Restoration Network International
Leadership Handbook April 2013
I. Restoration Network International (RNI)
RNI is an apostolic network of churches and ministries committed to restoring the nations by hosting God’s presence, promoting church growth and ministry development, planting new congregations and embracing cross cultural missions. RNI is a voluntary, relational network of congregations and ministries that have chosen to live in accountable relationship with one another.
The mission and purpose of RNI is to create communities of believers centered in the presence of God around the four core values of loving people for who they are, accepting people as they are, forgiving people no matter what and hosting the Lord’s presence in every large and small gathering of the church body. The goal is to honor God and honor people.
The vision is to see these communities of believers experience church like we read about in the New Testament where according to Acts 2:42 they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (sound doctrine and proper spiritual authority), fellowship (one another ministry using spiritual gifts in accountable relationships), breaking of bread (worship and lifting up Jesus as Lord) and prayer (submission to and dependence on the Holy Spirit). They also experienced miraculous signs and wonders and evangelistic growth as God added daily to their number and displayed His divine power.
The strategy for building these communities of believers is to intentionally cultivate the presence of God as the center for congregational life and action. We seek to actively facilitate loving, accepting and forgiving relationships; and to disciple believers to bring kingdom restoration to all facets of their lives, families, communities and nation.
II. Principle of Multiplication
The principle of multiplication has to do with advancing the kingdom of God. Jesus chose twelve disciples and commissioned them to go into the entire world and make disciples. Disciples making disciples is at the heart of multiplication. The fact that all living things grow and multiply indicates that multiplication is God’s idea. In fact, God’s first words to man was to be fruitful and multiply. RNI is committed to the principle of multiplication at every level.
Believers multiply believers, cell groups multiply cell groups, congregations multiply congregations and networks multiply networks. Our long-range goal is for our pastors to multiply their churches to form networks of their own.
III. Apostolic Council
The Apostolic Council is responsible for the overall vision, direction and focus of RNI as a movement. This includes vision statements, mission statements, basic values, guiding principles, goals and strategies for the movement.
A leadership team leads the Apostolic Council. The leader of the Apostolic Council serves as the RNI Apostolic Overseer.
Apostolic Council members are called by God and chosen by the Apostolic Overseer in consultation with the leadership team and existing council members. In general council members serve as senior elders of partner churches.
A group of three recognized spiritual advisors from outside the body of RNI serves as a link to the body of Christ at large. This group, individually or as a whole shall, provide advice, counsel and accountability to the Apostolic Overseer. In cases of moral failure, irreconcilable disputes, disorderly conduct, apostasy, or other fault on the part of the Apostolic Overseer, two or more of the RNI spiritual advisors will function as a team working closely with the Apostolic Council in resolving the matter.
The Apostolic Overseer will be accountable to the other members of the Apostolic Council and the recognized spiritual advisors from outside the RNI network. These spiritual advisors will not give oversight or exercise authority in regards to the vision, but will be available for accountability and in the case of moral failure or conflict. The Apostolic Council will be accountable to the Apostolic Overseer.
Ministry of the Apostolic Council
-Be responsible to the Lord to encourage and resource member churches and ministries to fulfill their purpose.
-Discern and pray about any changes in the basic vision, direction, values, guiding principles, goals and strategies the Lord has called us to follow as a movement.
-Lead by example.
-Facilitate training and mentoring of leaders.
-Facilitate the appointment and transition of Restoration pastors.
-Provide spiritual protection for member churches and ministries.
-Oversee commissioning, licensing and ordination process for pastoral elders.
-Direct and facilitate the faith promise missions program for the network.
-Oversee Restoration Leadership Training.
-Establish and oversee the multiplication of networks.
-Initiate and plan yearly leadership training events and gatherings.
