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Archive for April, 2013

Your Chance to join Vertical is this Sunday

People often ask, “how does a person join Vertical Church?” If you’ve attended you know that there is no time during our service where we allow people to join. We believe joining a church is more than saying “I want to join” – we believe you should know exactly what it means to join Vertical Church.  With this thought in mind there are 2 things that you should know about joining VC:

  1. People who join Vertical are not members, they are partners. The way we see it, “members” have rights but partners have a responsibility to the organization. We’re not looking for members who will fill the seats on Sunday mornings – we’re looking for partners who believe in our mission and vision and are ready to join the team to help people who don’t like church meet God.
  2. There is only one way that a person can become a Vertical partner. That process is called:

Verge (vʉrj) noun

  1. the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively: the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

Some of you are on the VERGE of a decision that will change your life forever! This meeting is a time for us to share who we are and what we’re about and what partnership at Vertical looks like. You will have the opportunity to meet and talk with our staff as well as ask any questions you may have about Vertical Church.

Our next VERGE is this Sunday night, April 14th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Candy Sues Downtown – Dinner will be provided. I’m always looking forward to sharing a meal with new friends.

PLEASE NOTE: No children 5th grade and under will be able to attend. 

Sign up here. (and don’t forget, we will not have childcare – this is an adult only event.)

BTW, VERTICAL BLADEN ATTENDEES: you are welcome to attend this Verge but we have one coming up in Bladen County in May. Keep your eyes open.

FAQ Week 1 – The Hot Seat

This is from Week One of FAQ. We’ll have “Hot Seat” segments in all 4 weeks!

Hot Seat – FAQ Week 1 from Vertical Church on Vimeo.

Sunday Nite (on a Monday Morning from Florida)

It sounds like we had an incredibly eventful day yesterday at Vertical!! I am currently preparing to leave Orlando – our daughter Madison competed in the US Spirit National Cheer Championships. So proud of our girls!

I could tell by the online chatter that we were having a killer day at Vertical Church!!! So thankful for the awesome way that Donnie kicked off the FAQ series with some heavy, HEAVY subjects. Our heart as a church is to lovingly present what the Bible teaches about issues that those outside the church see as controversial. We want to do this in the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus is ALWAYS reconciliation:

[11] Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience…. [17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:11,17-21 ESV)

This is ALWAYS our intention. Love. Reconciliation. Truth. Remembering that while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  • Great service this morning. The current series, FAQs, is one that is greatly needed by the Christian Church so that we can address these issues both Biblically and IN LOVE. Donnie, you did a fantastic job in prefacing and explaining the Bible’s answers to these often controversial issues.

Here are some thoughts from Bladen location pastor, Joey Autry about yesterday:

Really awesome day. Love love love hearing what Jesus is doing in people’s lives!

  • Great after service convos for our team with people taking next steps
  • VTeams are just phenoms right now. Love the heart and passion from our volunteers. Thankful for Sim Asbil and his leadership
  • Great message from DP. Truly tackled tough subjects with grace and love of Christ – Truth in love? Heard that somewhere before
  • Sweet acoustic set our worship team brought today
  • BMed’s team (stage design) created great environment today
  • VKidz leaders had awesome time leading kids to learn about Jesus. In particular, great pics from our Waumba Land team having fun on jumphouse
  • Thankful that teens & nowgens are serving all over Vertical Church
  • Baptism for Bladen (April 21st) is going to be insane! List growing every week

What’s Your FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)?

Have you ever wondered what God thinks about tattoos? How about whether Christians are forbidden from drinking alcohol? Is it REALLY wrong for grown people who are in love to live (and sleep) together outside of marriage?

What does the bible say about interracial marriage? Homosexuality? Once a person is saved can they then lose that salvation?

We will be addressing these subjects and many, many more in our new series, “FAQ”, beginning this weekend. If you have a question that you would like to submit for one of the weeks you can text it to: or you can inbox us on facebook HERE. We will do our best to get to it during the series.

This will prove to be an informative and TENSE series. Make sure to take the kidz to vKidz as these subjects are for mature audiences. Attendee discretion is advised.

FAQ from Vertical Church on Vimeo.

Easter 2013 ReCap (incredible day!)

(HUGE Exhale)

Like most churches Vertical had a most exhilarating day Sunday. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing the reports from all over our nation of the work that God was doing through His “BIG C”. By the numbers that I saw it was obvious that there were a bunch of “little c’s” living out Vertical Intentionality – I love seeing the church at work. I love to see the church working right in the area of intentional influence and outreach.

