This book explores the difficulties clergy face when they attempt to say
no by setting effective boundaries in order to say yes to the
life-giving call of ministry. It illustrates the benefits of good
boundaries, even as it traces the legacy of denominational boundary
trainings in the wake of the public clergy sexual misconduct crisis.
Devor and Olsen supplement anecdotes from their experience leading
boundary trainings with an examination of clergy/congregation dynamics
through the lenses of both self-psychology and family systems theory
elucidating how some obstacles to effective boundary setting are caused
by innate personality tendencies that are exacerbated by a stressful
church environment. A perfect storm occurs when clergy vulnerabilities
and systemic congregational anxiety interact, leading to burn-out and
boundary problems which hinder pastoral excellence. Readers will find
both practice questions to assist them in a deeper assessment of
personal and systemic obstacles as well as strategies for setting
boundaries, creating the space needed to pursue excellence in ministry."