by Lyn Packer
It is important that we understand the 'metron' or sphere of influence and authority that the Lord has given us in regards to functioning in our gifts; and I especially want to look here at functioning in the prophetic gift and call.
The apostle Paul understood that he was not an apostle to all people. He had a sphere of influence, which included the Corinthian believers.
“We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.” - 2 Corinthians 10:13
If you are called to be a prophet you need to understand that you will not be a prophet to everyone everywhere, but you will be a prophet to someone, some group, somewhere. You cannot assume that your call to be a prophet automatically gives you right to speak into anyone’s life anywhere.
Metron is the Greek word used in the above verse and is also found in Romans 12:3 and means ‘a determined extent, portion measured off, measure or limit’ or, in other words, a sphere of authority, anointing and influence. Operating within that will bring a release of the power assigned to that sphere of authority and a flow and ease in ministry, but operating outside it will cause problems.
While you may operate outside your metron, it is within your metron that you’ll find the most grace, favour and power in your ministry, therefore it is important that you understand the metron that the Lord has given you in regards to functioning in your prophetic gift.
What determines your metron
Several things will determine your metron, or sphere of influence. The call on your life will play a large part in determining that - whether it’s to operate in the gift of prophecy, or that you are called to the office of prophet. Your metron is determined by the sphere of authority that God has assigned to you in that call, your relational ability, your character, humility, teachability and more. A metron may grow as you grow in the use of the gift and in character, or it may not. Character shortcomings - lack of humility, teachability and accountability can severely limit a person’s metron.
Your metron or sphere of influence will be found in the following things...
- Geographic – a place of assigned ministry influence.
- Demographic – a person or people group that you are called to.
- Sociographic – a special interest group, such as skateboarders, businessmen, the poor, etc.
Another way that is currently being expressed worldwide is through the Seven Mountains teaching. The seven mountains of cultural influence are believed to be – education, family, government, media, arts and entertainment, religion and business. Within those are hundreds of sub groupings. For example, in the family mountain there are subgroupings you could be called to, such as solo parents, battered spouses, blended families, adopted children etc.
Some people are called to very select groupings of people. You may be called to a certain cultural mountain or you may be called to a particular people grouping.
Difference between gift and office
In regard to the prophetic gift we should understand the difference between functioning in the gift of prophecy and being called to the office of Prophet. Although we are all encouraged to function in the gift of prophecy, some people may function minimally in it, some may function prophetically on a frequent basis, but practice and frequency is not always an indicator of how big your sphere of authority is.
Functioning beyond your current sphere of authority is never wise and will always cause problems. A person who functions in the prophetic gift may have the authority to do so in their own church, in a city or throughout a region, but may still not be called to function in the office of Prophet. If people get this mixed up they may end up wondering why their gift or calling isn’t being recognized as they think it should be. You can read more about the differences between gift and office here.
Even amongst those called to the office of Prophet there may be differences in assigned spheres of authority. Some prophets have a narrow sphere of authority and some a broad one. A Prophet’s sphere of authority isn’t automatically city or nation wide; it may give them authority to function only in their home congregation. Some may function in a city or throughout a region, some may be national or international. Even when God calls someone as a Prophet to have a national or international responsibility level and anointing, that influence and authority doesn’t automatically come fully formed and functional; they have to grow into it, and that often takes years to do.
Expansion of authority and influence
Can a sphere of authority and influence grow? That can be dependant on a couple of things -
- whether the sphere of authority that God gives has limitations assigned to it and is localized to a certain place (that may change as God gives new assignments and new levels of authority and responsibility or it may not).
- The other is growth based increase. It is possible to grow in favour with God and man. This is based on personal growth and faithfulness in doing what the Lord asks of us. We’re told in scripture that Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52) so there’s a great example for growing in favour, authority and influence. This type of growth in authority is based on character things - wisdom in using our gifts, teachability, humility, faithfulness etc. When we are found faithful in what we have been given, then authority and responsibility will often be increased; Matthew 25 also shows us this in the parable of the faithful servant.
