To Build A Fence


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If “good fences make good neighbors,” what are you doing with an
unmended wall? Find out how you can re-establish your personal

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”

In this excerpt from “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, the poet’s
neighbor insists on rebuilding the fence that has fallen into
disarray over the winter. Why? the poet asks. The neighbor replies,
“Good fences make good neighbors.”

How can you ensure that you’re a good neighbor to those in your
ministry? By having good boundaries.

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Out Of Bounds

Do you have a boundary problem? Check off the questions below
that you’ve actually asked yourself.

  • Will I ever get a day off?
  • Do these expenses come out of my pocket or the church’s
  • Why am I waking up in the night worrying about my job?
  • Why do I always bring work home with me?
  • Why do I have so much vacation time left at the end of the
  • When was the last time I enjoyed my hobby?
  • Do I really look as tired as people say?
  • Am I eating so much because I’m hungry or because I’m trying to
    take my mind off my work?
  • Does everyone have the recurring nightmare of a cell phone
    chasing them?
  • How in the world am I going to write curriculum and recruit
    volunteers at the same time?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you
probably have a boundary problem. You need to re-establish your

In Bounds

Personally, I believe the two boundaries — or values — that
I’ve listed below are general universals for everyone in

There’s nothing inside or outside of ministry that’s worth
selling out your family. In the midst of all the ministry demands
and expectations, never forget that your family is your first
ministry. If the wheels are falling off your family, it’s only a
matter of time before the wheels fall off everything else. You have
to set this boundary.

There’s nothing inside or outside of ministry that’s worth
losing your health over. Unhealthy time commitments and unrealistic
expectations will, over time, make you nuts. All the medication in
the world can’t balance overcommitment or lunar expectations. You
have to set this boundary.


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Children's Ministry Magazine

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