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Archive for September, 2014

Lives Are Being Changed…

You know what I love about Vertical more than anything? I have a front row seat to seeing lives changed week after week. I never get over hearing stories like…

Earle who said, “The last time that I went to church I was a child. Now I  am 37 years old and can’t stop going since I found Vertical. Vertical Church is the best!”

Earle will be baptized this Sunday.

Or Kristie who shared, “I just want you to know that every time I am at Vertical it seems as though you are speaking straight to me!!! I feel GOD working in me so much over the past year since I started attending Vertical.”

God is working in her life.

There is Chris who told me, “I want to serve God and find His purpose for my life. I know that He has called me to be the kind of husband and dad that will bring Him glory with my life. God is dealing with my heart.”

I could go on and on and tell you about Peggy, Debbie, Mike and John. I could go deeper and share with you about Josh, Katelyn, Jamie and Matt. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit does what the Holy Spirit does, especially in my own life. See, Jesus changed my life back in 1997. I didn’t know if I believed in God, but if He was real, I wanted to know Him.

“Maybe it’s time to try church again”

The reason that we say, “Maybe it’s time to try church again” is because we know that there are a lot of people who believe in God but struggle with the church. There are also a lot of people who aren’t sure WHAT they believe about God – they aren’t against Him (even if they aren’t sure they believe He is real), they don’t even know where to explore their faith. Vertical is that place.

We’ve been waiting for you. You just might find what you’re looking for.

I Am About to Explode!!!

As you may be able to tell from my title I’m pretty excited today. And while many may have the Monday morning blues – I am about to shout right here in this public place that I am sitting. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • I cannot get over the conversations I have been having with people who attend Vertical lately. The number of VIP’s (first time attendees) that God brings to us is staggering. We thank God for the influence that He has given to us through YOU. 
  • Hearing reports from both locations of WINS all over the place. Conversations – people taking next steps – people meeting Jesus.
  • We gave away a lot of bibles yesterday. As we talked about “What Should I Believe About the Bible” we encouraged people who do not have a physical bible to get one from NEXT before they left. Blown away and THANKFUL that we have so many people attending who do not even have a bible. (NOTE: this shows you that we are reaching into our true target. Once again, that is happening because of YOU!)
  • Had a conversation with a friend in a local restaurant Wednesday night who told me that he commonly hears that we have “a bunch of sinners coming to our church.” Once again, I WANT TO SHOUT IN THIS PUBLIC PLACE I AM IN!! We started a church that would “help people who don’t like church meet God”. People have often asked why we see so many people receive Jesus at VC and my answer is quick and easy: when you have large numbers of people who need Jesus and teach them God’s Word and believe God to save them, He will. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing this prayer to fruition.


  • Your Pastor team is incredible!!! These guys are killing it and I am so honored they choose to live this out with me!!! Your VTeam Leaders, VKidz Leaders and Vertical Worship Leaders at both Vertical locations are amazing and they are literally making it harder for people to go to hell in Southeastern NC.
  • We had people take their next step with Vertical last night through becoming a Vertical PARTNER. So proud of all of you who took this most important step. Can’t wait to see how God uses you!!!
  • I cannot get ONE of the many conversations I had after the 11 o’clock service at Lumberton location off my mind. It was the lady’s first time at Vertical and she said, “Pastor, I LOVED it and can’t wait to see you next Sunday morning!” That’s exciting in itself but that’s not what has me about to lose my mind. The person who brought her then looked at me and said, “Pastor, I’m bringing them in one-by-one like you said!” Let me remind you, #relationshipsmakethedifference (If you missed this the other day PLEASE take a moment and read)
  • Which is why I am asking you to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to get the people you are praying for to Vertical Lumberton this weekend (9/21) and to Vertical Bladen next weekend (9/28). I am telling you, we are preparing to have the most powerful service in the HISTORY of Vertical Church. We have been asking God to do a miracle in our midst – You are the tool that He is using to bring that miracle to pass!!!

Maybe it’s time for that person to try church again or for the first time. Let God use you this week.

