Becoming a Welcoming, Accepting & Affirming Church
10 Issues Churches Will Have to Work Through
To create a safe place and transition a congregation to welcome, accept and affirm LGBT people into their congregations will be quite a journey. It will take some very gracious non-judgmental straight Christians who are willing to say we don’t have all the answers and have the capacity to live with some ambiguities. On the other side it will take some very gracious, non-demanding gay Christians who are prepared to walk a journey over several years with their straight brothers and sisters.
Depending on the family, community and culture it can take many years for a gay or lesbian person to resolve their sexuality and come out. This is even more complex and intense if they come from a Christian background. Working through these issues as a faith community will also take time. There will be lots of dialogue and listening over several years in order to resolve these issues and create a place of safety and acceptance.
These are the issues straight Christians and churches will have to work through. I’ve listed these in order of priority in a progressive manner. Often tackling one issue before the previous one is resolved makes progress unsuccessful.
- Natural aversion to gay sex
- Negative even hostile attitudes towards LGBT people
- Deconstructing stereotypes
- How to make LGBT people feel welcome in the church community
- Bible verses that speak about same sex behaviour
- Celibacy vs normal sexual needs
- Accepting committed gay & lesbian relationships
- LGBT people serving and using their gifts in the church community
- Adoption and parenting
Moving to a place where a church becomes welcoming and affirming needs to be well thought out and strategic just as any mission endeavour would be. Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International works with pastoral and leadership teams in a safe, private, non-confrontational space and also with the entire churches…..depending where you are at on the journey.