IV. Financial Advisory Council
The Financial Advisory Council is made up of selected representatives of partner churches for the purpose of overseeing the financial matters of RNI. As a general policy, members of this group will be those that serve as chairpersons or members of the local financial advisory councils of the partner churches. The Apostolic Overseer serves as the convener of the council. Duties of the council include:
- Oversee the legal and financial policies of RNI and its operations according to its vision and purpose.
- Recommend salary guidelines for RNI administrative staff and for the partner churches in the RNI network.
- Review and approve the RNI annual budget.
- Oversee the management of all real estate, bank accounts, investments, government relations, taxes, and all other matters as required.
V. RNI Partner Churches
A RNI partner church consists of one or more clusters of cell groups that receive leadership from a pastor/elder and leadership team. The senior pastor/elder and leadership team must share the same values, mission, vision, goals, and strategy as the Apostolic Council.
Strategies of cultivating the presence of God and developing a disciple making community of believers centered on the core values of love, acceptance and forgiveness leading to the restoration of individuals, families, congregations and communities according to the purposes of God are encouraged.
All members in a partner church are expected to be participants in congregational life, recognize the oversight of the local senior pastor/elder and leadership team of the partner church. Each partner church is to keep an updated list or directory of the names, addresses, phone numbers and other information such as birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms and membership dates of every person involved in the life of the church.
The cell group is made up of a small group of people who meet regularly for edification and evangelism. It is where members experience basic Christian community. The cell group is given leadership by a cell group leader with assistant leaders as needed and is accountable to the elders of the church.
A multiplication cell is focused on people being won to Christ, consolidated into the body, discipled to become leaders and sent out to form and lead new cell groups. The cell leader functions as a mentor in spiritual and well as practical matters of life for their cell members.
A leadership cell consists of cell group leaders that meet together for on-going resourcing, encouragement and motivation in their leadership ministry.
Ministry of the Cell Group Leader
Cell group leaders are to be committed to Jesus Christ and to the vision and strategy of the church. They are responsible as servant-leaders to the believers in their cell group, setting the example in prayer, evangelism and discipleship. In addition to the cell group they lead they must participate in a leadership cell for encouragement and accountability.
Ministry of the Senior Pastor / Elder
The senior pastor/elder has the responsibility to oversee the governing of the local church. Along with the leadership team he is responsible for direction, protection and correction in the local church. He is personally accountable to the Apostolic Council that provides spiritual oversight. He is responsible to interpret the mission, vision, goals, and strategy of RNI to the local body.
Ministry of the Leadership Team / Local Elders
The leadership team is responsible to help govern the church along with the senior pastor/elder. The team supports the senior pastor/elder by giving council and input and helping to give direction, protection, and correction to the local body. They are accountable to the senior pastor/elder. In the event of a problem or a concern about the senior pastor/elder, the leadership team has a court of appeal with the Apostolic Council according to the principle outlined in Matthew 18.
In the case of a church plant or small congregation, the leadership team shall be designated as a leadership team. They shall fulfill the pastoral duties required for the congregation to grow and be cared for. At the point that a congregation is ready to add a second pastor to the church staff, the Senior Pastor and associate can be designated as Elders of the local congregation. Additional elders can be added as the congregation grows and requires additional pastoral leadership.
Local Decision Making
With guidance from the Apostolic Council, decisions regarding major changes in structure and policies will be made by the senior pastor/elder and the local leadership team with input and general affirmation of the cell group leaders and the local church. In the event of unresolved conflict between the senior pastor/elder and other members of the leadership team, the Apostolic Overseer or other members of the Apostolic Council may serve as an outside mediator to bring resolution. The Apostolic Overseer or other members of the Apostolic Council are available to assist with the discipline of a leader due to moral failure, irreconcilable disputes, disorderly conduct, or other faults.
Name of the Church
The recognized name of the movement is Restoration Network International. Local churches may use the Restoration name using the name of the city or area where the church is located. If another name is used some indication of affiliation with Restoration Network International should be included in congregational materials and/or publications.
