A Biblically Correct Leadership Structure

When most people think of Church leadership, they think of a pyramidical structure, with a guy at the top dictating downward. Certainly, this has been the Western (Roman Catholic & Protestant) model. But this model is not a Biblical one!

Jesus taught (Matthew 20:26; 23:11-15) “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Thus, we see that rightly ordered, The Biblically-proper ecclesiastical model for Church leadership structure is an INVERTED pyramid, with the guy ‘in charge’ recognizing themselves as the servant of all!

To paraphrase author Frederica Mathews-Green, “[Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group] is not primarily a religious institution, but a Spiritual path. The institution exists for the sake of the path. Every element you meet has the same purpose: to help you be filled more completely with the Life and Presence of Christ.”

Like Commissioned & Non-Commissioned officers on a battlefield, whose every effort is in support of the rank-&-file front line Private, the Clergy and Lay Leaders dedicate our every effort to the fulfillment of The Great Commission!  thus, we have structured the following.

ECCLESIOLOGY

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”.

KMMG recognizes that full-time ministry conducted by the Clergy is divided into a five fold Ministry; Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Pastoral, And Teaching. (Ref. Ephesians 4:11-13)

KMMG recognizes the delegated authority and structure of that Five Fold Ministry: 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 all these individuals are collectively called Ordained Ministers.

The Oversight of the Church is therefore administrated by the Protopresbyter Bishop.

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

Leadership Structure

Lay Workers

Deacons

Elders & Trustees

Exhorter (Student) Ministers

Ordained Ministers (Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers) 

The Presbytery of Ministers

The Presbyter Bishop

The Protopresbyter Bishop 

 

GENERAL LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES

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). 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.

We do not advocate nor practice strict control over our partner ministers, ministries or churches. We expect all affiliated ministers, ministries, or churches to practice sound doctrine and employ sound practices. All Partner & Member ministries are expected to give well-reasoned consideration to the guidance & recommendations of The Presbytery. The Presbytery adheres strongly to professional ministerial ethics as relating to ministers and churches. We recognize the need for autonomy of the affiliated minister, ministry, or church; however, all ministers are expected to give consideration to the affects of their actions upon the greater Church body as a whole, and are expected to serve in unity and fellowship.

 

ECCLESIASTICAL STRUCTURE – 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”!

Deacons

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.

[Protopresbyter’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, Elders & Trustees 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}.

[Protopresbyter’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 Ministers

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.

For information on how someone becomes an Exhorter Minister, see The KMMG Ordination Process below,

 

ORDAINED MINISTERS

General: About Ordained Ministers

Ordained Ministers hold the title “Reverend”, are referred to by a variety of names: Pastor, Father, Reverend-Father, Rector, Vicar & Rabbi are the most prominent. The term “Reverend” is actually an adjective, meaning “someone who is respected”, and is taken from Paul’s admonition of Romans 1:37. Which title is used depends upon denomination or the personal preference of the Ordained Minister. Regardless of the title the Ordained Minister chooses, an Ordained Minister is someone recognized as having been called by God to fulfill one of the five-fold ministry offices.

It is compulsory that all KMMG Ordained Ministers 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.

The term “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 Ordained Minister is called to “shepherd” those in their care. They are the person ultimately responsible to God for their ministry. No one should pursue the office of Ordained Minister as a mere vocation, or enter into the pastorate lightly. The Ordained Minister must be convinced that they are divinely called by God, and must be able to articulate their call to ministry to others.

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

Bishops

General: About Bishops

The Bishop is a Pastor’s Pastor. The Bishops oversee the Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group Pastors, providing advice, assistance, and counsel for their Spiritual needs.

The Presbyter Bishop manages the planning of Ministry activities, conducts and supervises Ministerial Development and Internship Programs, and other duties may be required. The Presbyter Bishop holds the title “Reverend Bishop”, and is referred to as such. In most informal circumstances, he is usually referred to simply as “Bishop”. The Presbyter Bishop is a member of all KMMG ministries and committees. He is the President of the Presbytery of Ministers, serves as Dean of Students of Kodesh Mishkan Theological Seminary, and as a Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the Emergency Services Corps. Presently, our Presbyter Bishop is The Rev. Bishop Dr. Benjamin G. Rau (PhD).

The Protopresbyter Bishop is the Spiritual head of the Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group. His role is less administrative and more as a Spiritual Senior Minister to the Bishop and Pastors. The Protopresbyter holds the title “Reverend Bishop”, and is referred to as such. In most informal circumstances, he is usually referred to simply as “Bishop”. He is the Chairman of the Presbytery of Ministers, but casts votes only in the event of a tie. The Protopresbyter serves as the de facto head of all KMMG ministries and committees. He is the Chancellor of the Kodesh Mishkan Theological Seminary, and the Emergency Services Corps Chief of Chaplains. In matters requiring the implementation of Church discipline, The Protopresbyter serves as the Binding Arbiter in disagreements within the Presbytery of Ministers or Member Organizations. Presently, our Protopresbyter Bishop is The Rev. Bishop Dr. Patrick “Mike” Quigley, Jr. (PhD).

 

THE KMMG 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.

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 The Kodesh Mishkan Theological Seminary  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. HIDING a criminal conviction, however, is grounds for immediate revocation of any credentials.) The Presbytery of Ministers will conduct an oral interview to as confirm the Candidate’s call to ministry and eligibility for office. Depending on the candidate’s level of education or previous experience, enrollment and completion of the Kodesh Mishkan Theological Seminary and a prior of ministerial internship may be required. Upon completion, the candidate will be given a comprehensive written examination based upon our teachings and Statement of Faith. Passage of the examination requires a score of 80% or higher. After passage of the examination, a Presbytery interview (or interviews) will be conducted with the applicant and their spouses. 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.

 

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.