Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you all had a terrific day yesterday. As I sit to write this on this Christmas Sunday night I realize that this is a different kind of “Sunday Nite” post… We had a very busy week of which I haven’t posted about yet, SO, even though we didn’t have services I have MUCH to share tonight.
- #verticalchristmas ran on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the historic Carolina Civic Center in downtown Lumberton. What an incredible venue to have such a celebration for the birthday of the King.
- Wednesday Night was a special service for FUZE, our student ministry and our VTeams. We wanted to give the worker who make Vertical special weekly the opportunity to experience the service like regular VC attenders. We had a whole new set of VTeam workers serving that night and they did a great job (trial by fire – grin).
- BTW… FUZE NATION, Fuze is back meeting next Wednesday, January 4th at Mr. P’s Skateworld with a brand new New Years series. Put it on your calendars!
- One of the coolest things about #verticalchristmas was that it was a full-experience from the moment people drove in to the time they left. We got the city permits to close down the downtown area so our team could convert the downtown area into a Christmas festival of sorts. It was awesome to walk out the front of the Carolina Civic Center (CCC) and hear the sound of Christmas music singing throughout the downtown evening air. It was MAJOR environments.
- Much thanks to the Carolina Civic Center for being such gracious hosts! We love your venue!
- WE MAKE A REALLY BIG DEAL ABOUT ENVIRONMENTS at Vertical. We have bought into the thought that a persons experience with your church happens the moment a person drives in your church parking lot. For this service it started an hour prior to the start of service. When they met us at 6pm around the HUGE Christmas tree we had:
Santa Village with Santa and his elves
Stocking and ornament decorating stations
Ginger bread cookie decorating stations
Hay Rides on the Plaza
Hot chocolate, cider, and cookies
- John Paul Deaver is the Vertical Church VTeams Coordinator. He is such an incredible leader who leads incredible teams of people who pour themselves out for the Lord. I am so proud of JP and his teams – they were just incredible all 3 nights!!!
- The service itself was just incredible. I don’t mind saying it because it was much more of our team than it was me… from the opening numbers (Run Run Rudolph) to the videos, the songs that were sung (Do You Hear – North Point, Joy to the World/All Creation Sing, O Come all Ye Faithful/Hark/Angels We Have heard Medley, Everything Changed (KILLER VID LINK HERE) and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, a cappella) and the testimony videos – it was SO powerful. Such a great job from our planning in the worship area between Brandon, Jon and the team.
- The production side of things was beyond anything we’ve ever done! I will be shoutin’ about Mitchell (Sound), Scott, Angela and Steve (Video), Will and Katie (lights) and Kelly and Otto with the stage design. I know there were so many more involved like Jimmy, Matt, Joe, Gabriel, Matt… Just amazing what these people pulled off.
- The testimony videos were beyond anything we’ve done as of yet. Just amazing how everything flowed together and everyone in the room related to one of these people. Great job by Jon and James Lewis. All the way down to the original soundtrack behind it – so proud of the Vertical quality. Greg Blaine, Rhonda Lovin and Meridith Allen shared their stories of life change and how they came to Jesus. Not a dry eye in the house. Hope to show these vids online over the next weeks.
- Some of the unsung heroes were our VKidz teams who watched our workers younger children every night. Thank you Lynn, Donnie, Karen, Brandon, Kristie, Kim and everyone else who made that happen!
- My message was titled, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Every night I shared the thought that it’s real easy to miss what the people in the Christmas story saw – we CAN see what they see. You can hear it and everything else here.
- The conversations and stories every night were just amazing… from the people who received Jesus on their 1st trip to VC, to the homeless young man who took a bible, the quadriplegic young man transported to our service by Lumberton Rescue, or the old friend of mine who was deeply moved by his first trip to VC. So many stories, so many lives touched.
- Over the 3 nights we saw in excess of 50 people receive Jesus over the 3 days. We are Praising Jesus for His saving power and thanking Him for using us in spite of us. Hallelujah! THAT’S a great Christmas present for all involved.
- DON’T MISS NEXT SUNDAY – NEW YEAR’S DAY AS WE HAVE A VERY SPECIAL DAY PLANNED CALLED “2011 Year in Review” (check out the fresh video here).
Let me close by sharing that our friends, Flying Backwards just released their 1st video today. We are proud of Andy, Chris, Troy, Mike and Jacob for their hard work and love for Jesus Christ and to share Him as often as possible through music!