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Archive for July, 2012

Vertical Stories (July Edition)

I never get tired of seeing Jesus working in people’s lives!!!

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. I am constantly amazed and thankful for my front row seat.

PS. It was also a great day as 2 of my niece’s, Victoria and Brooklynn, were baptized.

 

Sunday Nite (July 29)

Pastor Vernon Britt baptizing his granddaughter, Abby.

July 2012 worship services at Vertical Church are in the books and we saw it go out with a BANG yesterday!

Every week as we gather I am blown away. I am constantly thinking, “we get to do this.” After feeling led for such a long period of time yet doubting the calling for many reasons it is so humbling to think that our Great Creator chose me to lead this. I can’t seem to get over that fact. I am just as amazed over that today as I was 16 months ago when we started.

Leading Vertical Church and experiencing what we do weekly just doesn’t get old. Here’s how July 29th went down:

  • The vibe was pure electric today at VC! Our VTeams were on fire and not just because it was HOT outside (it was – thank you all for the way that you give to the Lord and Vertical). You could sense the excitement all over our church yesterday. It certainly didn’t feel the way it normally would on the last Sunday in July (normally not the most exciting time in the life of a church). The weather said July but the Spirit said “mid September”. Unbelievable.
  • As @brandonmeadows said yesterday afternoon: Thank U every @lookvertical roadcrew vol who sets up/breaks down every sun! Lives R changed every Wk, and He is using you 2 set the table!
  • Today was week 3 of our “Heart Attack” series. Today’s message was delivered by our Executive and Teaching Pastor, Donnie Paschall. Our heart’s are constantly under attack from sin and emotions designed to take our eyes off of God – today’s message dealt with jealousy.
  • As always, Donnie did an incredible job digging deep within the scripture to present the truth of God’s Word. He did an even greater job of digging deep within his own heart to show that he is a fallible man forgiven by an infallible Savior. I love that one of the driving factors of the leaders of Vertical Church is that we DON’T have it all together. We will not put ourselves on a pedestal to make people think we have arrived at the place they need to be. We are sinners who strongly pursue our Great God and His righteousness but not without fault.
  • With yesterday’s message most people probably thought, “I don’t deal with jealousy”. You do.
  • At the heart of jealousy is another debt to debtor relationship, this time it is the heart response that says “GOD OWES ME”!
  • One of the amazing things about this series is how these issues attack our heart. We often do not realize that we deal with them because they are hidden so deeply within that we don’t even understand they are there. They are cleverly disguised as other things. As Donnie said, “I hope we are all beginning to realize that since our hearts are constantly under attack that there is an incredible need for us to shift our attention away from just trying to correct our behavior to that of addressing the matters of our heart.”
  • One of the problems in the church today is that so many have settled for behavior modification above true heart transformation. It is so easy to settle for acting right above BEING right in your heart. Remember (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
  • “ESV Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil1 heart gives life to the flesh, but envy2 makes the bones rot.”
  • You should check out the message on the download, podcast or from the Vertical app on your Android or iPhone.
  • Speaking of the app, had a young man working at the restaurant I went to after church say to me, “hey man, I downloaded the Vertical app”. Incredible how many people have taken advantage of this technology.
  • As you see from the picture above, today was baptism day at VC. We LOVE baptism day at Vertical as we have the opportunity to share in seeing people take their next/first step in their
  • Excited to see that our Production director, Scott Shaver, was able to take the baptism experience to another level by putting the live video of the baptism onto the screen. Probably doesn’t sound as big a deal to you as you read it but I KNOW that it made the baptism experience greater as everyone in our BIG HOUSE had a great front row seat to seeing these people get baptized. I know there have been many times when people sitting far back from where our baptismal pool is have had a hard time to see the people. Great job Scott! Thank you for making this aspect of baptism excellent.
  • btw… made announcement that we are looking for camera operators for our services. If you think you would like to man a camera hit up Scott here and say, “I’m interested in learning to run cameras at Vertical”.
  • Vertical Worship was just great today. They opened with Hillsong’s “Go” (‘giving it all away!’) into “the Difference”. They introduced a new song, Matt Redman’s “Never Once”. Such a powerful chorus… i envision us singing that one a lot.
  • 1st time guest galore this weekend… amazing how many people visit churches who expect 1st time guests. I believe that God honors preparation.
  • Btw… we had one of our biggest days ever yesterday on the last weekend of July. All we can say is “thank You, Jesus”. He is Awesome!

So excited about all that God is doing around Vertical Church. This isn’t hype – #weC96  Have a great week.

Don’t Miss This: $30 for 30 Hours

Vertical Church is proud to be a hub church for the Planting The Gospel church-planting network. Planting the Gospel has a simple, yet important vision… to create 100 Gospel Hubs…1,000 Gospel Churches…10,000 Gospel Church Plants…and change 1,000,000 Lives in 10 years!

The team at Planting the Gospel is passionate about connecting with and equipping pastors and church leaders with the resources necessary to effectively reach
unchurch people in their community with the gospel. This passion led them to create a new kind of church conference that will help them accomplish their mission. The Gospel Centered Church Conference is an event created to bring together church planters and pastors who want their churches to be centered around the Gospel if Jesus.

What is the Gospel Centered Church Conference?

What is it? This two-day conference is designed to build relationships, encourage the heart, equip leaders, and expose you to the purpose and passion of the Planting the Gospel network.

