homosexuality: stumbling towards a youth ministry response

You Were Born What Way? | Youth Specialties

I just came across this article on the YS site. It's about the first time a youth pastor had a young person tell of their struggle with sexual identity.

He walked into my office, a junior high student in my student ministry – a young man that I had led in the salvation prayer several years ago when he was still in our children’s ministry program.
This was my first year as a student pastor – a novice. A newbie. I thought I knew all there was to know and thought I was prepared for any situations that came my way.
I was not.
He sat in my office and quietly began to tell me that he was unsure of his sexual identity.

 This is not a new issue, of course. I am grateful for his perspective. Dealing with the topic of homosexuality is tricky for sure. In my experience there are no nuggets of truth to instantly take the struggle, feelings, or whatever away. I don't know of any homosexuals that have been argued out of their persuasion. 

If I could do anything differently… if I could somehow go back in time to that first encounter in my office, I think that I would want the first and last words out of my mouth to somehow communicate that I loved him. And then I’d take him out for a coffee or soda and try and let him know that I’d be with him for the long haul.

Honestly, I've been cautious to address homosexuality directly in our services, because I've noticed that highlighting a particular sin can sometimes make young people think that they SHOULD be struggling with that area. However, I do feel the responsibility to address the issue, but will another sermon really help? In my experience, the approach of the author is highly effective, it just takes effort, prayer, lots of time, and wisdom.

Does this topic come up in your church or youth group? How have you approached the subject? How have you seen God's redemption at work in this area?

1 comment:

Guillaume Hanique said...

Well, I don't think there are any homosexuals that have been argued out of it, just as there are none that are argued into loving someone.

When working with New Agers we learned that they are lost when you tell them they are doing something wrong, but also that the Holy Spirit himself teaches them what is wrong in time, without us having to tell them.

Just like babies, you have to 'clean' the people you coach until they mature enough that they don't want to dirty their pants anymore.

We should preach the gospel and tell the good news and the Holy Spirit will will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.

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