ECCLESIOLOGY

General

The Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group accepts that there is a clear difference between the Clergy; (People who are separated unto ministry) and the Laity; (the ordinary local church membership). For our purposes, Exhorter Ministers, Ordained Ministers and Bishops constitute “Clergy”.

The KMMG agrees, that the full time ministry conducted by the Clergy is divided into a five fold Ministry; Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Pastoral, And Teaching.

The Delegated Authority or Hierarchy of that Five Fold Ministry: KMMG acknowledges the Apostolic and Prophetic offices make up the Episcopal oversight of the church and these individuals are called Bishops. Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers make up the general Clergy, and these individuals are collectively called Ministers.

The Oversight of the Church is therefore administrated by the Overseer/Bishop.

The ordinary service in each local ministry is administrated by Evangelistic, Pastoral and Teaching Ministers, aided by Elders and Deacons as Lay Ministers.

Leadership Structure

Bishop Overseer
Bishop
Presbytery of Ministers
Pastors (Ordained Ministers)
Exhorter Minister
Elders and Trustees
Deacons
Lay Workers

The Bishop Overseer holds the title “Reverend Bishop”, and is referred to as such. In most informal circumstances, he is usually referred to simply as “Bishop”.

The Bishop hold the title “Bishop”, and is referred to as such.

Ordained Ministers hold the title “Reverend”, are referred to by a variety of names: Pastor, Father, Reverend-Father, Rector and Vicar are the most prominent. Which title is used depends upon denomination or the personal preference of the Ordained Minister.

In order to become an Ordained Minister within KMMG, it is compulsory for Clergy to accept all of the Articles contained in our Statement of Faith. These are the major points of policy that we expect our Clergy and Membership to believe, accept and promote.

Each individual Subculture Ministry is free to establish its own guidelines for membership eligibility, catechism and to establish the benefits of membership in order to accommodate the specific needs of their subculture community.

We also encourage all of our Ministries, no matter where they may be located, to establish a Discipleship Training Program. These programs are for the fulfillment of our mandate to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV). These should be started on a “part-time” basis initially. This encourages the church membership to hear from the Lord in relation to their own personal walk with God and the possibility that He may call them into full time ministry. These Discipleship Training Programs are not considered as colleges or seminaries. However they are an important stepping stone for people called to ministry.
Ecclesiastical Structure

We do not advocate nor practice control over our ministers, ministries or churches.
We recognize autonomy of the local church, however, it is not an island and is expected to serve in unity and fellowship.
We expect all affiliated churches and ministers to practice sound doctrine.
We adhere strongly to professional ministerial ethics as relating to ministers and churches.

MINISTRY OFFICES

As the mission of KMMG is to train and equip ministers at various levels, a definition and description of each office is in order.

Lay Workers

A Lay Worker is a church attendee (who may or may not be a full member) whose service to a ministry is usually voluntary. Lay Workers perform many of the menial tasks of an organization, but their service is extremely important. It has been said that “volunteerism is the currency of The Church”. Most ministries could not survive without their volunteers! Lay work is an excellent way for people to get acquainted with a ministry and its members. Biblically, no specific requirements exist for Lay Workers.However, we recommend that they be individuals deemed trustworthy, and that ministries guard themselves against those whom they do not know or those who may harbor impure motives.

If a Lay Worker will be representing your ministry outside the ministry itself, it is recommended that they minimally have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and have completed your basic catechism. (This reduces the likelihood that they will misrepresent your ministry or its beliefs to others.)

Any Lay Worker whose labors place them in proximity or contact with minors or the infirm should be subject to a background check BEFORE they begin work. Our Lord Jesus Christ said {Matthew 9:37}, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few.” This may tempt ministries to cut corners. Ministries who shortcut this important step do so at their peril. Many a great ministry has been undone because they ignored the warning of The Apostle Paul {1 Thessalonians 5:12} to “know those that labor among you”!
Deacon

The Deacon serves as a committed Christian leader and a partner to the Pastor in Church leadership. The qualifications of a Deacon are given to us by The Apostle Paul {1 Timothy 3:8-13}. A Deacon shall demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life.