Tithes and Offerings
A tithe is a tenth of one’s income for the support of the church. The tithe is a type of first fruits, given before any other designated gifts or offerings. The tithe in the New Testament is a biblical principle and is a heart issue of honor and trust rather than law.
Members of RNI churches give tithes and offerings to support the mission, vision, goals and strategy of their local church. In the same way partner churches give tithes (a tenth of the tithes and undesignated offerings) and offerings to support the mission, vision, goals, and strategy of RNI.
We believe in giving tithes and offerings to honor and provide for those who give us spiritual oversight as we labor together in relationship with one another. Senior elders of local churches tithe to the Apostolic Council who gives them oversight and give offerings to their local congregation.
As church members tithe and give offerings to the local church, finances are released to honor and support the mission of the local church. As the senior elders and local churches tithe and give offerings to their apostolic oversight, finances are released to honor and support the mission of the Restoration network.
We see in the scripture that God appoints leadership over various spheres in His Kingdom. God uses these leaders to make decisions that affect those whom they serve. These leaders are called by God to lead through servanthood. A husband is appointed by God to be the head of his household and along with his wife provide leadership for the family. He is called to lay down his life for his wife and children.
In the church, God is raising up leadership and apostolic teams who will pray and work together. As these teams walk together in unity and listen to the wisdom of God that comes from those whom they serve, clear direction should be discerned. The principle of headship functions within the team setting.
If the senior leader is appropriately attached to the leadership team through relationships built on trust, servanthood, prayer and proper communication and the leadership team properly supports and affirms the senior leader, the oil of the Holy Spirit will run down from the head to the shoulders to the body. As these servant leaders dwell together in the unity of Christ, God will command a blessing as indicated in Psalm 133
Levels of Leadership Recognition
Commissioning – RNI congregations value the principle that all believers are called to participatory ministry. RNI congregations commission all manner of congregational participants to ministry leadership activities including worship leaders, evangelists, cell or small group leaders, inner healing ministers, intercessors, prayer leaders, ETC. Commissioning shall be performed by the senior pastor or designated staff pastor of each local congregation.
Licensing – RNI licenses pastoral elders for ministry activities, giving them the authority to perform marriages, funerals, visit the sick and initiate other traditional pastoral functions in the name of Jesus Christ and on behalf of the local congregation of believers. Licensure shall be for a period of three to five years leading to ordination or may be extended upon request of the pastor in question. Licensure may be allowed to lapse if the pastor in question decides not to pursue congregational leadership. RNI apostolic council shall interview and affirm all pastoral candidates for licensure. The licensure of congregational pastors is gender inclusive.
Ordination – RNI ordains pastors after they have been licensed as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of congregational leadership or kingdom advancement. Ordination is a lifetime designation and will occur after a testing period of three to five years. Ordination is a recognition of calling and authority from God for leadership and governance of the body of Christ and will remain active in all future ministry assignments whether inside or outside of RNI. It is also recognition of ministry anointing already operating through an individual rather than granting permission for further ministry. Ordination shall be at the initiative of the Apostolic Overseer or another member of the Apostolic Council.
Selecting a New Senior Pastor / Elder:
In the event of the retirement, death or resignation of the senior pastor/elder of an RNI congregation, the Apostolic Overseer shall work with the local congregational elders or leadership team to fill this position to the satisfaction of the local leadership and the congregation. Persons within the local congregation with adequate leadership and pastoral calling and skills shall be considered for vacant leadership position first, other persons within the RNI network of churches shall be considered next and if no suitable pastoral candidate is found, the Apostolic Overseer in cooperation with the local elders/ leaders shall initiate a pastoral search for suitable persons to fill the vacant position outside of the network. A clear affirmation of the proposed senior leader from the local leadership team, local congregation, and the Apostolic Council shall be discerned before proceeding with the installation of the new senior pastor.
