As I look over leaders in ministry, I am hearing more and more about allegations about immoral behavior between a student pastor or leader with a student. I think that it is important to set boundaries for you and your testimony. Here are some boundaries that you must set in your ministry:
- Never drive a teen girl home anywhere by yourself This is a very important boundary. This is where relationships occur. I am not against having relationships with teen girls, but when you are by yourself with a girl in the vehicle, there is no accountability. If that teen girl said something (possibly even untrue) against you, it is your word vs. her’s. Your ministry is ruined. Always have someone in your car, preferably your wife.
- Never have a personal conversation with a girl by yourself– What I mean by this is that if a girl comes to you discussing problems with her boyfriend or something, that is where you call a teen girl leader or your wife to counsel her. I say the same thing to our lady leaders about the teen boys. This puts you above approach about anything that could be said regarding you and the morality of the teen girl.
- Have a strong relationship with your wife– This relationship must be strong in private so it will overflow into your public relationship. When you are out with your students, you and your wife must have a strong loving relationship. The teens must see that you and your wife are in love!
- Keep your wife informed– Your wife deserves to hear every conversation you have with a teen girl. If you need to keep something that you talked about with a teen girl, then it has gone too far.
- Be careful showing affection with your teen girls– I am always careful when teen girls come up to hug me. I think you have to be careful. I always do a one hug side thing and make sure even before that happens that there are other people around. I never hug a teen girl if someone is not there. I also never initiate a hug, they have to initiate it.
- Do not counsel a teen girl alone– This is where your wife needs to join you or another lady leader. If a teen girl randomly comes into your office, make sure the door stays open and try to get someone there for accountability purposes.
These boundaries will keep you “above approach” and get you on the other side of any allegations. In today’s society, people are accusing leaders of so much. Therefore, we must try to be above each one of these thing and never put ourselves in a position for an allegation to be made.