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Archive for November, 2012


Last Sunday was such a great day. I truly felt like it was an incredible picture of what could be and should be in Bladen County. Over 19,000 people not attending anyone’s church and not one expression of God’s church even close to what we do on a weekly basis. I truly feel Vertical Bladen is going to impact Bladen County in a very powerful way.
We have opportunities to not only change the lives of people who live in Bladen county but opportunities to change the lives of those who God uses to make this happen on a weekly basis. DO YOU KNOW WHO TRULY RECEIVES THE GREATEST BLESSING AT VERTICAL CHURCH ON A WEEKLY BASIS?  Those who sit on the front row excited to experience the worship and hear the Word? No.
It’s those who get there early, give of themselves, pouring out their talents for the glory of our Great God and Savior.
Every time those people see an incredible testimony video, witness a baptism or hear a story of a “Vertical WIN” they know that they played a part in that. I hope that they realize that they are storing up blessing and crowns in heaven that we might present to our Savior when we someday see Him face-to-face.
Did you “see it”? Did you see the potential, the excitement?!? Did you attend and think to yourself, “you know what, THIS is gonna be awesome!”? If so, here’s what I am throwing out: I want you to consider being part of making this happen. Ask yourself: did I like it in such a way that I would say, “I think I would like to make a difference in Bladen County through Vertical Bladen.”?
I want you to pray. I want you to ask God. He will staff. He will move in people’s hearts, we know that. 3 things I want you to consider:
  • “there is nothing like watching something come together from nothing.”
  • how fulfilling it is to change people’s concept of what the church can be and do.
  • “we WANT people who already have the vision of our church planted within them so they can train new people in the ‘Vertical way’.”
Don’t miss the point of this post – I’m not asking you to do something you don’t want to do. This isn’t guilt, this isn’t talking you into stuff. I’m not asking for sacrifice - WE’RE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO GET THE VISION OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN IN BLADEN COUNTY AND WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO BE A PART OF THAT. The people who decide to do this are going to be so thankful as they get to see this “baby” born, grow, learn, progress and ultimately, multiply.

Anyone interested in taking some next step with Vertical Bladen should make plans to be at TRAXX Restaurant in downtown Bladenboro this Wednesday, November 14th at 6:30. Go to downtown, to the railroad trax, and look for the Vertical signs.

Sunday Nite (November 11th)

First, let me say thank you to all of the Veterans that made everything that I am about to talk about from today possible (not to mention this blog post). It is the freedom that has been granted us in the United States that makes who we are so different. Because of that freedom we had an incredible day yesterday and that opportunity was made possible by the blood of many who gave their life defending it. Because of their sacrifice we have the freedom to proclaim TRUE and absolute freedom made possible by the blood of One, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you Veterans!

We were back at Cinema Four Theaters in Lumberton this morning and it was just a great, GREAT day. I hope you were with us – here’s what is on my mind this evening:

  • “Hey Lumberton, what’s up?!? Man, we’re glad to be back in this place!!!!” (BIG crowd pop! Imagine going to a concert…) Just my imagination… but seriously, that’s how the service should have started (grin).
  • Donnie P. brought the word for this 2nd week of “Forgotten Words”. Today FW: Purity. Our goal today was to give you a true vision for purity in the way that God intended. Unfortunately, most people see purity as a burden when it is meant to be a blessing.
  • Donnie said that in our society purity is a forgotten word. It’s looked down on, made fun of and painted in an unflattering light. We wanted you to see it the way that God sees it.
  • “Purity leads to fullness of life while the lack of purity leads to sickness and death.”
  • Donnie’s use of his dog, “Stupid” was so good. He said he will give “Stupid” a big bowl of fresh water yet that dog will forsake that bowl to go drink out of a muddy, driveway puddle. A lot of Christians do that as well. We have a tendency to be willing to “quench our thirst” on whatever appears to be water and seems (in the moment) to be refreshing. Sewer water is water but I don’t want to drink it. It might look clean, but it is full of sickness. How long are we going to choose to drink from the sewer when there is pure, clean, fresh water available that is refreshing.
  • [8] “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God. (Matthew 5:8 ESV) Our lack of purity clouds our ability to see God. Don’t you wanna see Him? In your life? In your family’s life? Don’t you want people to SEE God in you?!? Purity gives us eyes to see that which others cannot.
  • Facebook post of the day for me was Heather Bowen’s Donnie quote: ”Just because they suck as a Christian doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t real.” Amen, dude and thanks Heather, for the quote.
  • DK Lemmons has the notes from today’s message HERE.
  • So many first time guests today. I was so excited to see these people come into the doors with anticipation. (seriously… i’m not trying to be dramatic – people seemed to be so pumped coming in the doors). Shout out to our incredible, parking, greeting and VIP teams for setting the table so incredibly!
  • I love the conversations I get to have before and after services at Vertical. ESPECIALLY on my non-preaching days. I love to hear the stories of how people have found their way to us.
  • I love the prayers I get to pray. Every week I have the opportunity to live out one of our core values, “pray now, speak life”, taking a moment to lift up a situation for someone to the Living God. May our church be known as a church that believes in and enacts the power of prayer into everything we do. In Jesus Name.
  • Saved some of the best for last… VERTICAL WORSHIP. Dang.
  • Yesterday’s music was on fire! Rhonda was our worship leader yesterday and God obviously set her heart on fire for yesterday’s service. She led us to the throne of grace, the place where Jesus is in a POWERFUL way. Opening the service with an acoustic rendering of “Your Great Name” (Natalie Grant). Next she prayed us into Newspring Church’s “Your’s is the Victory” (BIG!). And after a great hurricane sandy relief talk from Vertical information director, Angela Shaver, Rhonda testified into Bree introducing Jesus Culture’s “Rooftops”. Just a powerful morning. So thankful for the talents God has given to these people and their willingness to use those talents for the purpose they were given to you: TO BRING GLORY TO JESUS!


