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All posts in Vertical Staff

How Can A New Church Like VC Afford So Much Staff?

I have the opportunity to talk with quite a few prospective and current church planters. One of the things that they are normally surprised by about Vertical Church is the size of our staff. VC is currently 15 months old, have 6 on our Lead Team staff (Pastoral), 19 on our leadership staff team and 2 church planting interns. We also have a 5 man Elder Team consisting of 2 overseer Pastor’s from outside of Vertical, 1 lay Elder and 2 Lead Staff.

So our lead Pastoral staff is currently at 6. You might wonder how we can afford to have 6 Pastors on our staff – Let me tell you, but to do so I must give you some history:

  • In July and August of 2010, Donnie Paschall, Joey Autry and myself left fulltime staff positions at churches to plant Vertical Church (Brandon Meadows also made his intentions to do so known but didn’t join us full-fledged for a couple of months). I am the Lead Pastor, overseeing the leadership, direction, vision and teaching of Vertical Church. Donnie is our Executive Pastor and has teaching responsibilities with me. Donnie also serves on our Elder Board with me. Joey was our KidzMin and Connections Pastor overseeing VKidz ministry as well as the VGroup environments. Brandon is our Student Pastor and also oversees Service Programming and Environments.
  • We all got jobs outside of the ministry in order to make the dream we felt God gave us come true. I served at a University, Donnie worked in Engineering, Joey at a High School and coaching and Brandon went to work at a technical college. All of us worked these jobs because we wanted to be able to put everything possible into the ministry of Vertical and decided to do this until it was possible to sustain us without personally limiting ministry at the church.
  • Jon Lloyd joined us in March of 2011 as our Worship Arts Pastor. Jon was able to get a job at a local company in order to fund his ministry dream of being a part of this church plant.
  • Even though we weren’t being fully funded by the church we were still “the Pastor’s” of the church and carrying responsibilities that any fulltime pastor carries.
  • Donnie was the first to come on full-time. Brandon and I joined in a part time capacity next. I came on fulltime in November of 2011, 2 months ahead of our schedule. Brandon will be joining fulltime this summer.
  • We added 2 church planting interns in 2011. Both of these guys are bi-vocational. They are training with me to learn how to be church planters – I in turn am pouring all that I have learned into them. We hope that both will plant in early 2013.
  • We added our 6th staff member last week (Week of May 20, 2012), Danny McLamb. Danny, like all other Vertical Pastor’s so far, got a job outside of ministry in order to live out this ministry dream.
  • Our finances are very strong, especially for such a young church growing at the rate that we are. Remember, we live in an area that is economically depressed which means we must factor that into everything we do. We have worked hard to plan staffing into our budget in such a way that staffing doesn’t hinder having money to do ministry but rather, staffing in such a way that the amount of ministry will actually increase by the addition of staff.

6 Staff members, 3 of which work other jobs in order to be part. I believe in bi-vocational ministry in the starting of a church plant. There is no doubt in my mind that we were more hungry BECAUSE we had to work so hard to get what we wanted – it wasn’t just handed to us.

So, how does a young church afford to have so many pastors? Our Pastoral staff prove how much they want to be part of this move of God by finding other ways to fund their dreams of helping people who don’t like church meet Jesus!! When we set the bar high people strive to jump higher. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a plan to me.

Meet Our New Staff Member!

Danny and Wina

We are so humbled and thankful for all that the Lord is doing in our midst. The spiritual talent that God is drawing to this ministry is just incredible. I am so excited to announce to you today that Vertical has a new member on our Lead Team, Danny McLamb.

I asked Danny to share a little about himself and his family:

You’ve got it! My name is Danny McLamb, and I’m 54 years old. I have been married for 33 years to Edwina. We have 3 children; Curtis, 25 years old and married to Chrissy for 5 years (and about to have their first child). My daughters are twins, Sara & Jessica, 21 years old. Sara lives in Charlotte and is soon to be married to Reese, and Jessica lives in Surf City and is a youth minister at The Gathering at Surf City Baptist. I have been a pastor for 18 years. I grew up the Barker Ten Mile Community of Robeson County and lived there for 23 years. I love Jesus and His church and am so glad to be a part of Vertical. I’m living the dream.

Danny  has accepted the position to be our new Connections Pastor. Our Connection Pastor position has been held by Joey Autry since day one of VC. Joey is transitioning out of this role in preparation to launch our Vertical Bladen location over which he will be the location Pastor.

