A growing need in our culture and ministry is the ability to respond to the issues of same sex attraction, LGBTQ, and gender identity. With social media, friends, and so many other voices speaking to these topics it is difficult to determine which ones to listen to. A quick search will reveal responses ranging from hostile to condoning and everything in between.
Often as leaders we are aware that boys in their groups are wrestling with these thoughts. How do we help or respond when the boys we are ministering to have questions about and are looking for clarification to these issues? Being able to provide biblical direction in a loving and intentional way is critical.
During our LEAD conference this past March we were able to introduce a timely resource that is focused on helping us with this very need. Dr. Linda Seiler, the Executive Director of ReStory Ministries, shared in two powerful sessions that included her story and information to help our leaders better understand and respond to these issues. We also announced a partnership with ReStory Ministries to provide training, information, and resources on how to deal with questions your boys may have.
ReStory Ministries is made up of a group of leaders who’ve been impacted by homosexuality and gender identity. Some of them have struggled with it personally, some have had LGBTQ loved ones, and some of them have spent decades ministering to LGBTQ people. ReStory Ministries has been approved by the Assemblies of God leadership as a trusted resource to assist us with these topics.
Their website explains why they formed this ministry. “We are passionate about seeing every church equipped, every family prepared, and every believer informed regarding LGBTQ. We want everyone to have a ready answer when someone in their church says, ‘I think I’m gay,’ or ‘My daughter just announced she’s lesbian,’ or ‘My best friend is transgender.’ Ultimately, we believe that when the Church is equipped, new stories of transformation are told!”
On their website at www.restoryministries.org, you can find one-page quick guides with easy to access information you can reference. There are also books and other recommended resources for more extensive study. They can help you find personal support for yourself or someone else who may need help. Additional video trainings as well as other resources will be available soon on their website so check back regularly so as not to miss them when they post.
We know these are issues we can’t hide from. We also know there’s much more we could be doing about them. Together with ReStory Ministries, we hope to be able to resource you as a leader, parent, and trusted mentor to better understand and know how to help your young men.