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Paper one-Two Page Paper
Write a 500 word case study on a boundary topic of your choosing.
1. Boundaries with Church Finances and Business
Look at these two example and write your own Case study on Case Study 1 or 2.
Case Study 1
Jody is an associate pastor at a multi-clergy church. Every Sunday after the offering is collected one of the ministers receive the plates from the ushers and walk them back to a room just off the sanctuary to put the money in a safe. Sometimes the clergy is joined by one of the church’s elders, but often it is just the clergy by themselves. Jody is scheduled to collect the offering this Sunday and knows that she will likely be depositing the money to the safe without anyone else joining her.
________________________________________Case Study 2
Kevin is in his second year serving as pastor of a church. It’s time to start drafting the church budget and Kevin decides that his ideas for the future of the church should be reflected in the rows and columns that the church council will vote on. He decides to modify last years budget to create a new draft to share with at the next church council meeting.
After the meeting the members of the church council are split. Some of them are ready to approve Kevin’s budget, inspired by the vision he has set and the way forward to follow it. But others are hesitant, wanting a broader range of input on such an important process and decision for their church community. The first group declares the second to be “obstructionists” who want to slow down the process and delay much needed ministries with more meetings. The second group declares the first to under the spell of a charismatic leader and ready to drink whatever kool-aid is put in front of them.
2. Boundaries for Self-Care
Case Study 1
Jody is in the middle of CPE, working as a chaplain at a large hospital. She finds that she’s often dealing with trauma. Sometime’s she’s first on the scene. She’s often called on because of her significant skills in helping families and staff with
critical incidents. Compared to her previous placement as a minister in a congregation, this chaplaincy role is fast paced and intense. While Jody has settled into the new rhythm of ministry, she’s wondering if it’s healthy to always be at the front line of crisis care. Talking with her supervisor, she’s reminded about how easy it is to lose sight of the bigger picture, or to become consumed by the enormity of tragedy. Who does she draw on for personal support? She’s aware of particular people that she leans on during critical incidents, sometimes appropriately, sometimes not. Sometimes she believes she’s the only person in her role that can respond to these situations, and so she ends up working in a solo role.
Jody is aware that she’s constantly on the edge of ill health. She regularly becomes run down, and struggles to keep professional boundaries. She knows that her own fragility is affecting others. It’s been a long time since she took a decent break. When challenged about this by her supervisor she talked about her belief that people she works with won’t manage without her care. She’s become pivotal to the pastoral care systems in place in the hospital and is often expected to work hours beyond what is reasonable. She is not confident that she can challenge these expectations.
Case Study 2
Kevin is a pastor at a small church and is spending a week away from the office and even set up an out of office reply on his email, inviting people to contact another staff member in case of emergency. However, some congregants have his cell phone number and have been calling and texting him with questions. So far he has not responded to their texts or voice mails but the notifications persist, disrupting his much needed vacation.
Paper 2-Two Page Paper
Write a 500 word reflection on boundaries in ministry, incorporating key points, best practices, and next steps for your role in ministry
Look at these two examples and write your reflection on Case Study 1 or 2.
Boundaries in Pastoral Relationships with Children & Youth
Case Study 1
Jody leading a Message for All Ages in worship on a Sunday morning. She invites the children and youth to join her as she sits on the steps in the front of the church. One three year old boy race to the front, his eyes, beaming, and he puts himself right in Jody’s lap. Other children fill in the spaces all around her, eager to hear what she has to say.
This continues week after week with the same three year old boy racing to Jody’s lap. Occasionally Jody tries to invite him to sit in the space next to her but he always crawls into her lap.
Case Study 2
Kevin’s role as pastor at a small church means that he often ends up planning and leading most of the youth group activities. He typically has 5-6 teenagers join him for monthly activities but he has trouble recruiting adult volunteers to join the group. This means that he is often the only adult present for youth group activities
Boundaries on Social Media
Case Study 1
Jody is leading a three-day spiritual retreat with her congregation. Each morning everyone is invited to spend some time in prayer. Many participants find a calm space to sit while others go on slow prayer walks through the trail system at the retreat space.
Jody enjoys taking prayer walks but she also takes photos of things she sees on her walk and posts them on Instagram with a caption describing why it connects with her and short prayer. On the last day of the retreat some of the participants approach Jody and tell her that they’ve seen her with her phone out during the morning prayer time and have seen the things she is posting on Instagram and they are concerned that this is not appropriate behavior for a church retreat, saying that the purpose of a retreat is to leave technology and our work and normal life behind.
Case Study 2
Kevin spends every Monday morning on twitter, turning the sermon he preached on Sunday into a twitter thread that he can share online. This often leads to various people responding and engaging with him in this space. Most recently one conversation moved from comments on his tweets to Direct Messages with one another and now the individual is asking to have an in person conversation. Their conversations online all revolve around faith, theology, spirituality, and pastoral care. But Kevin has never had a “twitter friend” show up “in real life.”
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