So thankful for the privilege of leading this movement! CANNOT wait for next Sunday already. In the meantime let’s live this week for Jesus like it matters because it does. I love you all!

NEWSFLASH: Back in Lumberton this Sunday!

Cinema Four Theater in Lumberton

For the record, Vertical Church will be back at Cinema Four Theater this Sunday morning. We had a great Sunday at Bladen Community College last weekend and look very forward to beginning our SECOND LOCATION there on February 3rd but this weekend, (sing it out) HEYAYAYAYAY, HEYAYAYAY, Back in Black!

So, just an update as to what you need to know about Sunday:

FIRST, Week two of “Forgotten Words”, we’re going to look at the word purity in a way that is beyond being good and moralistic. I want you to have a vision for what TRUE PURITY is and why it’s a blessing, not a jail.

SECOND, we have a powerful service planned for you. If you are anything like me I look so forward to that time we spend worshiping JESUS through song. So very thankful for our incredible Vertical Worship leaders and band.

LAST, this Sunday morning at 9:20 is “NEXT Meet & Greet”. If you are new around Vertical Church we would love you to attend this quick, get to know you session. You will meet some of our leaders, eat a little something, gather some information, and determine what’s NEXT for you at Vertical Church.

Can’t wait to worship with you all!

Pastors: Interested in Developing a Ministry Calendar…

…that works for you?

Do you wish you had more time in the year? Do you want to take better care of your volunteers, your staff and yourself?

Planting the Gospel leader, David Putman, will host a live roundtable at Vertical Church Headquarters in Lumberton, North Carolina. Join us to learn about a systems approach to developing your 2013 ministry calendar. In this roundtable, David will walk you through a step by step guide to implementing 5 key systems that will change the way that you calendar forever.

When: Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Where: Vertical Church Headquarters - 401 East 11th Street, Lumberton, NC 28358

Time: 11am-1pm (Lunch Provided)

Cost: Free

You can register HERE.

Sunday Nite (Vertical Bladen Roadtrip)

Yeah, I know it’s Wednesday morning! Sorry for the delay but I have not been able to make this happen until now. Our first Vertical Bladen Preview Service (ROADTRIP) is over and I have LOTS of thoughts about it. Here’s what’s on my mind on a Tuesday evening:

  • What an absolutely INCREDIBLE day and experience! Vertical Bladen was and IS all that!!! I love it there . EVERYTHING about it!!! So many great things about the campus, the auditorium, kidz building… It’s just gonna be a great campus.
  • Our staff leaders and their teams KNOCKED THIS WEEKEND OUT OF THE PARK!!! I am continuously amazed at the excellence in which they do mobile church. I am SO thankful for their awesome work.
  • Kidz environment was off the chain!
  • Host teams (parking, greeting, VIP, cafe, usher team) killed it!!!
  • Our production was so good. It’s hard to move into a new location and just do a service. We have one of the best mobile church production teams on the planet led by Scott Shaver (media), Mitchell Cain (Audio), Caitlyn Williams (lights) and Robby Gaddy (stage manager). I am continually blown away by what they do weekly.
  • We began a new series Sunday titled, “Forgotten Words”. This weekend’s message was titled, “Defined by Honor” from Mark 6:1-6. My point was more than just the subject of showing honor – I wanted to show the correlation between a lack of honor and the move of God over a region. I want the flow of God’s miracles to be happening in Southeastern NC.
  • Where Honor is shown, honor is sown and where honor is sown, honor is grown.
  • In (Matthew 15:8 ESV), Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah [8] “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; If we have honor-issues it’s a heart issue. The end of both services made it obvious that God was dealing with a lot of hearts.
  • Incredible crowd at both services.
  • Sunday’s music was amazing: Jon opened the service with one of my favorite songs, “One Thing Remains” (Jesus Culture). I still cannot get enough of that tune. Next, Alison quoted Ephesians 3:20 leading us into Hillsong’s, “God is Able”. After that Alison led us into “A Mighty Fortress” from Christy Knockles during the offering. The music portion of our service ended with “For the Honor” from Elevation Worship. Alison did such a great job leading us into the presence of the Living God!
  • The rest of Vertical Worship for the day was, Robby on guitar, Justin on guitar and keys, Christoph on bass, Andrew on drums and Rhonda on vocals. Great mix of band and vocalists for the day.
  • I cannot wait for people in Bladen County to be able to bring their friends to our weekly services beginning in February!
  • ROADTRIP was definitely a success! I had 2 major goals going into this service: 1) To help people see the vision of what could be and should be in Bladen County and decide that they feel compelled to be part of something incredible. 2) To help our Lumberton people have a connection to this 2nd Vertical location. When I talk about Vertical Bladen I wanted them to remember driving up the campus drive, parking in the parking lot, walking up the walkway, walking by the VKidz building and up to the auditorium and seeing the orange and black Vertical VIP tents. I wanted them to remember sitting in the seats, experiencing the worship and being challenged by the message about Honor. I believe we accomplished both Sunday.

There seems to be a “little” confusion. We haven’t moved to Bladen County. Sunday we will be back at Cinema Four Theater in Lumberton, 9 & 11. But beginning in February we will ONE Church in TWO locations and we will be able to reach 2 times the amount of people we can now. Come February we will see the Gospel multiply in a God-infused way. Thank you for believing, for giving, for flexibility and being willing to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable. Many lives will be changed by the Gospel because of you. See you Sunday in Lumberton for week 2 of “Forgotten Words”.