Specific Responsibilities of The Senior Pastors
Many aspects of the leadership of NVC are either shared by Rob and Sarah Gardiner with the Senior Leadership Team or delegated to particular ministry leaders – for example, Assistant Pastor for communications, events and Sunday ministries, home group leaders, children’s and youth work leaders. Where members of the church have queries or need help, they are encouraged in the first instance to approach the person with delegated responsibility for the specific area. Although Rob and Sarah Gardiner exercise joint overall responsibility as Senior Pastors of NVC, in practice they each focus on particular aspects of leadership in line with their experience and gifting. We hope it will be helpful to the church as a whole to know the areas for which Rob and Sarah take particular responsibility.
Leadership In The Vineyard Movement
Many different leadership models exist in the wider, global church, for example, ‘Episcopal’ where the primary responsibility for leadership and oversight in the church is vested in the Senior Pastor, ‘Congregational’ where democracy is exercised by the church members and ‘Presbyterian’ where authority is vested in a group of elders. Each model has its strengths and weaknesses. NVC is affiliated to the Association of Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland. The Vineyard Movement as a whole has adopted an ‘Episcopal’ system of government. In the Vineyard, we believe that God gives the leader the ultimate responsibility for oversight and direction of the church, for which he will be held accountable (Hebrews 13:17). Additionally, as registered charities, and in accordance with their governing documents, Vineyard Churches also have Boards of Trustees/Directors who have responsibility for ensuring that finances, buildings and employment are well managed and that legal requirements are met. Spiritual leadership is however exercised not by the Trustees/Directors, but by the Senior Pastor.
Rob and Sarah regard themselves as under the pastoral authority of the Vineyard Movement. As Area Leaders for the South Central Area, Rob and Sarah and NVC come within the South and Wales Region, comprising the South Central, South Coast, South West and Wales areas. Our regional oversight is provided by James and Jen Rankin, the Senior Pastors of the Cardiff Vineyard. Most importantly, Rob and Sarah are under the authority of Jesus Christ, who is head over all the church, the Chief Shepherd. (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Peter 5:4).
Encouraging And Challenging One Another
Members of the SLT will encourage each other in their personal, spiritual journeys. They will challenge each other – and be willing to be challenged – constructively in the context of the work of the group, aiming for the very best that can be achieved in the life of NVC, as the church’s mission is energetically pursued.
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
Within NVC, the Senior Pastors have established a Senior Leadership Team to work with them in carrying out their responsibilities for overall leadership of the church across the campuses. The current members of the SLT are: Rob and Sarah Gardiner, Senior Pastors; Jonathan Curtis; Assistant Pastor, John Neate, Leads the Building Management Team and Chairman of Mercy Central, the charity providing leadership and focus for the Mercy strategic priorities and Steve Whatley, Coaching and Hub training. If you wish to e-mail the Senior Leadership team, please click here: email@example.com
The main responsibilities of the SLT are to work with and support the Senior Pastors in the dynamic leadership and development of NVC, aimed at achieving its overall mission of ‘Multiplying Kingdom Communities’. This includes strategy, culture, planning, processes, structures and people development. The roles of the site pastors and teams continue to be to vibrantly implement the mission and strategy and outreach of NVC within their local contexts. Further information is provided below on the way in which the SLT works.
Board Of Trustees
From within Network Vineyard Church, Rob and Sarah work with a Board of Trustees, to whom they have accountability for financial, buildings, employment and legal compliance issues (making sure that the church, as a registered charity and company, are well run). The current Trustees are: Rob Gardiner, Peter Viles, Di Caddick and Marco Barros
SLT members will work with, and offer wisdom and counsel to, the Senior Pastors in overall leadership and direction of church. They are ‘for’ and supportive of the Senior Pastors and the church and will offer their wisdom, perspective, skills, expertise and experience on vision, direction and a variety of other issues. SLT members are individuals who are highly committed to Network Vineyard Church. They are not afraid to challenge, question and speak boldly and honestly in pursuit of God’s mission for the church.
From time to time, it is unfortunately necessary for every church to exercise discipline to ensure that behaviour which is contrary to expectations as followers of Jesus Christ is effectively dealt with – for the sake of the individual concerned and for the health and protection of the church. As leaders and pastors, members of the SLT, under the direction of the Senior Pastors, will oversee discipline as required. They will do this in love and with boldness.
The larger NVC becomes, the more challenging and essential good communication becomes. Members of the SLT will facilitate two-way communication within the church and will take opportunities to explain leadership decisions to other leaders and to individuals – seeking support for, and commitment to, these decisions.
As NVC continues to grow, the SLT will aim to ensure that members of the church are cared for and supported, that they have roles which play to their strengths and spiritual gifting and that they grow in depth as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Praying & Seeking God
The SLT prays and listens to God for the church, both together as a group, and as individuals. Members of the group commit to praying for the Senior Pastors, their fellow leaders, the whole church, and their own ministries. Wherever possible, the SLT will seek a common mind on issues, subject always to the Senior Pastor’s right to make decisions, having ultimate responsibility for the church.