[Bishop Overseer’s Note: A word of warning on the selection of Deacons. There is a tendency in the modern Christian Church to select people based upon their wealth, their success in business, or other worldly metrics. A wise Pastor will avoid such metrics, focussing instead on the candidate’s Spiritual devotion. We must learn from the mistake of the Israelites when they demanded a king. Many (but by no means all) church members of worldly success have gotten there by unscrupulous means. It is recommended that a candidate’s wife and children (if they are of an age of reason) be consulted with the candidate in absentia, BEFORE nominating them for consideration by the congregation.]

Again, any Deacon candidate whose labors place them in proximity or contact with minors or the infirm should be subject to a background check BEFORE they begin work. If a candidate’s duties will give them control over financial matters, a financial background check is in good order as well.

Collectively, the assembly of Deacons is known as the Diaconate. The number of Diaconate members, their terms of service, manner of selection, appointment or ordination, and the nature of their duties will varies greatly based upon the needs of a ministry.

 

Elders

The pattern for Eldership is one set by The Lord Jesus Christ Himself. From amongst His many followers, Jesus selected Peter, James and John for additional training and commensurate responsibilities. Upon His Ascension, these three men of God took leadership of The Church.
Elders are usually selected from amongst the Diaconate. As the name implies, they are usually of an elder generation (Spiritually more-so that chronologically). They should be people who have been effective in lesser duties, and are well-known in the congregation. The Biblical qualifications are the same as those of a Deacon {1 Timothy 3:8-13}.

[Bishop Overseer’s Note: As with Deacons, Spirituality and devotion to Christian service should always be selected over worldly success.]

Elders are most often found in ministries with a bicameral government structure. Often, they have veto authority over the votes of the Diaconate. The number of Elders, their terms of service, manner of selection, appointment or ordination, and the nature of their duties will varies greatly based upon the needs of a ministry.

As with the Diaconate, it is highly recommended that criminal and financial background checks and family interviews be conducted BEFORE the nomination of the candidate.
Trustees

Trustees are people responsible to “hold trust” the property of the ministry. In most cases, Trustees are nominated from amongst the Diaconate or the Elders. In most cases, they have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property of the ministry without a specific vote authorizing each action. Trustees sign any and all legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase or lease of property requiring signatures on behalf of the ministry.

 

Exhorter Minister

An Exhorter Minister is a student minister qualified for evangelism, teaching, administrating, and in some cases, pastoral responsibilities (excluding counseling, marriages, baptisms, burials and the administration of the sacraments). A candidate for Exhorter Minister must be convinced that God has called them to His ministry and be able to communicate that calling to others. The candidate must meet the basic qualifications of a Pastor {1 Timothy 3:8-13}, and demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life.

A candidate who seeks to be appointed an Exhorter Minister must first be sponsored by the Senior Minister of one of our Member Organization. The Senior Minister must endorse the applicant and provide a written recommendation, and submits an application to their Council of Deacons (or its equivalent). A criminal background check is recommended. (Criminal convictions may, or may not, affect eligibility). The Council of Deacons will conduct an oral interview to confirm the Candidate’s call to ministry and eligibility for office. Upon their approval, the application will be forwarded to the KMMG Presbytery of Ministers.

The Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group Presbytery of Ministers will review the application. If they have questions, they will seek clarification from the Member Organization. Upon acceptance of the application, the candidate will be personally interviewed by the Bishop. Upon the Bishop’s recommendation, the candidate will be placed in the next available scheduled training class. This training may be done via teleconference or other technological means. Upon completion of the training course, the candidate be given a proctored written examination to ensure their
understanding of the Statement of Faith. Passage of the examination requires a score of 80% or higher. Assuming no obstacles, the Member Organization will schedule a date for the Public Commissioning Ceremony. A member of the Presbytery of Ministers should be in attendance. Ideally, they will all be present.

 

Ordained Ministers (Pastors)

 

About Pastors

Regardless of which title by which the Ordained Minister chooses, an Ordained Minister is called by God to fulfill the role of the Pastor.

