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Archive for August, 2012

Sunday Nite (August 26)

tents set up for GroupLink


It’s Sunday nite and I am absolutely BEAT!!! Today was one of the most incredible days in the history of Vertical Church. What a wonderful end to a wonderful weekend – I just don’t know if it can get any better – here’s what we experienced:

  • I am blown away by “All In” week 3. Today was so good on so many levels. I am SO PROUD of our team who pulled off a most incredible morning (and weekend)!
  • Today was “All In” Sunday. Our emphasis this morning was a clear presentation of the Gospel giving people the opportunity to make a decision for Jesus.
  • My text this week was Luke 15:11-32, the story of the lost (prodigal) son. It was obvious that a lot of people could respond to this great story. In the same way that Jesus used it to explain how much the lost matter to the Father, I felt God used it this morning to do the same through me/us.
  • How far is too far when we have left God? At what point do we get so far from God that it becomes too hard get back? How do we get back on speaking terms with Him when we have strayed so far?
  • Before you can come back to God, You need to come back to you. Quit making excuses. Quit blaming others. Something tragic happened in your childhood that made you that way? YEAH, WE GET THAT but you are being held captive to it – it’s in the past, time to move forward and leave it there!
  • The Father was looking for his son to return but the dad didn’t go and get him from his wrong choices. We must let people make their own choices no matter how hard it may be.
  • The young man in the story is willing to be a slave but see this: you can’t be a slave when the Father sees a son! But, its a willingness to be a servant that creates space for the Fathers blessing.
  • It’s so easy to be the self-righteous older brother. Don’t get so far from your past that you forget you had one. Please don’t forget that the Spirit of Jesus is RECONCILIATION.
  • THANK You Lord for that word!
  • When I gave the invitation there were hands all over the room – people giving their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ!!! So exciting to see people publicly cross from death to life.
  • I had the opportunity to lead more to Jesus under the big tent outside during lunch! It just keeps getting better and better.
  • Today was by far the biggest non-holiday Sunday in the history of Vertical Church!!! We totally blew an attendance goal out of the water.
  • I love how diverse our church has become. Praise God, we look like heaven with people from all walks of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Shout out to the church planting “guru” years ago who argued with me that a multi-cultural, muti-racial church in the south was impossible. All things are possible with our God!!!
  • All areas were firing on all cylinders today! We had move up day in all of our children’s ministry (which i believe also set an attendance record). We had cooks preparing food for 500+ , people setting up tents, along with everything else that we do on a weekly basis.
  • Our goal today, outside of lots of people being saved, was connecting people to vGroups at Vertical. We ended our service with lunch on the grounds and opportunities for people to connect through GroupLink. Our vGroups Pastor Danny McLamb slammed it out today! #win
  • We had streaming video in our lobby for the 1st time this morning. So proud of Media Director Scott Shaver and the team this talented leader is putting together. Scott makes us all look good (literally).
  • On Saturday night we had KidVenture at White Lake Water Park. It was a beautiful evening with even greater relationships happening.
  • Jesus. I am praising Him with all of my heart this evening.
  • Vertical Worship was just amazing this morning. Alison Carroll was our worship leader and she just really brought it in a powerful way. Her team was Jon Lloyd, Justin Mc, Robby Gaddy, Christoph Rich, Andrew Hester and Glenda Cable. “The Difference” (Hillsong), “Our God” (Chris Tomlin) and “Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone” (Tomlin). So proud of all of them this morning. Thank you for bringing anointed, spirit-filled worship that prepared the hearts of the hearers and bringing them into the presence of our Supernatural God.
  • So many first time guests that we ran out of t-shirts. Might have set a record there! DANG.
  • THANKFUL for all of the UNCP students in the house this morning. Let’s take that campus for the glory of Jesus!!!
  • Totally enjoyed all of the conversations I had today. Before service and after service (and around town later) I am having the opportunity to connect with people who are fired up and attending our church.
  • Shout out to Cory who works at Taco Bell for speaking to me tonight and telling me that he loved VC. Praying God uses you big dude.
  • btw… we have some really big news we will be sharing very soon!!!

