Pioneer Blog #3: Knowing Your Own Authority

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Pioneer Blog
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AS I WRITE ABOUT YOUR OWN AUTHORITY I WILL DO IT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE TO GIVE YOU A FEW CLUES THAT SHOW YOU HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN A MINISTRY WITHOUT GETTING BURNED

So I am talking to a friend and she is telling me how the ministry she came from (which I won’t name but is one of my favorites) is so fake once you get involved with it and that she gave some of the best years of her life to it but when she told them she was moving she felt shut out and invisible. She all of a sudden was in touch with all of their weakness and was angry.

Why? Because she had shut her love off towards them. She hadn’t been in leadership for at least 4 years and was loving it but then she started to lead a small area of the ministry and began to get discouraged because it wasn’t meeting her relational expectations anymore. A lot of this was because she felt rejected by not being invited into the senior team more (which had never been offered but she was hoping to climb an invisible ministry ladder) which unfortunately caused the viel of grace we all have for one another to come off where love covers a multitude of weaknesses, and she was mad that they weren’t everything she had hoped they would be. She had served there for only two years but they were some of the more “real” years of her life and now she felt like she wasn’t transferring but that she was abandoned and had to find a new place without any warmth of the place she had once felt there.

Both sides have a problem of course but you can only deal with you. (I am trying to help leaders all over the world identify a process to help “transfer” people and bless them so that people who have served for 3 or more years can feel honor in moving on for a multitude of legit reasons…that my friends is a whole book subject that will come later).

Recognizing your responsibility: Most organizations you join only stay in relationship with you for as long as you are in that organization. Its true of school, of most jobs, and unfortunately most churches. The good news is you are in charge of the way you build relationship to each organization, the structure is only there to help you, you get to guide your own love process. That means you don’t have to enter into the structure and lose. You can build with life long motives with a few of the people that you feel a connection too. If you are going to build community outside of just the purpose drivenness of your relationship, you have to share relationship outside of that purpose.

Do you spend time with the people outside of church events? Do you celebrate lives with any of your other peers who don’t attend the organization with some of those who do? Meaning you have a Bday party. Do you do it on church grounds or in a normal place you meet for ministry with only all church friends? Or do you have a group of people from work, from ministry, from family that all can mix together to celebrate you? If you separate the groups of people in your life when if you have to leave the organization you will be choosing to move on from one of the groups of people and it will not be organic to include them now that you don’t have the common structure in your life anymore.

I know that when I left the International House of Prayer I didn’t do the best job of keeping friendships across the board and I only stayed connected to a few that I had included outside of our participation together in ministry. The rest seemed to slowly forget me when I was out of site or when my roles were filled by others. I could have got a rejection complex in this or I could take responsibility and realize that I was connecting in a very participatory way vs. a deep covenant relational way and that the natural response is to be out of sight out of mind unless you are invested in the heart not just in the role.

Participation does not equal deep relationship but it can give you a substitute fulfillment for them. Participation can give you amazing mutual ground to grow in real relationship though but its going to take sacrifice and work.

I COMPROMISED WHAT I FELT TO DO AND NOW I AM MAD AT YOU!

Another area that causes so many problems is when someone has a calling or vision to do something but they lay it aside for too long to serve the organization and they give all their passion and focus to something that never was part of their original priorities or core. This also causes resentment and confusion because here you are doing a good thing but somehow it is violating some core value inside of you of what you are really supposed to be doing.

Consider it this way: Life itself is a commodity. Picture if you received a large inheritance from your grandfather of 5 million dollars. Picture if your company that YOU worked for asked you for 4.9 million dollars and said “Hopefully you will be paid back one day” but didn’t write out a contract of loan or define terms of how they would pay you back. Then 10 years goes by and an incredible project comes up for you to do but you need your inheritance money. Then you realize you have spent it all on an organization that has no way to pay you back because they aren’t going to stop their machine to drain all of its resources to make you happen. Now substitute money for your own personal value of your time, your heart, your calling, your strengths, and your relationship. You have to spend “YOU”, if you don’t someone else will for you and you will feel ripped off.

YOU ALSO HAVE TO DEFINE YOU

I love it when I get strong people who know their identity and value because I can’t “USE” them with usery on accident or in some rare cases, on purpose. If you come to me with your value already somewhat assessed then I will not spend you on something frivolous or cheap. If you don’t know who you are I might as a leader make the mistake of asking you to do something that takes away from your value just because I love what I am doing and want to include your value in it. It is not a wrong motive in my life, as a matter of face as a spiritual Father I will feel like I am affirming you by including you at any level in my ministry because it brings me joy to share with you what I am building.

That means that you have to get good at defining you, and bringing you to me because if you don’t define you then I will. This is OK when you have a mature ministry leader, but when you have ministry leaders who have too many plates spinning or activities brewing then they are happy that you are just filling in gaps. We are ALL called to serve, but that doesn’t mean that you can live a full time job in serving filling gaps and end up satisfied. If everyone in my ministry just served the ministry with 5%-10% of our time then we wouldn’t have volunteers who usher or greet people at the door who start to get burned out.

THE COST OF BEING DEFINED BY OTHERS

When I was very young I was defined in one ministry in the role of administrative Assistant which sounds awesome to some and ridiculous to others who know me because I am not administrative. The problem is that the ministry had SO much need that they were happy to give me the role and I wanted to serve something that had value so I took it because I didn’t know my own value although I had dreams.