The Pastor is the person ultimately responsible to God for the Ministry. No one should pursue the office of Pastor as a mere vocation, or enter into the pastorate lightly. The Pastor must be convinced that they are divinely called by God, and must be able to articulate their call to ministry to others. The name “Pastor” is the Greek derivative of the Hebrew word ( רָעָ / râ‛âh /pronounced “raw-ae” ) as a noun “shepherd” or as the verb “to tend a flock”; most famously found in Psalm 23’s “The Lord is my shepherd”. It shares the same root word as “Rabbi”. Taking responsibility for The Lord’s flock has eternal consequences, for the Pastor and congregants alike.

The basic qualifications of a Pastor are given to us by The Apostle Paul {1 Timothy 3:8-13}. A Pastor shall demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life.
The Pastor serves the Ministry: not vice-versa! The Pastor must demonstrate compassion and selflessness, and must be totally committed to Christian leadership and the discipleship of others.

Ordination Procedure

An Ordained Minister may conduct all the ordinances of The Church: Baptism, Marriage, Burial and The Eucharist (Holy Communion). The Ordained Minister preaches The Word of God, teaches, provides Pastoral Counseling*, administration, planning and generally “shepherding” the Ministry. The Pastor is usually a ex officio member of all standing committees.
[*See PASTORAL COUNSELING]

An Ordained Minister is a person who has a recognizable vocational ‘calling of God’ to the Christian Ministry evident upon their life. They should serve no less than two years as an Exhorter Minister in their subculture ministry (waiverable). Ideally, the applicant should to have earned at Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor or Bachelor of Science degree, or completed a vocational religious education program in lieu thereof. (An applicant who is a mature applicant or has not gained any recognized religious vocational education in the form of a diploma or degree, can, if agreed at interview stage, follow a course of study to achieve such, by way of the course of study then determined by the Presbytery. The Candidate must have demonstrated proven practical experience in their lesser capacities within the courts of the church. No candidate may be advanced in furtherance of a “church split” or other forms of rebellion.

A candidate who seeks to be named an Ordained Minister must have first been sponsored by the Senior Minister of one of our member ministries. The Senior Minister makes recommendation, and submits an application to the Presbytery of Ministers. A criminal background check and financial background check is required to accompany the application. (Criminal convictions may, or may not, affect eligibility). The Presbytery of Ministers will conduct an oral interview to as confirm the Candidate’s call to ministry and eligibility for office. The candidate will then be given a written examination based upon our Statement of Faith. Passage of the examination requires a score of 80% or higher. Assuming no obstacles, communication will then take place between the subculture ministry, the Presbytery, and the Overseer Bishop to schedule a date for the Public Ordination Ceremony. At least one member of the Presbytery must be in attendance. Ideally, they will all be present.

Bishops

Bishop: The Bishop is a Pastor’s Pastor. The Bishop oversees the Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group Pastors, providing advice and counsel for their Spiritual needs. The Bishop manages the planning of Ministry activities, conducts and supervises Ministerial Development and Internship Programs, and other duties may be required.

Bishop Overseer: The Bishop Overseer is the Spiritual head of the Ministry. His role is less administrative and more as a Spiritual Senior Minister to the Bishop and Pastors. He is the President of the Presbytery of Ministers, but casts votes only in the event of a tie vote. In matters requiring the implementation of Church discipline, The Bishop Overseer serves as the Binding Arbiter in disagreements within the Presbytery of Ministers or Member Organizations.

Divorce and Remarriage inside and outside of the Ordained Ministry

In Matthew 5:32, Jesus stated that Biblical reason for a divorce is sexual immorality. In cases where the Ministry Candidate is the aggrieved spouse of adultery, there is no impediment to ordination.

While KMMG has a very strong stance against divorce for any other reason, we recognize that divorce happens. We recognizes that God has forgiveness for all and every person who comes to Him with whatever sin or failure. Ministers are human beings. They can undergo divorce that may or may not be their personal fault. However, repentance, counsel and restoration are available for all. A person who is divorced or who has been remarried can become a minister or continue within KMMG provided they submit to Restorative Counseling (should it be deemed necessary). The Presbytery of Ministers will assign a minister to conduct Restorative Counseling, which will examine the candidate’s personal life, including the circumstances of their divorce and remarriage will be examined, and counseling, re-training or other measures may (or may not) be recommended. These procedures are specifically set for each individual situation by the Presbytery of Ministers.