The Senior Pastor is appointed by the RNI apostolic council in cooperation with the local pastoral elders and the congregation. In situations of senior leadership change, names for a replacement shall be gathered from the local pastoral elders, the Apostolic Council or the congregation. The Apostolic Council shall settle on one person for consideration. The Apostolic Council shall recommend this person to the local pastoral elders for consideration. When the Apostolic council and the local pastoral elders are in agreement, this person shall be approached as to their availability for assignment.
If they decline, another person shall be considered until a suitable replacement is found. As part of this process, the Apostolic Council shall look into the background of the candidate for the senior pastor position to uncover any authority issues, moral issues, doctrinal differences or character flaws that may hinder the working relationship needed with the Apostolic Council or with the current local pastoral elders. The Apostolic Council shall also interview this person’s spouse to discern their level of support and commitment for this assignment. If they accept, this person shall be presented to the congregation for consideration.
The Apostolic Overseer shall conduct this meeting and discern the spirit of the congregation’s response to the person being considered in a congregational meeting called for this purpose. Significant resistance by the congregation shall be noted and considered in the final placement of a new senior pastor. If a significant majority are in agreement, the new senior pastor shall be appointed and installed by the apostolic overseer.
Credentials of all network pastors shall be held by the RNI apostolic council. Senior Pastors shall be licensed and ordained to ministry by the Apostolic overseer upon approval of the Apostolic Council. The ordination of senior pastors shall extend to their licensed spouses, however upon the death, removal or resignation of the senior pastor, the spouse can be released from the ordination in consultation with the apostolic council. If new pastors are already ordained, no new ordination shall be necessary.
These credentials shall be recognized on approval of the apostolic council. If a pastor is appointed to a pastoral or church planting position and has never been credentialed, the apostolic overseer shall license the pastor to ministry. After a testing period of three to five years, the pastor will be considered for lifetime ordination at the initiation of the apostolic council.
Responsibilities of the Senior Pastor / Elder
The Senior Pastor / Elder of an RNI local congregation is the final congregational authority in matters of congregational vision, ministry, life, budget and practice. The Senior Pastor / Elder is directly accountable to the RNI apostolic council and the apostolic overseer. For small congregations, the Senior Pastor / Elder shall raise up a leadership team or core group to help with the work of the ministry. For larger congregations, the Senior Pastor / Elder shall appoint local pastoral elders as needed to help with the local congregational ministry.
The transition from a leadership team to an eldership should begin when the congregation is ready to hire additional pastoral help. These persons may be either men or women and should be considered on the basis of calling, gifting, ministry involvement and servant attitude. These persons serve as staff pastors in specific ministry areas as needed and as finances permit. This group comprises the local congregational eldership. Their authority is delegated from the Senior Pastor. These persons shall be considered for licensing and eventual ordination by the apostolic council with the same three to five year testing period as outlined earlier. These persons tithe to their local congregation.
A ministry council may be formed with other leaders from the congregation such as cell or small group leaders, worship leaders, children’s leaders, youth leaders, etc. for testing direction, ministry equipping, encouragement, etc. For decisions that affect the total congregation in a significant way, a congregational meeting can be held to gain the in-put and discernment of the total local body. No votes will be taken but it is the responsibility of the senior pastor and pastoral elders to hear the heart and mind of the people and discern direction and make decisions accordingly.
The Senior Pastor / Elder of an RNI congregation is a member of the RNI Apostolic Council. The senior pastor will participate in all meetings, retreats, and gatherings and will be expected to uphold the convictions, values and standards of RNI congregations. The senior pastor will tithe one’s income from both congregational and non-congregational sources to the Apostolic council as an acknowledgement of spiritual authority and oversight provided by RNI.
The Role of the Senior Pastor / Elder
The Senior Pastor / Elder is the visionary leader of the church and the president of the Corporation.