During my time in that ministry my core gift set was not activated (although you will always find some place for it to manifest if you love yourself at all) and I was dying in my heart and frustrated because I was spending 80% of my time doing things that were not my strengths even though I can get them done because I have a high work ethic. I went to the ministry leader and told them my dilemma and they said “I am so sorry you feel that way, there are people we can hire in this role who would love it so you go do what you want to do and you know what let me help you!” Which is amazing because that ministry leader did not need to help me but did so sacrificially. I wonder if we had more self intelligence if they wouldn’t waste a lot of time on non essentials.

Many leaders manifest control out of a good heart. We wonder how people get dominated or controlled and it is so easy because not only is it easier for me to control someone to make a process of connecting them go faster; as a body member it is much easier to give up my identity to let someone else steer so that I don’t have to make the effort of pioneering. Many people in the body like it when its defined for them, but ultimately a Father helps people define their own identity he doesn’t define it for them.

 LASTLY YOU ARE THE MOST POWERFUL AUTHORITY IN YOUR LIFE

 I remember in my young end of twenties going out with this major leader who was doing the type of ministry I wanted to do. I was so excited to spend time with him. During our talk (which seemed fabulous at the time) he told me all about his life and how he had gotten into ministry. Then finally at the end of our time he turned the subject onto me (LOL that we spend 3 hours talking about him and I was so excited). “What do you want to do in ministry Shawn?” He asked.

 “I want to have a real impact on reforming Christianity and I feel called to demonstrate it through signs and wonders. I want to learn the prophetic ministry while I am here so I can bring that skill set with me wherever I go.”

 “Oh Shawn” he looked at me disappointed. “You are not called to be prophetic. You are called to serve people who have my type of ministry. I don’t think you understand how this works, God has to tell people like me who to appoint into leadership and I am not seeing it on you.”

 To which I began to laugh because I thought he was joking. Then I realized he was serious and we ended the convo. The problem was I had parents who are real spiritual authorities in my life who had raised me with high value and belief to know that this man wasn’t powerful enough to title me, it had already been done. God is raising up a whole generation of leaders. My own self value created my faith for my own authority that caused me to kindly reject his false authority which was not based on relationship, protocol, or a firm Biblical understanding but was based on his own spiritual perspective or entitled authority which is a dangerous thing if YOU don’t know who YOU are.

 I am not saying you can declare yourself the evangelist of a ministry but you sure can give your heart to bringing people to Jesus whether a church structure recognizes you or not.

Example: I had a couple come to me and tell me that the dance leaders of our old ministry didn’t have room for their style of dance (the dance leaders only did processional or Israel dance) and this felt shut down. I laughed and looked at these professional dancers and said “You mean you are going to let a woman who has never taken a dance lesson outside of the messianic movement stop you from dancing? There is a whole world out there and there is plenty of room for you in it! Go get involved with a dance studio or start to choreograph some dances and do street dance or if you want to dance in ministry get involved long distance to one of the larger dance ministries that has your style in it. You don’t have to let our limited dance ministry limit your dreams…you are powerful!” And you know what they did and now the woman runs a dance academy.

 You are not limited by the authority in the ministry you serve even if its over the area you are called too most because you may not be called under the umbrella of that ministry to be primarily activated. You might want to read the previous statement again.

 Maybe your church is the filling station and relationship hub so you can get filled while you are living a full life of activity elsewhere. We have several professional dancers in our church who don’t want to dance when they come to church because they are so fulfilled outside of church. Just like none of our actors have energy to act on drama teams when they do acting most of the time for a living. They want to participate for love, joy, family and the move of God that is going on. We also have inner healing ministers that have a whole ministry related to us but its not our “official” ministry we are just partnered to it. I think this is healthy to have many partnerships.

 Anyhow, just remember as you serve in a ministry that you have authority too, you are extremely valuable, and you are powerful. As a spiritual father to many it brings me great joy when I have to release people out of my vision for them because their vision has gotten too large, but I always know its God when they still have a humility and an attitude of a servant inside their perspective. It also brings me greater joy when it adds to what I am doing instead of separates and becomes completely independent. Oh that’s another subject.

 Pioneers don’t be afraid of your own authority and honor others authority!

 Lots of love

Shawn Bolz 

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Comments
  1. Michele says:

    Wow Shawn! Thank you so much! You literally answered a prayer I had and said Exactly what I was wondering! Wow! Thank you So Much! Bless you! Thank you “Ancient of Days” for hearing me! God is Awesome!
    Love,
    Michele
    p.s. I told an apostle (the leader) in my church that I felt I had a call with Hollywood, and he freaked out!

  2. Robin Davis says:

    Perfect read to end a year and begin another… Thanks Shawn 😉

  3. bruce nahin says:

    Yeshua has confirmed for me my thoughts and answered my prayers. Relationship building outside of the church with new colleagues and friends in the church is the answer to connection. I personally am trying to connect outside of church with people within my church in order to get to know them as people not just co-congregants. To learn about them as people, their lives, goals and aspirations- stuff that I can not learn within the service time environment- stuff that will eliminate the disconnect I feel a good portion of the time as I continue to serve the church and enjoy growth personally from both it and the people within it. Shawn thanks for the additional confirmation

  4. bruce nahin says:

    In my 57 years I have learned one thing, ministers are people…with all the human frailities we each have. Trust that still small voice of God over man in directing your ministry…if you feel led in a certain way rest assured if it is the way for God he will open the doors for you-Shawn story of that pastor when he was in his twenties mirrors a similar experience I had and regretably one that repeated with frequency until I learned to listen to God myself instead of relying on” word”s from people of “authority” who truly had their own agendas in mind

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