I took a day to let it all soak in. Here is Vertical’s Easter recap through the eyes of our location Pastor’s, some vTeam staff and myself. I will go first:

  • The 1st thing that I noticed when I woke Sunday morning at 5 was the rain. Way back in the day my heart would have fallen afraid of how the rain would affect our Easter services. It’s been a long time since then… my prayer: God, that YOU would make sure that whoever is supposed to be there WOULD be there. Wake them with the thought of YOU on their mind. And bring them to a church that will love them and clearly preach Your Gospel.
  • I WAS PUMPED!!!! This message, “A Vertical Life”, was burning inside of me. This thought, that of allowing Jesus to LIVE in and through me has been a crusade of my ministry for years.
  • A Vertical life is a life ALIVE to God. God wants to take our “hole-hearted” life and make it a “WholeHearted Life”.
  • We did something way different for us for Easter – we used 2 different preachers. Same message, different communicators. I preached live at the Lumberton location, Donnie preached live at the Bladen location.
  • We saw record crowds at both. We saw people give their lives to Jesus at both. We saw VERTICAL CHURCH doing what Vertical does at both!!!
  • Donnie was sharing with me on Sunday afternoon how Vertical Bladen blew him away. He said worship was incredible and the vTeams were “vertical”. In his words, the leaders who were trained at the Lumberton location have absolutely re-created the Vertical environments/atmosphere that we expect.
  • SO PROUD OF OUR vTeam staff and their excellent leadership!
  • Baptism Sunday at the Lumberton location (Bladen baptism day is April 21). We saw 11 people express their faith through baptism Sunday and it was just incredible.
  • Worship music was just “vertical”. In Lumberton we had Rhonda, Justin, Karla Beth on vocals, Robby on lead, Andrew on drums and John Astle on acoustic. Gary Floyd, our newest band member filled it out on bass guitar in an incredible way. I have watched Gary play for over 25 years and I have to say that Sunday was the 1st time I have ever seen him touch a bass guitar (he’s a guitarist). As usual with Gary, he was impeccable. I am so excited to have him playing with us!

Vertical Bladen Location Pastor, Joey Autry:

  • Dude, there’s too many highlights to remember!!! Thank You Jesus!
  • The sun broke through at about 9:40. Absolutely beautiful to see as I was outside just thanking Him.
  • Vertical Bladen VKidz egg hunt (kids had blast and learned what the Savior of the world gave for them)
  • Worship team blew it out of the water today. Vertical Bladen Worship was Alison, Jon and Bree handling vocals. Band was Josh on guitar, Joey Hinson on bass, Ethan on drums and Joe on keyboard. Loved ‘Beautiful Things’; ‘Your’s is the Victory’; and ‘Revelation Song’
  • Vip team sharing home made baked cookies to give to guests as they left today
  • Lots of hands raised indicating they had received Jesus! Prayer room indicated that Two souls went from death to life (plus one re-dedication).
  • Vertical Bladen set record for adult worship AND vKidz.
  • Our vTeams were amazing as always but Spirit flowing from them was just Jesus through them today
  • Had ministry opportunity with my favorite student pastor BMed at local hospital after service where we prayed with family and connected with others as we were walking through.
  • Donnie brought awesome word today. Very passionate and know people were dealing with some heavy stuff in the house.
  • Really just unbelievable how we’re living Eph 3:20.
  • Brandon backed Vertical trailor in straight for load out (that’s a WIN!!)

Vertical Lumberton Location Pastor, David Collins:

  • vTeams were on fire today at Lumberton. Shout out to our Connections Pastor, John Paul Deaver, for the way that he coordinates these people to do ministry.
  • VKidz Lton set all time attendance record. Which brings out ANOTHER highlight for me…
  • Seeing Waumba Land and Upstreet overflowing with children that we could teach about the love of Jesus allowed me to witness people who serve in other areas head to our kidz area to love on them. Servants hearts man!
  • My biggest highlight has to be baptizing my daughter, Madison. Speechless. My daughter is my sister.
  • 2nd biggest highlight: Baptizing my former college professor, Dawn.
  • 3rd biggest highlight: Baptizing my daughters best friend.

Vertical Connections Pastor, John Paul Deaver said:

  • TODAY was Awesome!!! Unbelievable! Godly! Amazing! WOW!!!
  • vTeams were amazing. Baptisms were incredible! Videos were inspiring.
  • Did God show up at Vertical or what?!?
Nancy Wyer, Lumberton VIP coordinator, said:
I love getting VIP (1st timers) reactions when they come over to claim their first time tee shirts….they are so excited….and lots of them say that they are coming back…..Mike Pittman really brought a great sermon. A great Easter Sunday….enjoyed working with Joanna Edwards Powell and Casey Lawson…..and rocking bunny ears…..
Nikki Kinlaw BryantMan look at the difference already from week one to now at the Bladen location! God is at work @ Vertical Church!!!
Sonya McGirt has some pics from Lumberton here

It was an unbelievable day. Praying this week is so great for all of you as we allow Jesus to LIVE in us as we LIVE in Him – Love deeply in everything you do.

DON’T FORGET: This weekend we will begin our new series, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Over the upcoming weeks we are giving YOU the opportunity to CREATE our series by asking those questions that you think about but no one seems to ever really clearly talk about. If you want to ask a question you can inbox it on facebook here. You can also text them to  Your identities will be confidential – we won’t be like, “Edgar wants to know when it’s ok to have sex with his girlfriend?” (grin). You Bring on the questions and we will try to tackle them with the biblical answers. We probably won’t be able to answer all of them but we will do our best.

Here’s what we are going to do, this is very, very different. If you are new, this is not what we normally do. You are going to ask a lot of questions, I am going to cover a lot of ground really, really quickly. We are going to deal with some things that may be a little controversial, it may make you a little bit nervous, so let me cover the ground rules.