Why another conference? Plant the Gospel cares about more than just our network, we want to reach out to the broader church world. We wanted to create a
resource for pastors and church planters who care about being a gospel-centered church. The goal of the conference isn’t just to share the best resources and information needed to effectively reach our communities with the gospel, but also reignite our passion for the gospel and allow us to connect with like-minded people who can help encourage us as we continue our mission.

Who is it for? Church Planters, Pastors, Ministry Leaders, People who have a passion or interest in Church planting, Hurting Pastors, New Pastors, 80-year-old
pastors. Basically anyone who cares about the Gospel.

When is it? October 15-16, 2012

Where is it? Atlanta, GA

What is the cost? – Cost at the door is $69, but Plant The Gospel is offering several early bird specials. For the first 30 hours of registration (July 30 @ 9:00 AM – July 31 @ 3:00 PM), you can purchase your ticket for $30. You can find information about the other early bird deadlines here.

I’d love for you to join us this year for the inaugural Gospel Centered Church Conference and partner with us as we continue towards our goal of reaching 1,000,000 people with the Good News of Jesus.

How to Build a Discipling Culture into Your Church

Vertical Church is part of a church planting network called, “Planting the Gospel”. One of our goals as a network is to connect and equip pastors with the necessary resources to effectively reach unchurched people in their community with the Gospel. We do this approximately once per quarter and it is so awesome to sit with guys who think like you think. This is what a Planting the Gospel Hub Roundtable is all about – would you be interested in being part of that?

Our next roundtable will be on August 14th at Vertical Headquarters (401 E. 11th Street, Lumberton, NC). Our speaker that day will be David Putman (leader of PTG), who will be unpacking “The Gospel Disciple: Building a Discipleship Culture”. We will meet from 9am-noon and it is absolutely FREE.

If you are interested in gathering with like minded pastors to learn, pray, partner and build a sense of community around the Gospel I hope that you will join us. LET ME KNOW if you will be attending so we can make preparations for you!

Sunday Nite (July 22)

I LOVE JESUS and I LOVE MY CHURCH!

It was another incredible weekend at Vertical Church. I cannot believe how great this summer has been for us all the way around! We were certainly expecting a “summer slump” with vacations and all, but we have been blown away by our weekly numbers since school got out.

Where I sat during today’s services

Here was my position today:

I am in the middle of a few weeks break from preaching. I am currently using this time that I am not preparing for the weekend’s messages to prepare for our fall season of ministry. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT ALL THAT WE HAVE IN STORE! It is so hard to believe how quickly the summer is flying by. Before you know it summer will be coming to a close.

Here’s what’s on my mind tonight:

  • Today was week 2 of our “Heart Attack” series. Our preacher today was our KidMin, Joey Autry. As you probably know, Joey oversees our VKidz leaders and many aspects of our Lumberton location. When the Bladen location goes weekly Joey will be our Bladen pastor.
  • Today Joey preached about the subject of guilt.
  • “Guilt says I owe you something.”
  • “Don’t put a period where God put a comma. God isn’t finished with you yet!”
  • Joey did a great job. Everyone who missed this message totally missed it. I hope you will check out the podcast on our site when it posts.
  • One of the reasons that I have taken a few weeks off from preaching is to give these guys the opportunity to preach. I believe them all to be gifted communicators of the Gospel and I want to encourage their growth and tend to their gifts. I am so thankful for my Pastor, Dennis Harrell, for cultivating the gift of communication/preaching in me. I want to do the same for my guys. If you attend Vertical often you have seen me share the speaking obligations frequently and that is VERY purposefully. It has as more to do with raising up the next generation of Vertical communicators/preachers than it does with me not wanting to preach – I WANT TO PREACH! I understand my role as a leader… I honestly believe this is the right move for our church.
  • That being said, I AM SO PROUD OF THESE FELLAS. Next week you’ll have Donnie P in the house with a great “Heart Attack” message about the subject of jealousy. I know it’s gonna be incredible!
  • Already praying for Brandon and our FUZE students as they prepare to leave at 7:30 am in the morning (Monday) to attend Crossroads Summer Camp, “The Dwelling Place”. I am believing for God to move MIGHTILY in their midst. Especially praying for my Madison and Matt to have earth-shaking experiences with Jesus.
  • We have had a couple of tragic weeks: a Pastor’s wife dying, two students killed in a car accident, a tragic death of two family members of some Vertical partners, a local policeman murdered in the line of duty… we live in a broken world to which JESUS is the answer and the only peace. Praying God is using all of these tragedies to draw people to Himself.
  • That being said, please join us in praying for Jessica Jones Seals, a 32 year old Vertical attender in very serious condition due to cancer. Lift her, her husband George and her family up in prayer please.
  • As I said, I played drums with Vertical Worship this morning for such a great set. I LOVE playing with these guys – so musically fulfilling and worshipful. Our worship leader was Rhonda (who always brings the heat). She was joined by Justin and Bree. Robby, John Astle, Christoph and myself rounded out the band.
  • Our Worship set was straight Hillsong today: “The Time Has Come”, “You are More” and “Healer”. Despite a technical issue with “You are More” we still pulled it in a powerful way. So thankful for such a talented group that doesn’t freak when things don’t work out in the last second.
  • SO MANY FIRST TIME GUEST TODAY! God is doing such a great work in our midst.
  • Next weekend is BAPTISM weekend! If you want to be baptized you need to let us know IMMEDIATELY so we can get you scheduled!
I love you all… just can’t believe God allows us to do this. Have a great, spirit-led, Jesus-filled week.