Here’s another article about gay teens within a youth ministry. Below is just me summary of the article that I had to write for a college class. As one who works within youth ministry, I struggle with students and their reactions to those who are ‘different’ – especially teens who struggle with homosexuality. As you may tell, I’m quite passionate about reaching out to gay teens and youth ministry in general. What can I say, it’s been laid on my heart … ignore it not.
Anyways, here’s my sum of the article:
Whether we want to admit it or not, by now our students have faced homosexuality in three ways: they know someone who is gay, they’re ‘out of the closet’, or peers have called them gay. Regardless which situation best fits our students, as youth pastors we need to accept the truth that within our youth ministries homosexuality is an issue – one that is most often overlooked and/or ignored by us as ministers. Kelli Trujillo calls us all out on the carpet how we are and how we’re not ministering to the issue of homosexuality within our youth ministries. She states, “Christian teens are battered by messages about sexuality every day … that any sexual lifestyle is okay”, yet on the opposite end “they hear that homosexuality is a sin … they also hear jokes [about gays] from their Christian friends, families”. It’s no wonder that our students have a mixed message about this issue.
While we promote the truth that “the grace of JESUS can change any life … gays and lesbians are the church’s modern-day lepers” hearing a different message being communicated through words and actions: “GOD’S love is unconditional … but not for you”. I know what that message feels like, because I’ve had that message ‘spoken’ to me over and over again throughout my years of struggling with homosexuality. It sucks; and it’s a message that drives a deep wedge between a Father and HIS child.
Trujillo calls us to a higher standard of youth ministry by asking us to mimic how JESUS responded to the sinful woman in John 8, and applying HIS approach to how we approach gay teens in our youth ministries: preventing the attack of others, granting the student dignity and respect, and provide hope of new life. Likewise, Trujillo calls us to re-evaluate our ministries by revamping student’s vocabulary, downsizing the sin spectrum, and modeling radical love.