It sounds like you are unsure whether to pursue a relationship with your friend because of the chance it may ruin your friendship as well as outside pressures. When it comes to relationships, there really is no right answer – only the answer that is right for you. I would recommend weighing your options carefully. While it is true a relationship that ends could impact your friendship, it is also possible that a relationship could bring you and your friend closer together. Upcoming changes in your life, like going to college, also make it harder to pursue a relationship, but not necessarily impossible if there are enough feelings there.
Have you spoken to your friend about your feelings for him? It may be beneficial to discuss these options with him, especially if he feels the same way about you, and make a decision together. As for the involvement of your church and his family, remember that a relationship is between two people. You always have the right to request and receive privacy. If you feel you need more help, you may want to discuss your relationship with a counselor.
Lauren, for AlterHeros