3 Things I am asking EVERY Vertical Attendee to do TODAY

Every Friday morning I feel a shift towards the weekend. I feel an anticipation of what I know is just around the corner. I look at the plans for the weekend, think back on the many planning conversations that we have had and I get excited. I often listen to the songs that we will all sing together and my Spirit just leaps inside of me. Most of the time I think to myself – This could be the BEST Sunday that we have EVER had!!!

Today is no different. I can’t wait for Sunday and I believe God is going to do a great work at both Vertical locations. With this in mind I wanted to ask you if you would do 3 things for me TODAY?

  1. PRAY for our services.Every Sunday morning people walk throughout both Vertical locations praying for all of those who will soon enter the doors and experience the life-changing message of Jesus. Will you pray:
    1. That there will be nothing to distract people from receiving the message.
    2. That God’s Presence would be apparent to all who are there.
  2. PRAY for our VTeams. Every week all of those people who serve YOU with the Vertical shirts on, they give of their morning for Jesus and for YOU. Please pray God’s blessing on them and their families and for their success on Sunday morning. (You can also ask God which of these teams that you need to be part of.)
  3. PRAY for your 2. We are all praying for 2 people that God has shown us need to take a step towards Him and to attend Vertical with you on September 21 (Lumberton) or September 28 (Bladen). I am praying WITH you FOR them.
Seriously, this could be the GREATEST Sunday we have EVER experienced together. I BELIEVE – DO YOU?!?

Relationships Make the Difference

The night of February 5th, 2011 was one of the most restless nights of my life. I tossed. I turned. I dreamt. I awoke. I looked at the alarm clock next to my bed incessantly all night long. Why? Because I knew that when I got up I was going to see a longtime dream come true: Vertical Church was going to have it’s very 1st weekly service at Cinema Four Theaters in Lumberton, NC. And I knew… i just knew that from this day forward we had the opportunity to

Help People Who Don’t Like Church Meet God.

I know I say that all the time. I probably say it so much that you barely hear it when I say it, but I say it all the time because it is the essence of WHO we are. See, we believe that there are tens of thousands of people in our region who don’t know Jesus. They don’t go to church. Many of them don’t care for church. How do WE reach those people? Well, first I believe we have to define “WE”. If we, means me and the other Pastor’s of Vertical Church, well, that’s not going to happen. WE, the pastor’s, don’t know them and the chance that we will have the opportunity to meet tens of thousands in such a way that we can have a spiritual impact is low. But if we means “US”, you and I, the pastor’s and leaders of Vertical, well now we’re on to something.


You know people who need what you have found. They work with you, recreate with you, live around you. They know you, your family and your kids. They personally know you, the music you like, the teams that you pull for and the food that you eat. They probably know where you attend church (and if they don’t that really needs to change!). Statistics say that they would attend church with you if you asked them to. Many of them would feel honored that you actually WANT them to attend church with you. Some have been wondering why it’s taken you so long to invite them. Almost every VIP I speak to at Vertical says the same thing: “I’ve wanted to check out Vertical for a long time. I’m glad I did!”

“I’ve wanted to check out Vertical for a long time. I’m glad I did!”

Relationships really do make the difference if we allow them to. #maybeitstime to have that conversation, extend that invite, show them that we care for their soul. May we be foolishly intentional about reaching the people that God has purposely placed around us. Pray for them – by name. Pray for boldness for yourself. Be intentional. Foolish Intentionality.

You Can Join Vertical This Sunday!

If you have attended Vertical you probably know that there is no time during our service where we allow people the opportunity to join our church.

How does a person who wants to be a part actually go about doing so?

The reason we require a class is we believe there is more to joining a church then saying, “I want to join”. We want you to know exactly what it means. At Verge we will make clear,

  1. Why we don’t have members, but instead, partners.
  2. Why Vertical is a little different.
  3. What are the things that we believe to be most important.
  4. What happens when you give.
  5. Who/how do we make decisions.
  6. Just about any other question you might have about Vertical Church.
Our next VERGE is this Sunday night, 5 pm at Vertical Headquarters. Dinner will be provided. I always look forward to sharing a meal with some 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.)