Guidelines: Behaviorial

When creating safe boundaries for persons who have Pastoral Relationships, it is important to establish what types of interactions are appropriate and inappropriate. Stating which behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate allows church personnel to comfortably show positive affection in ministry, and yet identify individuals who are not maintaining safe boundaries with other adults.

Some appropriate interactions, as long as they are welcomed by the recipient, are listed below:

• brief hugs
• pats on the shoulder or back
• kisses on the cheek
• handshakes
• holding hands during prayer

Some inappropriate interactions in Pastoral Relationships and other ministries with adults include:

• inappropriate or lengthy embraces

• kisses on the mouth

• touching sexual areas of the body

• showing affection while in isolated areas such as bedrooms, closets, staff-only areas or other private rooms

• any form of unwanted affection

• comments or compliments (spoken, written, or electronic) that relate to a person’s body or appearance that are at all suggestive. Examples would be, “You should wear that outfit more often,” or “You look really hot in those jeans.”

• giving gifts or money to favored individuals

• repeated and/or private meetings with individual adults, especially meetings that occur away from church property and during non-business hours

• repeated electronic communications, such as email or texts, especially those that contain personal disclosures or solicitations of an intimate relationship

• seeking excessive private time with a specific adult

• changing one’s manner of dress when in the company of a specific adult

• providing a specific adult with personal access such as one’s personal email address or cell phone number if that is not the norm

Next: Click on Guidelines: Counseling 

One Response to Guidelines: Behaviorial

  1. Ronald Cupid says:

    Good section and thought worthy comments for appropriate and inappropriate actions.

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