1. Is it in the Bible?
2. What do we believe it means?
Within a church, God has given one person authority (power) to rule over others. This "delegated authority" has the right to be the leader--to make all decisions--to control money--to decide and judge others in the church--and his decisions are correct and from God since he has been "delegated" by God to have authority over others.
3. What does it really mean?
the new testament gives absolutely no close reference to this concept. In the new testament, ministry is NOT authority over other believers...
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them,
Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles
exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: (Mark 10: 42-43)
Rather ministry is a gift given "to every one of us" (see Ephesians 4)
This phrase, like many of these buzzwords, exposes the old testament ministerial definitions which the church largely operates by. In the old testament, the Levitical priests were the "delegated authority" in Israel. Only those born tot he tribe of Levi could minister in the temple, therefore the Levites did have Godly authority over the other tribes of Israel. but it is clear that the new testament changes the priesthood..
11 ¶ If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood,
(for under it the people received the law,) what further need
was there that another priest should rise after the order
of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:11-12)
the priesthood now in all believers
Re 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and
his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
Re 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
And all the church a priesthood...
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
In the new covenant, all believers are given equal authority
Lu 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread
on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the
enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.