We have had several people over the past year or so ask us about our ministry name.
Why Metron? What does it mean?
Marie taught a sermon entitled “The Measure You’ve Been Given” back around the time we were starting to imagine our new ministry. In that message she discussed the word metron which was the Greek word being translated, usually, to mean “measure”. (that message is here or a brief excerpt here).
We see this word in 12 places in the New Testament. It is usually used as a noun but is used as a verb in a couple of places. It is translated to “measure” in some of those places. But it is translated as “area or sphere of influence” in 4 places. The word is used as a Greek idiom translated several different ways by bible translators "proper limits", "limits of the sphere", "area of ministry", "measure of the rule", "measure of the sphere", "area of authority", "area of influence". On the surface, not any two translations come close to another in translating this idiom. It is this usage that captured us.
You can see this form of the word used here as Paul describes the limits of his ministry.
2 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) But we will not boast beyond limits but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.
In Mark the word is translated as “measure” but I think, in context, is referencing the same “sphere of influence” idea.
Mark 4:24–25 (NIV84) “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
In this teaching, Jesus is comparing the measure with a lampstand that is hidden. The measure (sphere of influence) has been neglected and will be taken away. But those who are faithful to what they have received will be granted more.
This seems to be a parallel thought to Jesus’ parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14–30. In that story, there are three stewards who have each received different amounts of money from the master with instructions to take care of it until he asks for its return. When the master does return, two of the managers are commended for investing the money and doubling its value. Unfortunately, one of the managers has not done anything at all with the money and simply returns what he was given. The master is very upset with him and takes the money and gives it to the other, more faithful, stewards to manage.
Sometimes I’ve seen this taught as managing our natural gifts and abilities, or perhaps, spiritual gifts. I think that is a valid way of applying this truth. But when I add the dimension of rule or sphere of influence, I believe we see even more powerful implications.
When God began to stir Marie and I to step into this new ministry we did not have a lot of specifics. What we did know was that we were to go encourage and strengthen the churches and their leaders, and we were to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit and equip others to move in His gifts.
Now, when somebody takes time to invest in us, whether spiritually or naturally, we receive with it an inherent responsibility to put that investment to proper use. Freely you have received, freely give! (Mat 10:8) We began to see that there was a correlation between someone receiving instruction and encouragement and their ability to extend the same to those around them. Just like the stewards received “talents”, we also receive from the Holy Spirit, and those He sends and uses, gifts intended to impact the world. Those who take those talents and are faithful will be given more… not just more talents, but more influence. Their metron will be increased.
I believe that everyone is given some amount of influence. It may be simply over yourself or within your family. For some, it might be within a school or work context. Others may find that they have influence within a small group, a church, or even groups of churches. These are examples of a sphere of influence.
That sphere may be assigned by people… i.e. My employer has made me the manager of a group. But in spiritual applications we see metron increased by God’s hand because of faithful stewardship of what has been given. Therefore, it is not something that we should chase after or try to manipulate into being.
Over the years I have had many people tell me they felt like they were called to lead, to pastor, to be a missionary, etc. I would usually ask them who they were leading currently. If you don’t share your faith in your current environment, how will it be different if you are on the mission field? If you aren’t faithful to a small group or Sunday school class, why would it be different if you were pastoring a church?
The metron increases because of faithfulness. Not by calling, not by prophetic words, not by declarations, not by knowledge… by faithfulness. The church is filled with people who were called but did not respond, who were trained but did not use what was deposited in them.
Metron Ministries was born with the vision of equipping the church, giving individuals the tools to do ministry, and giving them the confidence to step into what God has prepared for them.