About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetmam
Freedom Within Community Accountability
"authoritative freedom" is in reference to the process whereby
one who has been authorized to accomplish a task is free to administrate
the details of the task without being micro-managed by the one who
authorized the task. The
term "accountability" means that the one authorized to freely
perform the task is answerable to the one who authorized him or her to
accomplish the task. The
word "community" implies a body of people existing in
supportive and functional relationships whereby one who authorizes the
completion of a task and the one given the authority to freely
facilitate the task exist in an ongoing supportive and functional
1 Corinthians 12
describes the community of people belonging to Jesus as the present-day
Body of Christ. Paul,
therefore, compared the church community to the human body.
Despite the fact that you may need to flatten some of your
curves, think about your body.
Your body is a community
of body parts that were designed to support each other as each part
functions with other parts to maintain a productive healthy body.
Each body part has its unique responsibility to perform on its
own, and, also in conjunction with other body parts.
That being the case, it could be said that each body part exists
in a kind of relational accountability with other body parts as it
performs its unique task as it is meant to do, and if not, the body
In like fashion, in the
church, each believer is a unique functioning body part, and thus,
exercises his or her ministry responsibility on his or her own, and,
also in conjunction with those to whom he or she has been placed
alongside in Christ's body. That
being the case, each believer exercises his or her ministry
responsibility with authoritative freedom as he or she exists in
relational accountability with those to whom he or she has been called
alongside, and if not, the church will suffer.
This isn't complicated,
but it seems difficult to implement in our western-world, highly
individualistic, and non-participatory, church.
Some like the authoritative freedom but dislike being accountable
for the way they exercise their freedom.
Others like to be micro-managed because they don't want the
responsibility to work out the ministry details.
Still others simply sit in pews and lazily let the rest of us do
the work of ministry. None
of these is Biblical. Authoritative
freedom within community accountability is basic to the nature of