The dual role
Because Restoration has two complementary branches-the spiritual body of believers and the legal corporation-it is the Senior Pastor / Elder who administratively bridges the gap between the two branches. This dual role can sometimes be awkward: The Senior Pastor / Elder is primarily responsible for the spiritual life of the church, therefore, he must be in a position corporately to ensure that financial strength is directed toward the ministries of the congregation that the vision necessitates.
Responsibilities of the Senior Pastor / Elder (Spiritual Head)
- -To provide biblical vision and direction for the congregation.
- -Define and communicate the church’s purpose.
- -Oversee and coordinate the day-to- day ministry of the congregation and administration of the church.
- -Relate to the Restoration Apostolic Council.
- -Recognize and raise up other elders keeping in mind the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching ministries needed to form a biblical and health body of believers.
- -Serve as Chairman of the Board of Elders.
- -Staff the church as He deems necessary to help administrate the affairs of the corporation.
- -Select and appoint Corporate Directors to help oversee the business of the Corporation.
- -Serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The Senior Pastor / Elder’s spiritual leadership
The Senior Pastor / Elder may work with the Apostolic Council, other elders, cell leaders, or anyone serving in the functions or offices outlined in Ephesians 4:11-13 in whatever way is determined to biblically serve the spiritual needs of the congregation. Additionally, the Senior Elder may budget monies, hire staff, develop projects, create cell groups, programs or other ministries according to personal conviction and biblical understanding. He shall have the authority to appoint and approve any assistants necessary to properly carry on the work of the church.
The Senior Pastor / Elder’s responsibility for services
Times, the order of service, and the leadership of services are to be determined by the Senior Elder. No person shall be invited to speak, teach or minister at a service held in church-owned facilities, or in the name of the church without the approval of the Senior Elder or the appropriate member of the established ministry team.
Responsibilities of the Senior Pastor / Elder (Corporate Head)
The corporation finds its leadership under the Lord Jesus Christ and in its president. The Senior Pastor / Elder shall serve as president and chief executive officer of the Corporation. If possible, he shall preside at all meeting of the Board of Directors and shall see that all orders and resolutions are put into effect. He shall execute in the name of the Corporation all deeds, bonds, mortgages, contracts and other documents authorized by the Board of Directors. He shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees and shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management usually vested in the office of the president of a corporation.
The Presidents Role with the Board of Directors
The president is the chairperson of the Board of Directors. He calls the meetings and determines agenda in consultation with the Directors. The president shall make selection to the Board of Directors from the church membership at a rate not to exceed one new appointment every 6 months. The president may also dismiss Board members but at a rate that does not exceed one every 6 months.
The Presidents Administrative Role
The president is the senior administrator of the church. He is ultimately responsible for all the day-to-day administrative decisions of the church.
The Presidents Role with Staff
The president hires, directs and dismisses staff. As the Senior Pastor / Elder, his call is confirmed to the church through the Apostolic Council and the discernment of the congregation, and those hired by him are to assist him in fulfilling this calling.
The Presidents Role in Establishing Salaries
The president determines all salaries and writes pay scales for full-time salaried employees. Pay scales shall be explained to new full-time salaried employees. Changes in pay scales will be given in writing to the affected employees. If a severance-pay agreement is established, that too must be given to the employee in writing. In addition, all part-time salaries and hourly wages are variable and are to be determined between the president and the employee.
Leadership teams should strive to discern the heart and mind of the Lord through prayer and consensus whenever possible. However, there may be times when a consensus cannot be reached. In that case the team is not bound by a need for unanimous decisions. The entire team clearly recognizes the senior pastor/elder as the head and after prayer and discussion, if the team cannot come to complete agreement the senior pastor/elder makes the decision. The senior pastor/elder is responsible to discern what the Lord is saying through the team who serves with him. The senior pastor/elder has final authority, but not absolute authority in matters of congregational life and ministry.
