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Archive for May, 2012

Vertical Stories (May 20)


One of my favorite things at Vertical is the ongoing testimony of life change happening in our midst. Our God is in the business of transformation and I congratulate all of these people that He is working in. Join me as we pray for them on their new journey.

I told our church Sunday morning, “I’m addicted to life change”. If you are as well, enjoy.


Sunday Nite on a TUESDAY Morning (May 20)

What’s up everybody?!? Sorry for such a late “Sunday” post but just could not get to it before now. After an incredible Sunday and a couple of hours downtime I headed into an incredible monthly leaders meeting and then directly after Donnie and I hit the road for Atlanta (more about that).

I tell you all that to say – here’s what is on my mind regarding services at Vertical Church for May 20, 2012:

  • Week One of “Man vs Woman”, our new series about relationships. Today’s service did not disappoint.
  • Donnie brought an excellent, transparent and biblical Word about the subject of sex. Most people, even people who are Christians, have an unbiblical view of sex that was shaped by everything except the bible. This affects our marriage relationship deeply. Mark Driscoll says in his book, [Real Marriage], “Most of the time, a couple enters into a marriage with different views of sex. And even if they agree, rarely do they agree with the Bible. How we are raised, teaching we have had (or not had), and experiences we have accumulated all combine to shape our view of sex.”
  • Shout out to all the fellas that leave their underwear in the floor, pretend like it’s not there and then wonder why their wives struggle with feeling close to them. Pick ‘em up fellas!!!
  • Bottom line – sex is a gift and God means for it to be great! It is to be shared within the confines of marriage and when treated as the special gift it is brings emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy. I hope you’ll check out the podcast.
  • I appreciate his heart and excellent job sharing what we believe God tells us about this most important issue. I can’t wait for my shot at it this Sunday!!!
  • I must give a shout out to Kelly Little and Brandon Smith for the “Man vs Woman” stage set. Once again, raising the bar for excellent environments in church. Notice I said church, NOT portable church! These people are doing more in a portable environment than many do anywhere. Don’t allow excuses to define your excellence – take it to another level!
  • Also, another environments shout out to Sarah Pittman who designs the Cafe’ environment at Vertical.

    Cafe Table Decorations

  • Sunday was baptism day and we had the privilege of seeing 14 people share their stories of spiritual death to everlasting life. These stories… so many of them were the epitome of our vision (to help people who don’t like church meet God!) As I stood in that baptism pool with them and watched the stories that they shared via video I just thought over and over, “thank YOU for letting me be a part of this”.
  • Once again there were people baptized this weekend who I have personally prayed with and for their salvation. It is a wonderful day to see God answer your prayers and the prayers of families before your eyes!
  • I hope that we will be able to post the baptism videos before the end of this work week!
  • Oh, and by the way, we had our biggest non-holiday attendance in the history of our church on Sunday!!!! WOO-HOO! YOU GO JESUS!!!!

Took a trip to Atlanta yesterday for a Planting the Gospel Hub Leaders meeting. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE A PART OF PLANTING THE GOSPEL Leadership team. We have an incredible team including our leader David Putman, David Rogers (rocking Valdosta, Ga), Jeff Hickman (representing Upstate SC), @moviepastor Dave Anderson from Alabama and Chad Hunt from Kentucky. Y’all, we have some big things coming up for church planters and pastors later on this year through Planting the Gospel. Whether you are a church planter or are thinking of planting, or your church would like to be involved in planting Gospel Centered churches, I would love to talk to you about Planting the Gospel, our plan to plant 10,000 churches and how you can be part of that.

