Setting Ministry Boundaries

Setting Ministry Boundaries August 28, 2012

Lesson One:

She was referred by a friend to Star Light Ministries. She was desperate for help. Her daughter was stripping in a local club, and she didn’t know what to do. We talked some about the club, about the work her daughter was doing. And we talked about ways for her to stay connected to her daughter. I also invited the mother to give her daughter my phone number.

Her daughter never called. I eventually met her in the club where she was working. She was standoffish, at best. Then it dawned on me.

I could not minister to both the family and loved ones of sex workers and still minister to sex workers. It’s a matter of trust.

Lesson Two:

He called me one afternoon. He was an attorney. He had become friends with a young woman who was stripping in a club, and he wanted to have me meet with her. He wanted to find some resources to help her get out of sex work, and perhaps into college. He thought that she really wanted to do something different.

I told him that I don’t work with friends and family, that I only work with sex workers. He could feel free to give her my number, but that I couldn’t help him process what was up with her.

She never called.

People seek help when they are ready to be helped and to make changes. No amount of others seeking help for them makes a difference. It’s just a waste of time.

Lesson Three:

She came to Star Light’s events with her friend. Her friend engaged with us at every turn, making it clear that she wanted accompaniment, that she was looking for new options. But this young woman only came with her friend. She didn’t come if her friend didn’t come, and she didn’t engage outside of our classes. She wasn’t looking for new options. She was being dragged to Star Light stuff.

I spent a lot of energy engaging her. I took her to lunch. I drove her where she needed to go. But she accepted it all with disdain. She wasn’t really interested in a relationship.

Building relationships requires a lot of energy. It’s important that the energy used be used effectively.

It’s the same amount of energy to work with someone who wants accompaniment as it is to work with someone who doesn’t want it. It can be fruitful with someone who wants it, but it can be a big waste of energy with someone who doesn’t. Use your energy wisely.

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