Knowing your current metron
How do you know what your metron is? You can find out by considering and taking note of the following things:
What has God called you to, what He has said to you personally?
Are you called to function in the prophetic gift, or are you called to be a prophet? These two calls have differing authority levels. Remember that the call to be a prophet is the call to begin your training. The call alone does not qualify you to move in the fullness of your ministry; only obedience, faithfulness in growth and growing in favour with God and man will bring you into that. Ask the Lord what the current boundaries of your call are and be content and faithful within that. Those boundaries may grow over time, as you prove faithful to what He currently has for you to operate in, but if the visibility of your ministry and your sphere of influence stays small, that’s okay too. In the end your call is not about visibility, it’s about what the Lord’s purposes are.
What do those in leadership, and those around you, recognize as your gift and current level of authority in it?
This involves a combination of gift recognition and character maturity. Your pastoral oversight will help you in this – talk to them and be open to what they have to say and what they suggest needs to be worked on. Remember that we grow into that call; it doesn’t come fully formed and in full authority from the beginning. Take their advice and be faithful in the things that you are currently moving in and any guidelines or restrictions they set before you. A good leader will only set restrictions to keep you safe in your ministry, and to help you grow, never to hold you down or back. As they see your faithfulness, teachability and anointing level grow those restrictions will change and you’ll be given more freedom to minister.
Your prophetic gift may be huge and incredibly accurate but if your character lets you down you will never step into the fullness of your calling. To be promoted too quickly in your ministry will ultimately be something that may very well work against you and stop you from developing properly. Also, It will not be good for those you minister to and they will pick up that something is off.
Submit yourself faithfully to the Lord and His calling on your life, grow in character and anointing and you will be a blessing to many. Your sphere of authority will grow and the Kingdom of Heaven will be released into earth in encouragement, blessing, proclamation and prophetic decree that establishes God’s purposes in individuals' lives, churches, communities and possibly nations.
Some other things that can give you clues as to your metron...
- What things consistently move you to deep emotion – tears, frustration, anger. For example, if injustice moves you time and time again then that is a clue that maybe you are called to be a voice in the justice arena, maybe in speaking up for those who are downtrodden, or in speaking words of life and encouragement into them.
- Do you find you are consistently drawn to particular types of people – e.g. businessmen or women, solo parents, surfers…
- What have you overcome in your life – what things from your life story get used time and time again by God to minister to people. While those things might not get used when prophesying it can still give a clue to your sphere of authority (because you have overcome in that area) or it may give a clue to the type of person you are called to.
- What cultural mountain, area or people do you find yourself interceding for the most?
- Ask those who are trustworthy if they have noticed you ministering to certain types of people more than others?
- Ask your leadership what they have noticed, if they see a certain place of authority and influence being opened up to you? Also ask them what they see you need to grow in.
Expansion of authority and influence
Can a sphere of authority and influence grow? That can be dependent on a couple of things -
- Whether the sphere of authority that God gives has limitations assigned to it and is localized to a certain place (that may change as God gives new assignments and new levels of authority and responsibility, or it may not).
- The other is growth-based increase. It is possible to grow in favour with God and man. This is based on personal growth and faithfulness in doing what the Lord asks of us. We’re told in scripture that Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52) so there’s a great example for growing in favour, authority and influence. This type of growth in authority is based on character things - wisdom in using our gifts, teachability, humility, faithfulness etc. When we are found faithful in what we have been given, then authority and responsibility will often be increased; Matthew 25 also shows us this in the parable of the faithful servant.
"Your sphere of authority will grow and the Kingdom of Heaven will be released into earth in encouragement, blessing, proclamation and prophetic decree that establishes God’s purposes in individuals' lives, churches, communities and possibly nations."
METRON - YOUR SPHERE OF AUTHORITY AND INFLUENCE
Lyn is recognised as a Prophet within New Zealand and other nations she’s ministered in. Her ministry is revelatory and catalytic, propelling people into encounter with God. The governmental prophetic gift she carries is expressed through prophetic, revelatory insight and strategy, prophetic words (personal, corporate and national), teaching, art, and writing. Click here for more info...