I’m a pastor of a small church (120 avg Sunday attendance), and help our youth pastor on Wednesdays. We recently had a teen, who has been attending our church since he was about 4 or 5, come out to his grandma and at school.
Even though we’ve dealt with gay (including all GLBT under this name for simplicity in writing) persons attending our church and a proper, Godly response, this caused different reactions among some of our church leadership, and our 25 to 30 middle and high schoolers.
My youth pastor ordered the book and gave it to me to read first since I’ve taken the lead in trying to respond to this teen and to our lay leadership. This book was absolutely great IMO.
We did some things right, and some I wish I’d had the book sooner. I appreciate the affirmation, as well as the correction. One of the things we did right was address the subject of homosexuality as part of a larger series on ‘God’s Plan for Man’ that dealt with family and sexual wholeness. I also spent time with the teen that came out and we spoke very frankly about areas in which we agreed and disagreed, while letting him know I still loved him as much as I always had. I wish I’d heard the strong emphasis of pursuing Christ. While this was not entirely neglected, I definitely could have done a far better job of focusing on this. Fortunately, I still have that opportunity with this teen. By spending time with him, and another teen who was ‘hit on’ by this teen, I realize that both of them have a lot more in common with other teens (and people in general) than they have differences due to gay issues.
I want to highly recommend this book to everyone. It’s concise and easy to read, but when you are dealing with a gay teen, you’ll want to pick it up again. You should also have copies on hand. I found this blog when I went online to order more copies. I’m going to give one to each of our leaders, as well as have some on hand for parents.
Most of the time, the book does not print scripture passages. You will get a lot more out of it, IMO, if you will keep a Bible on online text handy and read the verses that are listed.
Thanks, Pastor Joel, for this humbling review. I praise Jesus that He is using this resource and my story to reach others for His glory. You can order my book via the link to the right. If you’ve read my book, I would love to hear your thoughts about it and how you’re using it.