An emergency call, and I rush from my coziness into the dark community where the police have requested a chaplain. Arriving in minutes, I find the family imploding with grief having just discovered their son hanging in the garage. In a moment of unshakable pain, he jumped off the ladder and into eternity. And I will never shake the look in their eyes when I asked why he hadn't called a church. "Why would he do that?" Across town, a pool of tears on my kitchen table as an out of town guest feels the weight of his infidelity, despairing that his famished soul finds no refuge and that he has to board a plane to feel fellowship. "Has your church tried to help you?" And the Christian leader confesses he hasn't been to church in years.
Infighting, backbiting, heartbreaking, frustrating ... church.
Though exceptions do exist, the reality is that church in America is failing one life at a time. Somewhere between pathetically predictable and shamefully entertaining, sadly sentimental and rarely authentic, church has become worst of all ... godless.
Vertical Church points to a new day where God is the seeker, and we are the ones found. In Vertical Church God shows up, and that changes everything.
If you want to experience God as you never have before and witness His hand at work, if you want to wake up to the first thought, "Thank God it's Sunday," if you're ready to feel your heart beat faster as you drive to your place of worship ... then devour and digest the lessons of Vertical Church.
James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, from Ontario, Canada. James' ministry focuses on the unapologetic proclamation of God's Word and the worship of God's Son.
In 1998, along with 18 people, James and Kathy planted Harvest Bible Chapel, which now has a weekly attendance of more than 13,000 people. Out of the church grew a multitude of ministries touching the world: a Bible-teaching ministry, church planting, as well as a training center for pastors, a year-round camp, a biblical counseling center, a disaster recovery organization, and a Christian school. All impacting millions of lives annually. The MacDonalds have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and four amazing grandsons. For more about James, visit jamesmacdonald.com.