Boundaries Are Like Fences
In church work, it is difficult not to try to be all things to all people. It’s expected. There is, it would seem, a good precedent for that (1 Cor. 9:22). However, there are not many around today who would qualify as being able to do as the Apostle Paul did. Truth be told, I wonder just how successful Paul was at it. Conversely, one might wonder if what we mean when we say we “try to please everybody in every way” (1 Cor. 10:33) is what Paul meant.
It is a very powerful siren-song to believe that we can make a lasting difference in a person’s life. It can be intoxicating to think that “I am so needed!” Not only needed, then but placed, chosen, installed by God, to be as God to those one serves. Pretty heady stuff. It can be quite an ego booster, to be sure. To not recognize this potential response to the position one holds in ministry is foolhardy, at best. Of course, the heartache it can bring is beyond measure, if left unchecked.
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Next, we’ll look at part 2 of boundaries in youth ministry, and explore six potential pitfalls of not having clear boundaries.
(The content of this blog comes from my book The Ultimate Survival Guide For Youth Ministers; Maintaining Boundaries in Youth Ministry. You can preview it on this Amazon page.)
What do you think? What is your experience? Do you feel that boundaries are useful? Imperative? Much ado about nothing much? While you’re at it, do you know someone who could benefit from considering this topic? Bring them on over.
It’s important to always stay in touch with the fact that youth ministry isn’t about you, the clothes you wear, how stylish you are, or how up to date on the latest techno gadget. It is about helping kids develop a relationship with God. The best thing you can do is pray a lot and get out of God’s way!