I recently attended a workshop on healthy boundaries. The denomination I serve requires people involved in active ministry to attend such an event every several years. The purpose of the workshop is to prepare and remind people working in the church to recognize and honor the boundaries of others and to protect our own boundaries. Anytime people enter into relationships with other people there arises a need to observe and defend the integrity of one another’s boundaries.

I actually have a great deal of experience in dealing with boundaries. Before I entered seminary I was a land surveyor. One need only be in that profession a short time before one learns how seriously people take boundaries. I have met people who would go to court and spend large sums of money or threaten violence to press a claim over slivers of land so small that it added no utility or value to their property. The extremes sometimes seem ridiculous, but in the interest of good order there is ample reason to maintain boundaries.