Boundaries – When to Help

Proper boundaries in the context of a small group permit the leader to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually available equally to all group members. But when do you help your small group member and when do you refer them?

Consider some of the following situations; what would you do? A small group member calls you 4-5 times per week for advice. A member of your small group loses his or her job and asks if they can borrow money from you or the group. A small group member becomes disruptive or monopolizes the conversation in almost every weekly meeting.

If you lead a group long enough, you’ll eventually run into circumstances like this, and being prepared will help you to tactfully respond with grace and wisdom. Every situation is different but, generally speaking, consider these 3 guidelines:

1. Know yourself. All of us have different backgrounds and training, and you need to be aware of what is in your range of experience and abilities when leading others who are in need.
2. Discern the issue. Pray for guidance as you help someone. If you are comfortable in the situation, continue to help. If it is too much to handle, please refer.
3. Know who to refer. Inform your coach or staff contact if there is any issue that is overwhelming for you. Your coach and the staff are here to help in situations like that!

One Comment on “Boundaries – When to Help”

  1. Chuck Poulson

    First a question. I didn’t know I had a coach. I would like to find out who the person is. Second, the link to “above Reproach” doesn’t seem to be working. Thanks,


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