The whole thrust of ministry, in whatever capacity it is performed, but most especially that of youth ministry, is community, to bring people together in a shared experience of faith in Christ. Nurturing is a goal of any ministry, indeed it is the goal, perhaps. To attain this goal people must draw close to others, ministers must come alongside the members with whom they work. To be in community really assumes that there is intimacy at some level. Community means proximity. Closeness. A depth of knowledge of each other. It certainly assumes openness on the minister’s part. Being accessible to the people one minister’s to is a given.
And here is the rub. We don’t do openness well in western culture.2 For many reasons, we don’t have much of a clue about boundaries in personal relationships, outside or inside the doors of the church.
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