Here’s what people were saying about Vertical this morning:

  • Santana Sessoms: Fillin’ our row up!! — with Leisa Gore Dowless and 3 othersat Vertical Church.
  • Peyton Fisher: Unending love, amazing grace ♥ — at Vertical Church.
  • Amanda Oliver: All in!!! — with Nancy Wyer at Vertical Church.
  • Alison Carroll: I LOVE being apart of this!! #AllIn
  • Edwina McLamb: WOW! What a crowd at Vertical Church’s 2nd service for our All In series!
  • DK Lemmon: The prodigal son is an example of how friends come and go, family is always there. Remember who is important in your life. @mikepittman
  • Jeanne Butler: What an amazing service at Vertical today. There are days when one can relate to the message whether directly or indirectly, and there are days when the message spells out one’s situation exactly. If ever we felt we were prayed for, it was
  • John Astle: @mikepittman great message this morning; enjoyed spending the morning at @lookvertical!
  • Donnie Paschall: All I can say is that the Vertical Volunteers rocked Cinema 4 today and you are sending spiritual shock waves through our region with the way you all love on people each week! Each of you worked extremely hard today and I know that your Father who is in heaven is so proud of the way His children gave it up today for Him!! I love you guys so much and am so very thankful I get to serve with the greatest servants of Jesus I have ever witnessed!
  • Kristine Broadwell Keith: Today….after years of being stubborn, proud, and trying to do it all myself, I finally surrendered and handed my life over to the Lord! I’m filled with a variety of emotions. So I ask you to pray and help me to stay strong on this path that I have wanted to be on for a long time!


Seriously, I love you all so much. It is such a pleasure to experience this with you. Keep pressing forward in the All In Challenge – you are half way finished!

All In – Day 14

Acts 14: Crazy

Do you ever feel that no matter what you say about God, people misunderstand you? Paul and Barnabas were misunderstood many times as they traveled and spoke  about Jesus and salvation. Some thought they were crazy. In synagogues, the Jews, “stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds” and “the people of the city were divided.” Later in Lystra and Derbe, people thought Paul and Barnabas were gods because of the miracles they performed in Jesus’ name. Amazing acts of God happened and crowds of people still hated Paul and Barnabas. God has not left us to face the world alone. Paul and Barnabas had each other’s back. When they returned from preaching, they came to the local church for encouragement and prayer. Don’t be afraid to live boldly even if others think you are crazy. You are not alone. We are in this together.

1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
2. Despite repeated threats, Paul and Barnabas continued to boldly and patiently share the gospel. Why do you think they continued to live bold in the face of trouble?
3. Even after being stoned nearly to death, Paul got back up and went in to the city. In what areas of your life have you faced adversity? In what ways can you be bold and get back up?

All In Challenge – Day 13

Acts 13: Driven by Prayer

In Acts 2, the early church movement starts with believers gathered in one room praying and seeking wisdom from God. A couple of chapters later, they gather for a prayer meeting and the room physically shakes with the power of God. In Acts 13, the Antioch church meets to pray and fast over their next step and Barnabas and Saul are sent out on mission. The power of prayer is unmistakable in the life of the Church. What are you praying for? Not the casual give-a-brief-thought-and-look-up kind of prayer. Not the kind of “prayin’ for ya” we post on Facebook with good intentions but never follow through on. What are you desperate for? What are you asking for that without a miraculous move of God will never happen? The good news is you don’t have to be perfect at prayer, just persistent.

1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
2. Saul and Barnabas immediately responded with obedience when they knew what to do. Has God asked you to do something and you are delaying obedience? Why?
3. How has the persecution against the Church allowed them to reach more people with the gospel?

All In Challenge – Day 12

Acts 12: Your Rescuer Awaits
Chained to two soldiers and guarded by 14 others, Peter needed a rescuer. Facing a hostile court and certain death the next morning, God came to the rescue by sending an angel to free Peter from his chains. The angel escorted Peter past the guards, and Peter walked out of prison unscathed. It was a miraculous liberation, but no less miraculous is God’s work in our church today. Every day He offers people freedom through a small group or a volunteer role. He storms prisons of loneliness, addiction, financial bondage, worthlessness and rejection, and He sets people free with the love, fellowship, teaching and purpose-filled living they find by taking their next step. Are you waiting for God to “beam you up” and out of your difficulties through a deliverance that costs you nothing? Or are you willing, like Peter, to wake up, get up and follow God out of prison by taking your next step?

1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
2. Write about a situation in your life where you need God to show up big. Ask Him to do just that.
3. Peter walked out of the prison unscathed, but it all started with his first step. What first step is God asking you to take today?

“What Step are you on?”

I have often told our church that we are all about “NEXT” steps. Vertical is a place of movement – a church where people of varying degrees of engagement with God  are pursuing Him. In an effort to help you to stay on a path to growth we’ve developed a guide that I believe will help you see where you’re at – let me share it with you:

This is not a pattern. Steps don’t have to be done in order but are and should be attainable by everyone. I hope it helps you to grow closer to Jesus.

So, what step ARE you on?