Friday (Fight Gloves, Stories and a Favorite Band)

Happy Friday Vertical! I hope that all of you have had a tremendous week! I know that those of you with kidz in testing grades are glad to see Friday – hope that they all did well. Cup of Pike’s Place in hand I have a couple of things I really need to share on this Friday morning:

  • Sunday is Week One of our new series, “Man vs Woman”. So many are caught in the cycle of fighting IN their marriage instead of fighting FOR it. At VC God is transforming lives and marriages – there is NO MARRIAGE that is beyond God’s ability to heal – NONE!!! I would encourage all of you looking to improve your relationships, married and dating alike, to plug into this series hard. By the way, those who aren’t married shouldn’t feel left out – we have something for everyone. I challenge all of my single friends and attenders of VC: never forget, our life is preparation for what’s next – could some teaching about relationships help you to prepare to be successful in a future relationship? You can get more info about the series HERE
  • Baptism Video Prep

    This weekend is Baptism Weekend at Vertical! Jesus is changing people’s lives all around us! One of the most incredible things that we experience together as a church is the public sharing of people’s faith in Jesus Christ. We do this through baptism and this weekend… All I can say is I can’t believe that God has allowed me to be part of this! Thank you Jesus.

  • Does the person who SHOULD get your best get it? The song that the band starts the service with is a favorite of mine. It’s also one of those that I am so thankful to Pastor a church like Vertical. I’m not kidding… please be in your seats when the clock hits “0″. DO NOT BE LATE TO SERVICE THIS SUNDAY!!


Helping People Move from Here to There


Have you ever been on a people-mover at an airport or an amusement park? It’s a pretty awesome concept (I loved George’s idea on Seinfeld to put them around the city). People get on this moving floor and as the continue to walk they move 3 times as fast as normal. People movers make it easier for people to move from Point A to Point B.

Years ago I realized something about the calling on my life: I am in the people mover business. My job is helping to move people from Spiritual Point A to Spiritual Point B and beyond.

At Vertical Church we have worked really hard in this area. We have systems in place that assist us in those goals (Host Team consisting of Parking, Greeting, VIP (1st time guest), Ushers, Cafe, Prayer Room, First time calls). We want to help them to:

  • Move from 1 visit to 2. While our ultimate goal is that people enter relationship with Jesus, our immediate goal is to help them string together consecutive visits. I once had a man say to me, “Pastor, I have never been to church 6 weeks in a row in my life.” Now he has – that’s a win to us.
  • Move from making a private decision to a public decision. When people are sitting under the teaching of God’s word we recognize that the Holy Spirit is at work on that person’s heart and mind. It is so easy for people to make mind decisions that never seem to make it to their heart. It is our job to help them make that transition. We direct everyone who has questions to go by NEXT. NEXT is a table located at the exits staffed with people who are trained to help people take their next step, whatever it may be. We try to make taking a next step easy because we know that actually taking the step isn’t.
  • Move towards being doers and not just hearers. We teach some pretty heavy stuff and the truth we place before our people can change their lives but only if our people apply what they’ve learned. Hearing preaching doesn’t change our lives – doing something with what we hear changes lives. We will not be changed by preaching osmosis (absorbing teaching that changes us).
  • Move from death to life. Never misunderstand, what we are involved in is supernatural. God is changing hearts, minds, lives and eternities. We feel it’s our job to help them move from death to life,  not just in this world but in the world to come. Eternity is promised by God to those who call upon Him for salvation.

This weekend at Vertical we will baptize people that I have personally prayed for… some for a while. This is real and this is supernatural.We’re in the spiritual people mover business and I thank Jesus for allowing me to be part.

New Series Begins this Sunday!

Got your gloves on yet?!?

One of the greatest gifts that God gives us is the love relationship between a man and a woman. It’s also true that the same relationship meant to be our greatest blessing can become one of the hardest to manage. Have you ever wondered where the happiness has gone in your relationship? How can people who made a decision, a vow, to love each other forever literally become enemies?

So many find themselves fighting IN their marriage when they should be fighting FOR their marriage. We want to help you have better relationships in the way that God intended which is why our next series is a biblical relationship series titled “Man vs Woman”. I bet you never knew the bible has so much to say about marriage. I bet you also never knew the bible speaks so frankly about SEX.

And don’t forget: this series will be PG-13. You really need to put your children 5th grade and under in VKidz or you may have some conversations with them about sex that you may not be ready to have.

This is gonna be some good stuff! And to all of my single friends, this series is not just for the married people – I promise, we have something in here for everyone!