If you already, read my disclaimer about this series. This series is a no nonsense approach about compromising situations that may cost you everything.
Don’t be alone with someone of the opposite sex.
This has been a rule of ours for the last ten years. Our? Yeah, it’s a rule my wife and I have for each other. I don’t meet a woman for coffee at Starbucks. I don’t certainly don’t meet with a woman for a meal at a restaurant. I never ride alone in a car with a woman. If working late and I’m at the office alone and there’s a female staff person shows up… I leave. If I’m meeting with a female in my office, I do so with the door open or in full view of the window.
Read Ryan’s post about the steps to adultery. Maybe nothing will ever happen, but allegations or rumors will ruin you as well. Seriously, there is nothing else in the world that I would rather do. I love my job too much. I love my family too much. It’s not worth it.
What concerns me is that some churches are moving away from these types of “rules.” These are the same churches that are taking ministry risks and becoming more relevant to their communities. I don’t know if they’re abandoning these “rules” to shake off anything that feel “traditional.” I love ministries that take risks, we need more. But abandoning boundaries meant to keep us safe is stupid. Don’t be stupid.
Yes, it can be incredibly inconvenient, but it isn’t worth it. I once interviewed at a church that didn’t feel the same way. They actually felt our “rules” would get in the way of ministry. My wife actually got in an uncomfortable argument with the guy who would have been my boss. Go Sara!
So, if you’ve not really considered your policy of being alone with someone of the opposite sex, you should give it some thought. It may keep you in ministry a little longer. Regardless of how you feel, many inappropriate relationships begin because of unchecked alone time.
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I know these rules can be tough to follow, especially for male CP’s who generally have a high ratio of female staff members and volunteers. Tough…but worth it! And I echo your “Go Sara!” 🙂
In addition to these “rules”, I try and remember to CC Jonathan in on any emails I send to male friends.
Kenny, I stand and applaud this post!!!!!! This is a great word and a great rule. Isn’t it great how something so simple, even if it can be a little inconvenient at times, can avoid such catastrophic problems in life and ministry. Adultery and Rumors are life and ministry killers. Let’s hang on to simple, wholesome, conservative rules for holy living so as to stay above board always. It will bless all those around us and those who are watching. Thank you for this reminder!
Kenny and Starr – You’re very kind. I do agree with the rule, and I’m thankful for a hubby who loves me enough to protect us. That said, I’m pretty certain I could have been more thoughtful in the interviewing situation. I was a bit emotional, coming off a tough year of seeing several ministry friends’ marriages fall apart.
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Mexican Hot Chocolate Throw Down =-.
I ask my wife to get to know the women I work alongside of. It makes me feel better if I know that they know my wife in some way, beside seeing her here and there.