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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.┬áRemember, 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.

Got something to say? Go for it!