NVC Leadership

We understand that members and potential members of Network Vineyard Church (NVC) will want to understand how it is lead. We hope that the following explanation will be helpful.


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 to 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.

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Leadership, Authority and Accountability in Network Vineyard Church

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).

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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
  • Steve Whatley Coaching and Hub training

If you wish to e-mail the Senior Leadership team, please click here: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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 Campus 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.

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Board of Trustees

From within Network Vineyard Church, Rob and Sarah work with a Board of Trustees, to which 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
  • Marco Barros

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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

Ministry/ Leadership AreaRob GardinerSarah Gardiner

Membership of SLT

Yes Yes

Development of NVC as a network of campuses


Leadership of the South Central Area

Yes Yes

Also, input to women in leadership within Area Vineyard churches.


Majority Occasional


(Including School of Supernatural Evangelism and Encounter Programme)



Healing on the Street (HOTS) for the Reading Campus. Evangelistic events for the Reading Campus are lead through Jonathan Curtis, Assistant Pastor - Communications, Events and Sunday Ministries. HOTS for the Bracknell Campus is the responsibility of the Campus Leadership Team


Staff management

The management of staff working in Mercy Central is delegated to John Neate, Chairman of Mercy Central and SLT member.


Member of Board of Trustees for NVC


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Additional responsibilities Of the Senior Leadership Team

In addition to the responsibilities of the SLT as set out above, the way in which the team operates is crucial to the health of the church. This includes:

Praying and 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 Pastors’ right to make decisions, having ultimate responsibility for the church.

Assisting the Senior Pastors with wise counsel

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.

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.

Acting as ‘Ambassadors’ and assisting communication

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.

Pastoral care

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.

Exercising church discipline

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.

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Membership of the SLT

Members of the SLT are appointed by the Senior Pastors. There are a number of key attributes required of members, including:

  • That they are committed to the extension of God’s kingdom and to NVC’s mission to ‘Multiply Kingdom Communities’
  • That they are highly trusted, committed to NVC, its Senior Pastors and its people
  • That they have functional responsibilities within NVC at a ‘leader of leaders’ level, some examples of which are a cluster leader role, or someone who has oversight of several ministries.
  • That they have the ability to think strategically – to be ‘big picture’
  • That, together with other members of the SLT, they bring a diversity of spiritual gifts, expertise and perspectives, and wisdom
  • That they show servant hearted leadership

Individuals who join Rob and Sarah Gardiner on the SLT do not have a ‘fixed term of office’. As functionality of leadership is so important, there will be some fluidity in the group – with some leaders moving on to other things and new leaders joining. An invited member of the SLT may leave by his/her own decision, at the request of the Senior Pastors or where he/she ceases to exercise functional leadership within NVC. That said, continuity of senior leadership is also important.

Membership of the SLT will be kept under review. As part of the on-going development of the team and of significant leaders of the future, SLT will include younger, upcoming leaders, as they are identified.

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Biblical Leadership

The leadership style we expect from members of the Senior Leadership Team – and all of our leaders throughout NVC – is clearly demonstrated in the Bible. Three key verses are helpful:

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.” (Matt 25:14-30)

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3)

“Your attitude should be same as that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” (Philippians 2:5-7)

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Reading Campus
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Woodley Hill House
Eastcourt Avenue
Reading, RG6 1HH

Bracknell Campus
Sunday 10:30am
The Brakenhale School
Rectory Lane
RG12 7BA