The senior pastor/elder and leadership team make final decisions affecting the local church, however the wisdom of God is often manifested through God’s people in the congregation. Church leaders should draw from this wisdom before making decisions. This may be done through formal or informal means. These leadership principles apply to all spheres of church leadership including the Apostolic Council, local leadership teams, cell group and other ministry leaders.
A process of testing vision, or ministry initiatives can be employed to discern the mind of the Lord in matters of congregational life. Vision or direction is tested as the eldership or leadership team level. If agreement is not reached, the matter does not move forward. If agreement is reached, the decision in question is brought before the ministry council or a group of congregational leaders who are active in the ministry of the congregation.
If agreement is not reached, the matter does not move forward. If agreement is reached, the matter may be brought before the congregation for discernment. No votes shall be taken but leadership shall conduct this meeting by explaining the proposed direction and listening for response. Significant dissent shall be noted and congregational leadership will then meet to discern direction and make the final decision.
In summary, to ensure that things run smoothly the senior pastor shall make decisions concerning daily congregational life with the elders or leadership team serving as advisors as needed. Items that affect the entire congregation such as property sales, pastoral changes, or building initiatives shall be brought before the congregation for discernment.
There are three kinds of giving that the Bible seems to recognize for the financial support of financing of the ministry. The first is the tithe. The tithe represents the giving of 10% of ones income to the local church. Everyone in the church is encouraged to tithe in obedience to the principle of tithing taught in the Bible.
Offerings are the second kind of giving. Offerings are above and beyond the tithe and are optional. The giving of offerings is in response to the prompting of the Lord to give to projects beyond the local ministry. As a general rule offering are used to finance the building of facilities and to support missions.
The third kind of giving is alms. Alms are spontaneous or planned acts of righteousness in response to the needs of the poor. Alms may be given directly to the needy person or anonymously through the church. If done through the church persons may suggest the need the gift is to be passed on to without disclosing their name.
Evangelism and missions is at the heart of what RNI is about. All partner churches are expected to support the Faith Promise mission’s budget through faith promise giving. In September each church is to hold a Fall Harvest Festival or designated missions Sunday. During this service, each congregation receives a faith promise offering. Every member is encouraged to ask the Lord what amount of money He desires to release through them throughout the year for world-wide missions.
These amounts are written on a card and turned in as a faith promise offering. The total amount becomes the mission’s goal for each church and the total of all the churches becomes the RNI mission’s budget for the year. A guest speaker may be invited in to speak on missions. The Faith Promise concept should be explained so that everyone has an understanding of how it works and how they can be involved.
Receiving The Faith Promise Offering
On the Faith Promise missions Sunday, faith promise cards are handed out and everyone present is given the opportunity to fill out a card. The cards are collected and totaled. The cards are then sent back to the participants with a letter thanking them for their participation. No record is kept of the individual card total. This is a commitment made between the participating individual and God. The total amount pledged is announced to the church at the next weekly service. The total of the offering is also reported to the central office to be added to the amounts from the other partner churches.
Faith Promise Funds Allocation
Faith promise funds will be allocated by the Apostolic Council according to the following priorities:
-Full Time Indigenous Church Planters/ Pastors (Restoration Network)
-Full Time Cross Culture (American) Missionaries (Members sent from Restoration partner congregations)
-Full Time/ Part-time Missionaries under other Missionary Agency leadership (non- Restoration)
Faith promise funds shall be divided between the Apostolic Council and the local congregation with 50% going to RNI missionary partner congregations and networks and 50% remaining with each local congregation to be distributed at the discretion of the local leadership or missions task force.
Guidelines for Discipline
In looking at the types of discipline mentioned in the scripture, there seems to be two general distinctions:
Positive discipline can be defined as the shaping of our hearts and lives through correction, warning, reproof, rebuking, teaching, training in righteousness, prayer, personal ministry, deliverance, relational
accountability, friendship and discipleship.
Negative discipline can be defined as the shaping of our hearts and lives through direct application of governmental authority and consequences. This may result in public rebuke, direct actions of a corporate accountability, and loss of position or loss of fellowship with the church.
