Principle 1: Share the Gospel within reach of LGBT+ Communities.
“Jesus’ method was to touch the heart of the individual so that he or she responded to Him out of love for Him, rather than from compulsion or control.” (Page 159, “Jesus Among Other Gods”, Ravi Zacharias, 2000)
We the Church have historically rejected LGBT+ people, limiting our ministry to fighting their activists. We have preached compassion from the pulpit but the media has often publicized the more hateful voices attributed to evangelical Christianity. To put it lightly, we have a serious credibility problem…
When we share, they expect to hear hate. We need to publicly apologize for the way the Church has often treated LGBT+ persons. Then, we should share the Gospel in a personal and authentic way that does not drive people away from Jesus, but rather attracts them toward the Savior who loves them as much as He loves us. We must be honest about our own imperfections so that it is clear we are not judging them. Above all, we should listen to their stories and seek to understand LGBT+ people and their needs. In short, we should encounter them in the same spirit with which Christ encounters us.
Invite LTH to share our Lead Them Home message to equip your ministry to effectively share Christ’s love with LGBT+ friends and neighbors.
Principle 2: Care for families in our churches who have LGBT+ loved ones.
Many Christian families still perceive that we are instructing them to “cut off” or limit relations with their LGBT+ loved ones. These families feel very misunderstood by Christian friends. Many families feel isolated and unclear about what they should do.
We must let parents know that the Church and the Bible encourage them to love, accept and actively connect with their children. If not for a strong relationship with parents, many of us who have come out of homosexuality might have never heard the Lord’s still, small voice. We can never make promises that someone’s child will surrender their sexual/gender identity to Christ. Yet whether they live out their identity or surrender it, we are family called to love our children as the Father loves us.
Invite LTH to offer our Family Care Seminar at your church. This half-day, confidential workshop transforms the church’s ministry to families of LGBT+ loved ones and in turn transforms such families’ ministry to their LGBT+ loved ones.
Principle 3: Assist those in our churches seeking help with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction.
We never try to force “change” on any LGBT+ person. We never offer easy promises that change will come or that marriage is right around the corner. For many who experience same-sex attraction, marriage may never be possible. We focus instead on helping the same-sex attracted person discover God’s mission for their life right where they are. It is in the pursuit of God’s mission that we all find the joy, the peace and freedom that we seek. Many are crippled by the idea that they cannot move forward with their life until they are “healed.” No wonder so many give up after a long struggle and go back to seeking intimacy through same-sex relationships. Our counsel focuses on building a practical hope for a satisfying life right here, right now. God can take care of any change He desires for our lives as we submit to His will and follow Him in His mission for our lives.
Invite LTH to share our Healing in the Light of Christ message at your church.
Principle 4: Protect all LGBT+ people.
We seek to protect the value and dignity of all LGBT+ people as well as those with unwanted same-sex attraction. We work toward the elimination of homophobic attitudes and blatant hatred of and violence against LGBT+ people. Further, we work to protect young LGBT+ teens who are often vulnerable to suicide.
Invite LTH to share about our One Suicide Is One Too Many campaign to eliminate gay teen suicide. Inquire about our newest venture we call The Lighthouse, an access point within the evangelical church for teens who experience same-sex attraction.
A Call to Evangelicals
In late 2003, Lead Them Home began charting a new course for Christian ministry to LGBT+ persons and their families. The Church ignored the LGBT+ community when they were powerless. We often ignored their families too. As LGBT+ people gained power in society, many para-church movements postured God against gay people. Although many evangelical pastors preach compassion and love as godly responses, other evangelical leaders did not convey much love at all. Some minority and extremist voices convey outright hatred toward LGBT+ persons as they purport to represent evangelicals. Yet let us not blame the extremists: we too (historically speaking) invested heavily in the hope that we might win the Culture War.
Beyond the Culture War, Christ is Calling…
It’s time we go outside our Churches to clarify the Gospel message and share the love of Christ within reach of LGBT+ communities; it’s time we care for families in our churches who have LGBT+ loved ones; it’s time we let go of the easy promises that same-sex attraction will go away and instead build God’s mission into people right where they are; and it’s time that we value and protect the dignity of all LGBT+ persons. It’s time we lead them home. Will you join us?