One of the hardest things in Youth Ministry is knowing where to set boundaries. If you are like me, then you wish that you had the solution for everything. You wish your connection with God and your ability to point people toward their creator was enough to cure any ill. But it’s not enough…

Now don’t get me wrong. Jesus is enough, and He is all we need. But YOU are not Jesus. YOU cannot cure every ill or problem that your students and their parents will encounter. Students and their parents will walk through seasons of crisis that you are not equipped to handle.

For this reason, it is wise to know when and where to refer students and families walking through a difficult season in life. These crisis moments might include thoughts of suicide, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, divorce, sexual, substance or physical abuse. This list could go on and on.

As a Youth Pastor, your role is not to fix these problems. Your role is to faithfully walk with students and families through the good times and the bad, pointing them to Jesus every chance you get.

This is why you need boundaries.

Boundaries will help:

  1. your students get the help they need.
  2. you know when to refer students or parents to professionals.
  3. you stay out of legal trouble.
  4. you focus on your role as a spiritual guide.
  5. you be faithful stewards of God’s flock.

For an EXCELLENT resource on how to set boundaries and how to be prepared, go buy and read The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis.

What other resources have you found helpful in being prepared? Comment below:

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David Hanson: Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava & Ben, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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