• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Spheres of influence

One writer defines ‘spiritual authority’ as the right that your follower gives to you to influence him/here based on your spiritual character.  Influence, as opposed to a positional role, is a critical element in the encouragement and development of others whether a fellow believer, a disciple, a co-worker, one who reports to you as a leader, or even an entire team.

We normally confine ‘influence’ to the lines on an organizational chart.  This not only helps us know where we fit in the agency/ministry team, but also delineates who the person is that should be developing and influencing us.

What if we chose to talk about ‘spheres’, rather than ‘lines on an organizational chart’, as our base for influence?  In other words, what if we expanded the influence quotient by allowing multiple people to have influence and input into our lives, decisions and ministries?

Sounds messy, and it probably would be.  The post that I wrote the other day on collaboration raised a similar issue in challenging us to consider the benefits of collaborative effort despite the time and difficulties involved.

Let me give an example.  WT is considering opening a ministry to a new people group.  This people group is primarily located in an area that bridges the oversight of two different Area Directors. What should we do?  Assign the oversight to one AD as opposed to the other?  Wouldn’t it be better to ask the two ADs to work together and determine what oversight/influence would look like for them both?  What would each one bring to help develop, encourage and launch this new ministry?

Spheres of influence would be an outworking of our value of interdependence in light of the changing contexts in which we find ourselves.

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