Vulnerability is the degree of openness between oneself and others. Finding the right degree is a balancing act. A related challenge in ministry is confidentiality—that is, how open can you be about someone else? These nine questions can help you decide whether what you know should be shared.
1. Am I telling this to someone who can do something about the problem by helping the person or offering discipline or correction?
2. If not, am I telling this to someone who is wise enough to help me sort out my feelings and courageous enough to make me do the right thing: to confront the person or to confess where I was at fault?
3. Is this news approved for sharing?
4. Am I breaking a confidence? If so, is it only because the person is endangering someone's life, including his or her own?
5. Am I willing to say from whom I got this information so the information can be checked for accuracy?
6. When I say this, does it break my heart?
7. Have I taken time to examine my life and confess to God how I also sin like that?
8. Am I praying for the person?
9. Would I feel comfortable if someone were saying this about me?
Originally published on BuildingChurchLeaders.com; copyright 2009 Christianity Today.