There are few works which are greater than the sum of their parts, but I can honestly say Vertical Church by James Macdonald is one of those exceptions. I am not one to jump on bandwagons so when I heard about a pastor doing a nation wide tour and I kept seeing advertisements for his book on the web I thought it was just another example of America running after some popcorn theology. Then I heard my home church was going to be one of his stops on the tour – now I really had to see what this guy was all about. After working with his team, listening to the message and reading the book I can say this is no popcorn theology. It’s the real stuff – the deep things of God – namely a glory which can hardly be described and yet it must be displayed across the earth. How so? God’s bride, the church.
There are tons of videos, audio clips, and articles from and about Vertical Church. I’d recommend checking them out, or getting your hands on the book. Below are a few of my favorite quotes which give a small taste of the author’s tone and purpose.
Salvation consists in God’s restoring us to what he intended us to be, not elevating us to what he is. – Millard Erickson (45)
Because all that is visible is eclipsed by what is not (46)
In making God our buddy, we find Him nice for cuddling but not much help when the hurricane comes. (55)
When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn. (97)
God won’t do through me what He can’t do in me (114)
When the people of God are not told the works of God, they lose the wonder of God, and everyone does that which is right in his or her own eyes. (133)
A church with no conflict is likely a church that is manufacturing peace in a way that prohibits glory. (147)
To be in [God’s] presence is to be gladly small (192)
I love seeing God’s work, I hate the pressure of needing to see it again (199)
An insistence upon seeing as sacred the various elements of Protestant worship is our protection against their becoming secular. (218)
The lost people you care about most might be closest to salvation when they are furthest from God. (260)
Prayer is the easiest thing to assume in church and the hardest thing to maintain. (270)
You would see God do a lot more if you would take Him seriously and pray a lot more. (295)
Soli Deo Gloria (303)