Reasons for Discipline
Church members or pastoral leaders may need corrective discipline for any number of reasons. When a member enters into sin in a way that threatens his own spiritual life and those around him, he and the church must be protected. Some areas that may require decisive discipline are:
- -Unresolved offenses between members
- -Moral impurity
- -Active aggressive divisiveness
In carrying out disciplinary action the general attitude on all sides must be aimed at restoration of the fallen member, purification of the church and in the end glorifying and honoring God.
Process for Discipline of a Pastoral Leader
The Apostolic Overseer is made aware of a matter meriting disciplinary action. This may occur through personal confession on the part of the leader in question or may come through the elders / leadership team of the local congregation. If the elders or leadership team of the local congregation in question is not aware of the matter at hand, they shall be informed at this time.
The Apostolic Oversee shall seek to verify the truthfulness of the matter at hand. The goal is to find the truth rather than suspicions, emotions, or accusations.
The Apostolic Overseer in consultation with the Apostolic Council shall make a judgment as to the severity of the offense, the contrition of the leader in question and the damage done to the local congregation. The goal is to deal redemptively with the leader in question and to bring restoration to all parties involved.
If discipline is required in the eyes of the Apostolic Overseer and Apostolic Council, a strategy for discipline will be laid out.
Disciplinary actions that could be taken:
- -Increased commitment to building relationships
- -Specific period of prayer and fasting
- -Personal ministry, inner healing, deliverance
- -Teaching and personal study of the word in the areas in:
- -Counseling (personal, marriage, family, etc.)
- -Conflict mediation
- -Public disclosure of offenses
- -Confrontation or rebuke (private or public)
- -Removal from ministry responsibilities for a set period of time
- -Removal from contact with the congregation for a set period of time
- -Involvement of and cooperation with public authorities
- -Outside medical evaluation or help
- -Dismissal from pastoral ministry
- -Dismissal from Restoration International Network
If the pastor in question is removed from active ministry for a season, a congregation meeting conducted by the Apostolic Overseer or his representative will be held. At this time the congregation will have opportunity to affirm the leader in question. A vote may be taken with 75% of the membership affirming continued ministry needed to reinstate the pastor. In the event that the congregation does not feel that the pastor in question should continue, the steps outlined in the above section titled, “Selecting a New Senior Pastor” shall be followed.
In the event that the pastor in question chooses to break relationship with the Apostolic Overseer and Apostolic Council, the disciplinary process will be deemed ended. In the event that the pastor in question chooses to remove the congregation in question from Restoration Network International, the process detailed in the section titled, “Withdrawal or Dismissal” shall be followed.
Adoption of an Existing Church
Steps to becoming a Partner Church
1. The senior pastor/elder reads through the Restoration foundational materials outlining the basic values and vision of RNI.
2. Read, understand and agree with the RNI leadership handbook.
3. Take time to fast, pray and receive the Lord’s confirmation.
4. Apostolic Overseer visits the church to begin the develop relationships with the senior pastor/elder, other leadership persons and the congregation.
5. Begin an engagement period of at least one year.
6. Develop relationship with the Apostolic Overseer and Apostolic Council members and attend RNI events.
7. Tithing begins by the senior elder at the beginning of the engagement period.
8. After the engagement period of one year there must be complete agreement between the Apostolic Council and the potential partner church leadership team before a commitment is made.
9. Public service of recognition and reception into the RNI network.
Withdrawal or Dismissal
In the event of a Partner church desiring to withdraw from the RNI family of churches or if the Apostolic Council recommends dismissal of a partner church the following steps shall be taken:
1. Senior pastor/elder shall meet with the Apostolic Council to discuss the reasons for such a consideration.
2. The Apostolic Overseer shall meet with the senior pastor/elder and the local leadership team, cell group leaders and/or congregation for further clarification and discernment.
