Understanding the Boundaries of Your Authority Saves on Conflict

What is Metron?Metron

So often the conflicts we find in leadership have to do with people not understanding the limits of their responsibility or authority. Prevent some conflict by taking some precautions…

Someone accused Paul of overstepping his authority.  His response?  We stayed within our boundaries. 

Read his statement below. The highlighted words translated from the Greek word metron:

We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us–a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. - II Corinthians 10:13-16 (NKJV)

metron: measure, limited portion, degree (especially that which is measured by a vessel)

Paul’s implied principle of authority?

  • First, God had given him a metron, or measure (sphere) of authority, and he understood exactly what that area was.
  • Second, it was right to take responsibility within the metron God had given.
  • And third, it was wrong to take responsibility within someone else’s metron.

Application?

God has given everyone “the measure [metron] of faith” (Romans 12:3). Christ holds us responsible to take authority within our metrons, but not outside those boundaries.

  • First, understand what metron God’s given me.

What are my areas of responsibility/authority at home, work, ministry, and personal life?  Do I clearly understand my responsibilities and walk in the authority given me in those areas?  If I’m a parent, for example, do I understand the appropriate authority God’s given me in my child’s life, and what areas He’s given to my child to handle?

If I’m head of the small groups ministry, and one group leader is cancelling their group most weeks, I can’t just “let it go.” I need to take responsibility to handle the situation (appropriately with His love, truth, and direction of course).

  • Lastly, don’t take responsibility/authority in someone else’s metron.

Not only do I understand my own metron, but I also know and respect that of others.  If I’m organizer for a conference, and I’ve delegated to Sally the responsibility of meal planning,  I can’t discuss the chosen menu with someone else and change it myself.  I’ve just violated Sally’s metron.  Needless to say, I should only delegate responsibility/authority to  someone I trust, and/or spell out specific expectations and boundaries before hand.

Bottom line:

For more on metron and authority, see:

Keith’s book, Healthy Leaders

Keith’s MP3 series, Healthy Leadership (metron explained in session #4)

 I Corinthians 10:8-18; Romans 12:3; Ephesians 4:13-16

- Patricia Tillman

How does Giving Up “Self” Empower “Self”?

Christ-Centered Leadership Brings New Meaning to “Self”

Christ-Centered Leaders Stance Toward Christ

Christ-Centered Leaders Stance Toward Christ

“I can be myself,” my friend said. “Before, I didn’t know how to act, or how to fit in.” Then she smiled, “I still don’t really fit in, but it doesn’t matter. God showed me how to just be myself and trust Him with that.”

My friend shared this in our discussion about how Christ has changed our leadership through the practice of Presence-Based Leadership (PBL). I also experienced the same transformation.

The Lord teaches us to anchor our leadership in His presence. We’re learning to listen to Christ’s wisdom, moment-by-moment, in every situation, rather than relying on our own knowledge, experience or skills. When Jesus said, “I am there in the midst of them,” He didn’t mean only during devotion time. He meant when “two or three” are gathered together, making decisions.(Matthew 18:19-20)

At first, we may assume that “self”  has no part of Christ-centered leadership. We should think “less about me” and “more about Him”; and that’s true! It all begins with surrendering our “self” to Christ.

At the same time, God stamped an individual identity within each of us. We have a “self” that came from God. But fear and shame can cause us to build walls to protect our truest identity. Instead of shining the personality God designed in us, we wear masks. We behave according to how we think people may react, rather than from our true “self.”

Presence-Based Leadership is about taking off the mask, trusting in Christ’s protection. We surrender our “self” to Jesus. We need to let Him tear down the walls so His Spirit can flow to the deepest part of our souls. In that place He resurrects our unique “self,” now infused with the power of His invigorating love. Surrendered to Christ’s presence we lead with solid confidence that’s rooted in Him.

Lord Jesus, I praise You as Head of the Church, Lord who sticks closer than a brother. You see the mask I wear more clearly than I do. Take it, Jesus. I give up my own will, agenda, reputation, fears and shame. Take it, Lord. Tear down the walls. I expose myself fully to You, Lord. Have Your way. Forgive me, cleanse, heal, resurrect. I lead in the full confidence that comes from communion with You.

 Psalm 51:6; Proverbs 18:24; John 3:30; John 15:1-8, 15; John 18:20; Romans 6:5-8; Romans 8:1-11; James 1:22-26; I John 4:18

To print out Presence-Based Leadership bookmarks (as shown above), go to the “Free Bookmarks” page on our website!

Presence Based LeadershipLook for Keith Yoder’s Mastering the Art of Presence-Based Leadership book, to be released 2015!

- Patricia Tillman

Lead as “One in Jesus and the Father” Scrip Pic

One in Us

“I do not pray for these alone,
but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
 that they all may be one,
as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me.
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them,
that they may be one just as We are one:
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one,
and that the world may know that You have sent Me,
and have loved them as You have loved Me.
- John 17:20-23

Scrip Pic by Teaching the Word Ministries, Picture from Microsoft.

Leader’s Conflict Led to Breakthrough of Understanding

Leaders Leave the Legacy of Knowing the Trinity…

Truth and AuthorityOur church leaders navigated a beautiful journey, back in the 200’s to 400’s AD, as they developed the understanding of the Trinity, our Three-in-One-God.

