of believers baptism this morning. BAPTISM DAYS ARE THE GREATEST!! The testimony videos that we share before the person is baptized are so special. To see those people publicly declaring Jesus as King is so inspiring. As they would walk down the aisle after baptism I would meet them before they left to share the moment and tell them how proud I am of them. I AM. I know what a big deal today was in their life.
  • Today’s worship was off the freakin’ chain! High powered, anointed, the power of the gospel with a little 2 Cor 5:17 thrown in. Rhonda Lovin is one of the most powerful worship leaders I have ever known… and she walks it too. The set that she led this morning was so powerful, opening with a fav of mine, “Yours is the Victory” (Newspring). Bree next took us so powerfully to the throne with another of my favorites, “Stronger” (Hillsong). The set was completed with the Hillsong/PlanetShakers anthem, “Healer”. Jesus presence was so strong I was literally in the floor during 1st service.
  • By the way… baptism day is so evangelistic at VC. With all the candidates sharing the story of Jesus in their lives you can’t help but sense God’s convicting power in the place. Most powerful moment for me: when my KidzMin, Joey Autry, stood in the baptismal with his wife, Sherry. Sherry was being baptized because she recognized that she was saved AFTER baptism and today was getting it right. After her moving testimony (to which I was already leaking from my eye sockets) he says to her, “you remember when we were teenagers and you led me to Jesus?” DUDE, SERIOUSLY?!?!? That was it – I was finished!!!
  • ISN’T IT SAD THAT PEOPLE DON’T FEEL FREE TO DO WHAT SHERRY DID TODAY? Thankful for the opportunity to help people set the record straight!
  • I was so surprised to see Scott and Kim Campbell (and family) in the house this morning. Kim served on staff with Brandon and I at Hyde Park as our children’s director. I LOVED WORKING WITH KIM! She was excellent in that ministry – she was also a good friend and God used her greatly in my life. They moved away before we began VC so this was their 1st visit with us. It was an honor that they would come check us out.
  • I praise Jesus for the momentum we are currently experiencing. It is life changing.
  • oh, almost forgot… today we blew our previous high attendance total out of the water!!! Yes, that includes holidays. Our biggest day ever. By far.
  • I praise Jesus for the momentum we are currently experiencing. It is life changing.
  • I cannot wait to preach next Sunday. DO NOT MISS NEXT WEEK – It is going to be a powerful day. And bring a friend – I’m telling you, they might just meet Jesus if you do.
  • By the way, our 1st birthday as a church is just a few weeks off – February 5th. Let’s make this our biggest day EVER as we celebrate our 1st year. We have some special things up our sleeve, not to mention a very special guest.