3. Effort shall be made to restore any broken relationships, resolve offenses and come to a unity of vision with the intention of restoring relationship between RNI and the local congregation.
4. The senior pastor/elder and their local congregation shall be in agreement in desiring to withdraw from RNI. In the event of disunity on the part of the senior/elder, local elders or the congregation, withdrawal shall proceed on the basis of a congregational vote with 75% needed continue with the withdrawal process.
5. In the event that the senior leader wishes to leave RNI but the congregation desires continued relationship having not achieved the 75% threshold, the senior leader shall leave and the process of selecting a new senior pastor will begin.
6. A public decommissioning may be held at which time opportunity for mutual affirmation and blessing can be shared in a spirit of love.
Upon official separation, the congregation will release RNI from any responsibility for spiritual oversight and RNI will release the congregation from any financial obligations. It is encouraged that faith promise commitments be honored through the conclusion of the yearly missions budget ending in September.
Restoration Ministries Network
(RMN) Restoration ministries network is a network of like-minded ministries functioning in accountability to the Apostolic Council of Restoration Network International. These ministries serve to equip, strengthen, disciple and minister to the broader body of Christ. These ministries are independent of RNI but submit to relational accountability, financial oversight and ministry integrity facilitated by the Apostolic Council of RNI in general and the Apostolic Overseer of RNI in particular.
Qualifications for Involvement
Ministries seeking formal relationship with Restoration Ministries Network shall:
- -Exhibit a sense of calling to the broader body of Christ and be involved in equipping, strengthening discipling, or ministering to congregations or individuals, and furthering the cause of Christ in their given spheres of influence.
- -Have some form of ministry organization that is recognized beyond the individual leader of the ministry.
- -Submit a yearly financial statement of income, expenses and disbursements.
- -Tithe the personal income of the senior ministry leader and spouse.
- -Enter into an accountable relationship with the Apostolic Overseer and the Apostolic Council.
- -Agree with the overall vision, direction, policies and values of Restoration Network International. Benefits of Involvement.
Benefits of Involvement
Benefits of RMI include encouragement, discernment, and prayer support of the RNI Apostolic Council and endorsement of ministry in RNI congregations. RMI shall also provide ministry oversight and accountability.
RMI ministers will also be Invited to the three primary meetings of the RNI network leaders:
-Fall leadership training / equipping event
-Spring senior leadership couples retreat
-Summer pastors and family retreat
Credentials of RNM ministers will be held and recognized by Restoration Network International.
Procedure for Involvement
- 1. Establish relationship with RNI through the Apostolic Overseer or one of the other members of the Apostolic Council.
- 2. Take dedicated time to pray, fast and seek the Lord as to whether He would have you establish this ministry relationship at this time.
- 3. Read through the RNI handbook and values statement to discern like-mindedness.
- 4. Formally request relationship with RMN via letter, email or verbally to the Apostolic Overseer or one of the members of the Apostolic Council.
- 5. Complete a one-year engagement period during which time either the ministry in question or the RNI Apostolic Council can discontinue the formal relationship as discerned by either party.
- 6. Begin to tithe the senior leader and spouse’s personal income at the beginning of this engagement period.
- 7. At the end of the engagement period, a formal installation of the ministry in question will take place in one of the RNI congregations and the ministry will be recognized as part of RMN.
- 8. Include the relationship with RMN in appropriate ministry publications and literature.
Items of Note:
- -The member ministries of RMN will not be members of the RNI Apostolic Council and will not participate in Apostolic Council meetings pertaining to the issues and workings of member RNI congregations.
- -The member ministries of RMN will participate in any discussions pertaining to changes in RMN.
- -One distinction between RNI congregations and RMN ministries is that the congregations of RNI receive tithes of congregational members and RMN ministries do not. At any point that an RMN ministry begins to receive tithes, the status of that ministry will transfer from RMN to RNI as a partner congregation and will be expected to submit to the RNI guidelines.