Why The Name Change?
In simplicity, because we realized we needed to change to reflect the true nature of being followers of Christ. We had been good at learning what the Bible said, but not so good at putting it into practice when it came to loving the world that God sent His Son to die for. At times we can become too inwardly focused and neglect our responsibility to be the salt and light to our world that Jesus called us to be. Loving and serving others is the highest ideal of reflecting the life of Christ. We realize we need to be more intentional in making Jesus known by serving the needs of others both inside and outside our church walls. The name change is the culmination of changes we have been going through as a church to build a life-giving culture that communicates and models the life of Jesus Christ to others.
Why Was The Name Chosen?
The name “Vertical” to us means a God-centered church. We realize that mankind’s true hope and need is Jesus. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” We want to be intentional about making Jesus known. Jesus loves people and gave his life for them, therefore as His followers, so should we. That is what a Vertical lifestyle is about, Loving God and Serving People, so that Christ can be seen through us. We think Vertical because we are here for God’s purposes and desire for all to know His love and provision He made for us through Christ. There is a prophetic word that God spoke through the prophet Isaiah that we believe is for our day. Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise and shine for the light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you”. We believe that the church is the Body of Christ and we need to arise – go Vertical, so that others will see His light and God’s glory be restored in our day. That is why we exist as a church; we are here for His glory so that others may see Christ and know His love and forgiveness.
How Was The Name Chosen?
After long reflection and prayer the name was chosen to embody a set of values and ideas that express to us what a God-centered church looks like. We know that there are a lot of people in our culture who may have been brought up in a church, but for one reason or another they have walked away. Therefore, we wanted to create an identity that we define by our actions without people prejudging us for who they think we might be. We know that Vertical Church is not a traditional name, but our desire is that it might cause the curiosity of some to inquire and check us out or at least provide the opportunity to dialogue with others when asked about it, so we can express what it means to us. The intention is to create an identity that brands us to our region by changes reflected in us and by what we have become.
Who Was Involved In The Name Change?
The process of changing our name took place over several years through the discussions and prayers of our leaders. As Pastors and Elders, there was a sense that a name change would be in our future, but it was not until the vision of our church became so clear and simple. The name would come to represent the values and ideals of who we were to be to the people we were called to minster to.
What Will Happen To Living Word Ministries?
Our former name never said church, so there was always an air of confusion to people from without as to who we were and what we were. We decided to retain the name Living Word Ministries to be the parent organization that all the ministries we believe the Lord has called us to accomplish and to do honor to our past. Our church is just one aspect of ministry that we believe God has commissioned us to carry out. Therefore, Vertical Church is a DBA of Living Word Ministries. We believe in our future we will begin ministries such as a Dream Center in downtown New Haven, a school of ministry to train interns to be ready to serve in full-time ministry, an international missions partnership to establish strategic collaboration in promoting the gospel in foreign lands… All of these and more will come under Living Word Ministries and not necessarily share the name Vertical, but may have their own names as determined by the sphere of their ministry.
What Is A Simple Way To Explain Vertical Church To Others?
Vertical Church is a God-centered church that is about Loving God and Serving People.