Danny and I began conversations about what God was doing in his life a while back. This has been a very long process as it is such an important and integral part of who we are as a church. The Connections Pastor oversees our VGroup system and protects VFormation #6: “We are a church OF small groups, not WITH – There is a difference.” We feel that Danny is the man and has the skills, leadership and strengths to lead Vertical VGroups excellently. Danny is now a member of our Lead Pastoral Team (Lead Team) and will also be serving alongside Joey on the Bladen Location team. We are very excited to have another pair of feet on the ground in Bladen.

Everybody welcome Danny and Wina to the Vertical Family (oh, and friend them up on Facebook).

The Truth About Being a Mobile Church

Every weekend is someone’s first weekend at Vertical Church. We put a lot of thought and work into the environments we create on a weekly basis with this thought in mind. When people come to our church for the first time our desire is that they would say, “WOW! That was totally different and better than I ever expected church to be!”

Vertical Church meets in a movie theater that was built in the 70′s. The style of the theater is a blessing – there are good size lobbies in front of each of our four venues which we use as environments. One theater is our  Worship Center, the lobby in front of that is our main lobby and cafe area. Another theater is Waumba Land (pre-school). The lobby in front of the Waumba Theater is where our nursery is. Theater 3 is our hang-time environments where elementary aged kidz hang prior to and after a service for a bit of fun – the lobby in front of this theater is where Upstreet Production (our VKidz teaching environment) happens. We have one more theater which serves as a place where we do small groups for our elementary kidz, the lobby in front of it is our “basecamp” where the children of our workers get to hang while their parents serve. The space we are afforded at the theater is perfect for our needs right now.

What does it take to convert a movie theater into a happenin’ church?

  • Around 6:30 am one of our road crew arrives at the storage location that our 25 foot trailer is stored to hook it to the truck to pull to the theater.
  • People begin arriving about 7 am or a little before to unload the trailer. Unload usually happens in less than 10 minutes – our crew is incredible.
  • In the auditorium people are setting up sound, tv’s and projection. They are running audio snakes, CAT5 wire for the Aviom and video systems. Some are setting up instruments, some setting up trussing and lighting. We have crew putting up the screen, the series backdrops that go behind the stage and mics. We also have people finalizing pro-presenter (our presentation software), putting up pipe and drape, and tidying up before the service starts. All of this happens before the first chords are struck for soundcheck.

Outside banners are being put in the ground, A-frame signs are being put out at all parking lot entrances and the intersection nearest to the theater. We are putting out tents and banners in the parking lot in preparation for all of our VIP’s who will be coming soon enough.

 

 

  • In Our kidz area’s the first thing that happens is we put out huge rolls of carpet. Smaller kidz will be on and off the floor and we want it to be as clean as possible. To make spaces we use fencing – bunches and bunches of fencing to turn open areas into containable rooms. Signage is being hung, games, toys, rockers, etc are being put out in anticipation.
  • In the cafe area tables are being set up, coffee and lemonade are being made, pipe and drape and signage are being hung. The cafe crew puts out decorations that coincide with the series, put out balloons and tidy up the bathrooms. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to put better soap, candy and mouthwash into the bathrooms makes.
  • Pipe and drape and signage is going up in every area helping to create a different looking environment. When you walk into Vertical Church it no longer looks like the movie theater – it is our church and it truly is transformed.
  • In the service we put up pipe and drape to section off our auditorium. The room we are in seats way more than we normally need being that we run 2 services. When the people come in we seat them in the next available seat which keeps people from having to crawl over someone to get to the next open seat.
  • After the services are over the crew begins to take it all down. We put it in the trailer and prepare to do it next week all over again. Tear down normally takes no more than 45 minutes.

 

It even works when we meet in another location like last night’s Night of Worship in Bladen County:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I could give a word of encouragement and maybe even wisdom – don’t cut your environments short. I always encourage people to be over the top – we are competing hard for people’s attention and it’s not other churches we’re competing with but rather the excellence they find in the world. WHY IS GOD’S CHURCH WORTH ANY LESS? BE EXCELLENT BECAUSE IT TRULY MATTERS.

We have absolutely incredible volunteers (VTeams) who make this happen. What we do to have church isn’t the easiest way to do it but I am convinced that the great effort helps us to win many more to Christ than we would see otherwise. Honestly, I love it (and yes, I participate in set up and tear down) Environments are your friends, church people – we really should use them, leverage them for the glory of Jesus.

