Organic & Organized
Jesus used the metaphor of a “vine and branches” to describe His relationship to His followers (John 15). With any healthy vine that produces grapes, there is actually a physical framework, a structure, used for the branches to hang on that then helps them produce fruit.
Like fruit, the church is an organic entity and is described in the Scriptures as a body. As with any living “organism," the church needs to be “organized.” Our own bodies are organic, but have organized systems that all work together so that we can grow and thrive.
From the very birth of the church over 2,000 years ago, there were leadership and organizational structures in place so that the church body remained healthy. Key leaders called "apostles" would appoint several specific leaders for each church of 30-60 people. This intentional organization was essential for the church, and still is today.
Biblical & Contextual
As much as possible, Vintage Faith wants to break down non-biblical barriers in regards to leadership and focus on what the Scriptures say (or sometimes don’t say) about the goals of church leadership. We are a growing church (much larger than a single house church) and so our leadership structure is designed to match the complexities of a larger faith community and reflect the specific context and mission we have, all while remaining faithful to what the Bible teaches regarding leadership in the church.
Pastoring happens through many people in the church
As the early church grew beyond house churches and developed into larger communities that met in formal buildings, leadership shifted from being holistic to being something “paid professionals” do. Today, when we hear the word “pastor,” we think of someone with formal seminary training who works “at” the church. This contemporary understanding of the title “pastor” has strayed away from the original intentions of the gift of “pastoring,” which literally means “to shepherd,” meaning you have the ability to “nurture, care for and guide people toward ongoing spiritual maturity.”
This growing discrepancy between the original and the contemporary understanding of the term pastor caused a dichotomy between the “pastors” and the people of the church. The pastors ended up being expected to do everything and the people began seeing themselves more as spectators than active participants in the mission – thus the concept of “organized religion” in the church developed.
Our heart at Vintage Faith is to identify and develop those with the pastoral gift and allow them to build into the community around them, which means that we have leaders in our community (both paid and non-paid) who serve as "pastors."
Everyone is encouraged to serve in ministry, not just the staff
Our leadership philosophy is rooted in Ephesians 4:11-12
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up."
This passage shows that leadership distinctions were needed and that leaders were appointed for the purpose of establishing a healthy church.
In order to see the truth of the passage lived out, our staffs primary responsibility is not simply doing the ministry themselves, but rather on “equipping His people for works of service.” This practically means that most staff members will spend a majority of their time finding, equipping, training and encouraging leaders to serve as Ministry Team and Community Group leaders. Those leaders then build into their teams, and seek out and train new leaders among them.