Boundaries for Sheep: The better way would overcome some of the problems with permission based and empowering based leadership. Instead of these two paradigms, perhaps a better model for elders is a boundaries system. In a boundaries system, the elder’s role is one of defining the limits for a congregation. There are theological boundaries, operational boundaries, and financial boundaries. Instead of allowing everyone to practice whatever comes to mind, which can causes unlimited problems because of the vast level of spiritual maturity within a member and instead of causing every member on every issue to come to the eldership for approval, the boundaries system has already marked that which is in limits and that which is out of bounds. This eliminates the need for permission on every issue as well as the need to be considered with every initiative within the church. The boundaries establish what not to do to accomplish the goal of the congregation. The goal is to reach out with the saving message of Christ. People are freed up to accomplish this purpose as long as they do not break on of the defined boundaries. This could be going beyond the doctrine of Christ, beyond the budget given, or practicing unethical principles to draw people into the building. The shepherds define the boundaries of the sheep pen. As long as the sheep stay within the confines of the boundaries developed by God and the shepherds, people are empowered to accomplish the work of the ministry.
- When the Sheep Shear the Shepherds–Part 2
- When the Sheep Shear the Shepherds–Part 1
- When the Sheep Shear the Shepherds–3
- Theology Behind A Baptismal Celebration
- Sheepdogs and Elders