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Healthy Boundaries as a Pastor

Types of Boundaries


Functional Boundaries (Our Martha parts, Luke 10:38-42)


Relational Boundaries (Our Mary parts, Luke 10:38-42)


Precedent Boundaries


Protective Boundaries


Invitational and Permission Boundaries


Preparing for a Healthier Future Boundaries

Common Boundary Myths:


“If I Set Boundaries, I’m Being Selfish”


“If I Set Boundaries, I Will Hurt Others”


“Boundaries Mean That I Am Angry”


“When Others Set Boundaries, It Injures Me”


“Boundaries Cause Feelings of Guilt”


“Boundaries Are Permanent and I’m Afraid of Burning Bridges”

Important Boundaries for Pastors to Establish


  • Work Life vs. Home Life Boundaries

  • Being a Pastor vs. Being a Human Boundaries

  • Sexual/Relational Boundaries

  • Financial/Ethical Boundaries

  • Theological Boundaries

  • Pastoral vs. Personal Spirituality Boundaries

  • Confidentiality vs. Disclosure and Rebuke Boundaries


Barriers to Healthy Boundaries for Pastors

  • Wounds and unmet needs that leave us fearful and dependent

  • Fear of anger responses; fear of reminders of past angry responses

  • Fear of the unknown; “I’m not sure how they will respond if I begin to set limits”

  • Fear of being re-wounded and trespassed on again; “It didn’t work the last time I tried”

  • Guilty feelings of being honest, loving and fair to oneself

  • Fear of loss of relationship; fear of abandonment

  • Lack of perseverance, commitment and consistency in boundary setting

  • Others threats and manipulative “power moves” in response to our boundaries

  • Others lack of caring or response to our boundaries; (repeated trespasses)

  • Inability to say no to your own destructive impulses

  • Tendency to be attracted to irresponsible or hurtful people and then try to “fix” them

  • Taking responsibility for other people’s lives

  • Tendency to be easily manipulated or controlled

  • Struggles with intimacy and maintaining closeness with othersInability to confront others and resolve conflicts productively



Contact me if…

  • If you would like to learn more about how the importance boundaries in your personal life can have on your ability to serve in your ministry


  • If you would like for me to conduct a training in-service to your church leadership about the importance of boundaries in our personal and professional lives


  • If you would like for me to conduct a church community presentation to your church members about the importance of boundaries as individuals, families and a larger church community


  • If you would like to know about more resources available in regards to establishing healthy boundaries in personal and professional life


  • If you have any questions or suggestions that are not covered in this section or the featured articles offered


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