Four Foundations Of Leadership – Foundation # 1 – Fields of Ministry
A scriptural understanding of “fields of ministry” is essential for successful church planting and all leadership.
2 Corinthians 10:13 – “We, however will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us — a sphere which especially includes you.”
“Metron” — field of ministry.
The Greek word for “field” in the New Testament is “metron.” It means a measure or sphere of activity that defines the limits of one’s power and influence.
2 Corinthians 10:13-16 – “We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory.”
Special grace is given for a field of ministry.
Ephesians 4:7 (NIV) translates metron differently:
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Here the word apportioned is a translation of the same word “metron.” So, it seems that for each “metron” or field of ministry, there is a special grace given for that field. A simple definition of grace is “the enabling power to do what God has called us to do.”
Fields of ministry make us fruitful within those areas.
Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV) teaches us more:
Psalm 16:5-6 – “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup: you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
Boundary lines don’t limit us, but allow us to be fruitful in certain areas. Fields that God assigns to us are secure, protected places of learning. If we are out of our field, we are out of grace.
Exodus 14:15 – “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” – Moses didn’t use his authority and lead, so God rebuked him.
Examples of fields of ministry
Adam and Eve surrendered their “field” to Satan. In Genesis 1:26 God gave Adam and Eve authority over the whole world, but first their stewardship had to be proven in the garden of Eden. Satan came into Adam and Eve’s field, and they surrendered their authority to him.
God determines and expands our fields
It is Jesus who determines and expands our fields of ministry.
Psalm 75:6-7 (NIV) – “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.”
Fields of ministry are areas in which God gives us stewardship.
Matthew 10:1 – “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
How to determine your fields
Acts, chapters 17-21, describes the process by which Paul “discerned” his field. This happened by Paul recognizing the area where he did not have grace — namely in relating the gospel to the Jews (Acts 17:5-6). In Acts 18:5-8, Paul made a conscious decision to give up on ministering to the Jews and endeavoring to reach the Gentiles. He saw almost immediate success. In Acts 21:17-19, he was responsible to give a report from his field.