As with any worthy process, though, it also caused pain and conflict, so much that the Church almost split over it.

Sometimes their questions are hard to comprehend for us Third-Millennial Christians, since we have the heritage of a Trinity doctrine that’s over a thousand years old, but they sounded something like this:

How could Jesus be God when we’re supposed to have only one God, Yahweh? (And don’t even try to deal with the Holy Spirit at this point!)

Is Jesus made only of flesh (docetism)? Or iHe made only of Spirit (gnosticism)?creation

If Christ is the “Logos,” which is “Truth” beyond the cosmos, then how could He also be contained within a decaying creation, which is full of death and therefore can’t be “Truth”?

And furthermore, how can Jesus be “Truth?” If “Truth” were pure, unadulterated consciousness, then how could Truth also be a human person made of flesh that decays?

To shorten the centuries-long story of a very complex problem, the breakthrough came with this train:

  1. The substance of God exists as relationshipHe doesn’t just “posses” the characteristic of being relational; His substance is communion. In other words, God is love, existing in communion. This would explain why He must be a Three-in-One God, because, existing as eternal communion, there must also exist other beings to which He can commune. He finds these other Persons within Himself, always relating.
  2. God’s existence as Communion explains why He created creation. We are the “will of His Love.”
  3. Since we are the will of “Truth-Love,” then the “truth” of creation (decaying though it may be) is in that we’re dependant upon God’s communion, i.e., we exist because of His love. If He stopped love, then nothing would exist.
  4. “Truth” and “communion” then, are the same thing, i.e., Truth and Love are the same thing.
  5. This is how Christ can exists as both man and God. He is God-Truth as Love willed toward creation, the Son of Man fully dependent on Father God.

Got that?

God is communion (or Love); We participate in His Communion (Love).*

We know, however, that sin separated us from His communing presence. Anything that’s outside of the Trinity’s presence (sin) can’t exist in our relationship with God, since we’re dependent on Him, not the other way around.worshipping God

That’s why Christ came as both God and man. With His sacrifice of unstained flesh, He invites us to once again participate in communion between Father and Son expressed in the Holy Spirit.

So, how does this apply to real life?

  • The more we “abide in The Vine” the more we participate in communion with the Trinity.
  • The more we participate in the circle of Trinity communion, the less we conform to our sinful ways that stay outside of His circle.
  • This is how to overcome sin: spend more time in the circle of Trinity fellowship (soaking in Love). Since sin can’t exist in that place of communion, God will deal with it as we allow Him. Sin will decrease as His Love in us increases.
  • The more we conform to His image of always-extended communion, the more we extend His love to others as a natural part of who we are.

*For further study, see Being as Communion, by John D. Zizioulas, svs Press, his paper on “Truth and Communion”

John 1:1; John 14:6; John 15:1-8; John 17:20-24; Colossians 1:16

Check out Keith’s audio: Father and Son: Entering into their Relationship, CD

Patrica Tillman

Christian Leaders Join to Steward the Spiritual Well-Being of their Region

Passing on a heritage of mature leadership to the younger generations…

Passing the baton“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” Keith Yoder said at the gathering of the Regional Church of Lancaster County (RCOLC) (1/13/15). He spoke for himself and some other executive team members  “We need to pass the baton to others, most specifically to the younger generations.”

Amid light-hearted jokes about gray hair (or no hair), an atmosphere of peace and contentment enveloped the large group of “older and younger” congregational/ business/non-profit leaders. About fifteen years ago, Keith and other Christian leaders developed RCOLC as a partnership of local congregations. The leaders from different denominations and networks meet not only for fellowship and interconnecting, but to steward the spiritual well-being of the Lancaster area.

“When I was a young pastor,” Larry Kreider admitted, “churches were much more isolated.” He recalled that pastors and members were more guarded about sharing with other congregations. But the Lord started nudging leaders to work together as “the church,” rather than isolated members. They determined to seek Christ together for what He’s already doing in Lancaster County, and partner with Him in it.

“It’s awesome to think of how God has brought us together,” Larry said. “The younger pastors now have a strong network that imparts Christ’s life and mutual support in the region.”

With their mission to “pray, witness, love and protect,” over the years members of RCOLC have:

  • Coordinated prayer efforts to protect area-wide spiritual health
  • Nurtured unity and outreach through mutual endeavors
  • Corporately addressed trending issues of concern in the area-wide church

In Your Presence JoyAt the gathering, during a meaningful time of worship, we discerned part of God’s direction for “passing the baton.” The leader asked God to speak to each of our hearts the name of a leader whom He may be calling to serve on the executive board. How exciting to be part of this team-discernment with Christ among us giving direction! The Spirit confirmed His presence with an almost tangible sense of peace. A mixture of joy and trust prevailed in the room as we worshiped and waited to hear Him. We wrote on index cards and submitted the names. The executive team will now take those names and prayerfully complete the discernment.”

What a heritage stewarded by mature men and women of God. With humble hearts, mentoring and commissioning the next generations, not only to follow, but to further extend the depth of growth, maturity and revelation.

Psalm 16:11;  Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18-20; Luke 22:26; Philippians 4:6-7; I Timothy 6:11-14;II Thessalonians 1:1-12