We must become. For too long, sexual minorities have been told that they choose who they are attracted to. They’ve been told that if they genuinely and earnestly pray for God to change their attractions, He will. Instead, the Church has responded to sexual minorities with fear and silence, if not outright rejection and hatred. Many are disowned by their families, hate crimes are committed against sexual minorities every day, and sexual minorities are FOUR times more likely to commit suicide. Something has to change.
We must become a Church. The Church should be a place where all people can find love, acceptance, and support. Yet, the first impulse of pastors when sexual minorities reach out to the Church for help is to connect them with a therapist. Loving sexual minorities is the work and responsibility of the Church. But it's not enough for only pastors to be trained—we are all the Church. We must all take up this responsibility, and we can do it together as a people guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We must become a Church where sexual minorities belong. Sexual minorities are not a problem to be fixed but a people to belong. However, most of our churches are not yet a place where they could belong; where sexual minorities could feel welcome to worship, pray, and take communion with us, where sexual minorities could feel welcome to share meals and sadness and celebration with us, where sexual minorities could feel welcome to work out their faith alongside us.
We want the Church we leave our children to be one where boys and girls grow up hearing their parents, friends, and pastors talk in compassionate and meaningful ways about sexuality. And if those boys and girls find themselves attracted to other boys or girls of the same sex, we want them to be able to share with their parents, friends, or pastors without fear or shame. This is the gospel. This is what Christ died for. This is what we should live for: Becoming a Church where sexual minorities belong.
This blog aims to provide you with the EQUIPment needed to become a Church where sexual minorities belong. We’ll explore the need, what the Church can do about it, and how we’re taking steps in Nashville toward that goal. We hope the ideas and stories found here inspire you to take up this work in your city. We invite you to subscribe, share with others, pray for this work, and join the movement!