In the first part of this series, I shared my own journey as a 19 year-old entering ministry through a 9 month discipleship program at a mega-church and taking on leadership through my twenties. And how at 25 I entered my first serious relationship that led to a moral failure. Even though I had some of the best training from some of the most respected leaders in the world, I still fell.
It wasn't even because I was necessarily given too much too soon (a common issue today). In fact, I often got frustrated at the slow pace I seemed to move at! Honestly, I can boil it down to one major point I never learned in all those years: GUARDRAILS.
Sure, I was told not to do a lot of things; a list of don'ts to follow. But I never really learned what it meant to establish healthy, practical boundaries to protect me from going to those "don'ts." It wasn't anyone's fault either; in fact, I didn't even think to do this myself and I have no one to blame but myself.
Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Propel Women that describes what I learned from my own experience with boundaries.
Before taking on leadership or platform in a church, young people need to first learn to establish guardrails. It will be this vital key that protects them from their own moral failure and losses along the way. Like I mentioned in a previous week, no pastor sets out to fail which is why this principal is so important. Do what you must, even if it's inconvenient, to protect yourself from sin. Blind copy someone you trust to your email exchanges with people of the opposite sex. Don't be alone in your apartment or house with the person you are dating. Be accountable to the expenses you are making with the church credit card. Whatever that may be, ask God to bring to the surface areas you might struggle in and develop guardrails to protect you from going in that direction.
Young person, learn to do this and make this a priority, and you will be thankful that you did!