This will be one of the greatest safeguards against irreparable damage that could happen to you, your friend, your ministry, and your congregation.

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If your "friend" seems to also share interest in getting to know you better then it would be good to have a conversation that clearly states each person's intentions.

This will help guard hearts and help determine the next steps.

The minister confides in some trusted friends for accountability and discernment.

These friends could be in the church, outside the church, or both. ) If these friend(s) are from inside the church just make sure the person(s) can be trusted to guard your personal information and not share it with others.

If both people are open to the possibility of a romantic relationship then you continue with your friendship with this possibility in mind. (conversationally, emotionally, and definitely not physically) Continue to keep your "partners of truth and grace" with you every step of the way.

They don't need to know all of the details, but if the relationship is God-honoring then there should be no fear of others' input.In a worse case scenario they will notice something that is harmful and give needed warnings for either changes in the relationship or even to end the relationship.In a best case scenario they will give testimony to the godliness of your relationship and give their full support of a possible marriage as the relationship grows. You may want to rebel against these last few sentences, but if you are a minister of a congregation then your life is no longer totally yours.Our emotions and our longings are too strong to walk through this alone.For the sake of your heart, their heart, and the health of the congregation please submit yourselves to the Holy Spirit and to others.When they are in groups together the minister finds their attention focusing more and more on this individual.