 

Vertical Church New Staff Announcement

Jonlloyd One of the first prayers that our team began to pray over a year ago was that the Lord would send us a worship leader that would take the excellence of the worship experience to another level. I have been known as a Worship Pastor for many years – worship is a big deal to me (it's a bigger deal to God). One of the first questions people often asked when they found out that I would not be worship leader but instead, Lead Pastor, of this church plant was, "who is gonna be YOUR worship leader?"

God answered that question by bringing us a team of people who from day one have set the bar VERY high. To say that I am proud of Justin, Rhonda and Robby is the understatement of the century. It's with this in mind that I share with you that whole team has been prayerfully waiting a while for the opportunity to say that we will be adding to our outstanding Worship Leader team:

Vertical Worship is excited to announce that Jon Lloyd has joined Team Vertical to serve as our Worship Arts Pastor.

Who is Jon Lloyd? As the leader of Jon Lloyd Band, Jon has had the opportunity to play around the Southeast. Jon Lloyd band has lead worship for groups, conferences and on opening bills of contemporary Christian concerts with the likes of Crowder and Building 429. When I asked Jon to share more about his life he said,
I grew up in Lumberton and started really getting into music around the 6th grade. I released two secular records before I formed the Jon Lloyd Band as my first Christian band effort. I released my first solo EP this past August. I have been married to Nikki for almost 8 years. I have 3 children:  Braden is 7, Riley is 3, Noah is 2, and they are all VKIDZ!
Not sure what else to say here, except that my vision for Vertical Worship is that we would teach and model that worship is a part of life, not just something that accompanies a church service.
So with that, Jon joins Justin, Rhonda, Robby and the rest of Vertical Worship, ready to take this thing to another level. This is such a marvelous answer to prayer, one that the whole team has continually asked God to make a way. He has. So we are all (especially Jon) very excited about this announcement.
Vertical Church, make sure you stop by Jon's facebook page and welcome he and his family to our family.

Guest Blogger: Joey Autry

The buzz surrounding the going public of Vertical Church this week has been really cool. In yesterday's post, Executive Pastor Donnie Paschall shared his heart about why he decided to go Vertical. We continue to introduce the Vertical Lead Team (our staff) with you today as we welcome our Assimilation Pastor, Joey Autry, to WholeHearted Life. 

Over the next few weeks as we share about Vertical I will be sharing with you the structure that will help us to be who we believe God is calling us to be called the "V Formation". Today Joey will be sharing with us one facet of the "V Formation", by asking the question:


Bigcompany
How
BIG is your small?
by Joey Autry

With sincere thanks to David Kinnaman (his title above) I want to share one of Vertical's core values (the "V Formation") through our blog today.

WE are built on small groups. "V Formation" core value #2

How many people can you really have influence with or think you have influence? If you are like me you probably think that number is huge. Let us focus on the example Jesus Christ set for us on how to deeply influence your community. Kinnaman says, "Jesus changed the WORLD through 12 deep relationships, built in three short years" He was intentional with His chosen disciples about community. He poured out His life for the disciples through prayer, work, miracles and dying. He gave them vision and compassion for the immediate community around them. Try as I might, I cannot find that Jesus ever traveled more than 200 miles from His home. He impacted 12 men's lives by living out daily what a follower of God looks like. Jesus showed His followers what it means to live AGAINST the status quo: "You have heard it said, but I tell you…" Jesus truly demonstrated what community among believers and influence with "outsiders" really looks like (for example, the woman at the well).

I was on the beach yesterday walking with my daughter, Lainey, along the shore and this idea of community struck a chord inside me. Lainey is almost terrified of the ocean (especially since I watched 'Shark Week' with her this week  ). As long as she held my hand and we would approach the waves a little at a time she continually gained confidence and would even let go of my hand occasionally to jump a small wave (to my horror!). The comparison looks like this: as long as Lainey had me helping her, encouraging her, leading by example, holding on to her, destroying the bigger waves for her and allowing her to stretch out on her own a little bit at a time she was great. 

The example above is how we see small groups at Vertical; doing life together not one day a week but everyday! Small, daily increments together living our lives through the power of Jesus to help one another along the way. Check out Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37; that's how life looks when the Body of Jesus creates environments where people are encouraged and equipped to pursue intimacy with God, community with believers and influence with outsiders. We will have influence with those we work with, eat with, have fun with, pray with, study His Word with, cry and mourn with and together with His purpose change the world we live in.

In an article that Kinnaman wrote the research indicates most people say only one or two people have spiritual influence over their lives (and usually this is a parent or personal friend). He also states that "our best hope should be to influence, DEEPLY, the lives of those closest to us.: We are surrounded by a generation that is longing for true community and the need for our Savior. 

So, think small. You influence can be big!