How To Minister To Homosexuals
By Beacon Ministries
God Wants The Church To Reach Homosexual People.
God has said He will seek the lost. As His people we must be doing the work of our Father as Jesus did. The church must take note of the Lord’s words: “The diseased and weak you have not strengthened. the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hard-hearted harshness you have ruled them. Behold! Says the Lord God, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. I will rescue them out of all the places they are scattered… I myself will seek that which was lost and I will bring back that which has strayed and I will bandage the hurt and the crippled and will strengthen the weak and the sick.” (Ezekiel 34:4-15 Amplified Bible)
Become A Real Friend To The Individual Seeking Freedom From Homosexuality.
The person leaving the lifestyle has been abandoned by psychology, the entire secular world, and a large segment of the church. The secular world is saying “Stay as you are: you were born that way; stop trying to change, and just be yourself,” while many in the Church are saying change is not possible; that all gays are going to hell, and there is no hope. Often times the person coming out of homosexuality ends up not being accepted and supported by either side. Friendship evangelism is still the best outreach. Be there for them; support, and love them. Your friendship, your testimony of what Christ has done, and allowing the love of God to shine through you is the most effective tool. Don’t fail to use it. Just be their friend!
The Church Must Understand Everything In The Ex-Gay’s Life Must Change.
The sexual desires are not all that needs to be changed. The gay lifestyle can be all consuming. He must build new associations within the church. He must come to view church members as a supporting family, affirming and rejoicing in the right choices being made. Certainly good spiritual times are essential, but he has need of good social times as well. The church must help him build a “history in a hurry.” so he will feel connected and valued in his new setting.
Don’t Think Of Homosexuality As Unusual.
Realize every church may have many people struggling with this issue, but are too afraid to share their problems. Homosexuality reaches deeper and began earlier than other addictions such as drugs or alcohol. The gay person will have a deeper ingrained mind-set. So they live a double-life. They attempt to appear as normal as possible in the church setting. The fear of rejection could cause someone struggling with homosexuality to lie about their life and activities. Thus if you inquire too deeply into their life, they will begin to avoid contact with you. In order to help them, they first must be made to feel comfortable sharing their difficulties with others. Stop being embarrassed when talking about homosexuality. Embarrassment inhibits sharing and healing. You must feel comfortable with the term “homosexuality” so strugglers will be able to find courage to share their problem.
When Someone Shares, Do Not Ignore It, But Follow Up On That Person.
One counseling session or sharing session is never enough. Change is a continuous process and may last many years. It takes long-term involvement. The gay person may have many friends and strong reinforcement to remain in the gay lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is a lonely and transient life; friends come and go. This lifestyle often burns the unwary. What are needed are stable relationships; friends who will be here now and in the future; those who are committed for the long-haul. This one thing the church has and the gay lifestyle doesn’t.
Homosexual People Need Warmth.
Church people often will not touch them, but it is needed and will be a major part of the healing process. Many ex-gays think church people see them as diseased. There should be no irrational fear of AIDS. Show the same affection given to other Christians. Gays often see the church as a heterosexual institution. In many ways, heterosexual society has not been their friend. They are often as prejudiced against Christians and the church as the church may have been against them. Church members who show a genuine interest will do much to counteract fear of rejection and hostile attitudes.
Church Members Give To The Ex-Gay Person.
Church Members Cannot Give To The Ex-Gay Person More Than They Themselves Have Received. They must have a closer walk with Jesus so that they can model Christianity for the person leaving this lifestyle. The church must realize those seeking change must dedicate themselves to God in a deeper walk than most Christians have experienced. The seeker must become totally immersed in the life of the church. Not only must they have a personal relationship with the Lord, but they must learn of the Lord, both through their own investigation, and through the spoken word in their church.
Allow The Homosexual To Come To God Just As They Are.
We do not change first and then come to the Lord. We first come to the Lord and then He alone will do the “changing and fixing” that is needed in our life. Not all will want change. Arguing and debating will serve no positive purpose. Most gays are already aware their life style is wrong. They feel that they are outcasts and rejects from society. They suffer a deep, inner anguish over their situation, but feel hopelessly unable to escape from their life style. To further criticize and castigate them only serves to drive them further away. Generally speaking, gays feel hated and rejected by the Church world. They need to be convinced that we love them, because if they can’t be convinced that we love them, they will never be convinced that Jesus loves them.
Build A Trust Relationship Through Mutual Sharing.
Share enough of your faults and short-comings to put the ex-gay person at ease. Become a good listener. Limit your advice. The person coming out of homosexuality does not need to hear about the “100 Reasons Why Gays Are Bad” list. They already know this list, frontward and backward; in fact, they can add to your list; and, most likely are already aware of what the Scriptures have to say about this issue. Often Christians have used these Scriptures as “weapons.” If they do ask, point them to the passages and allow the individual to read them when they are alone with God. Other-wise, they simply need to have someone listen as they share their sadness, disappointments, and failures. They need people to be available; people they can call when tempted. They need someone to offer a message of hope… a message that life can be better.
Stop Expecting ZAP Deliverance; Change Is A Process.
We must not misrepresent the Christian life to the gay struggler. It is a long, difficult road. The peace comes from the assurance that God is in the process and that the end result will be a better life, one in right- relationship with God. Realize that there is a cost to ministry. Part of that cost is time and emotions. There will be times of frustration, irritation, disappointment, calls at inopportune times, and even perhaps some embarrassment. Yet there is also a cost in refusing to do what God directs us to do.
Follow The Biblical Principles Of Hospitality.
Invite gay (ex-gay) people to your home or out to eat. Spend time with the ex-gay person; study God’s Word with them. Help them become well-grounded in Christ and to know how to put their armor on. (How to protect themselves from the enemy.)
Allow The Ex-Gay Person Some Kind Of Service In The Church.
He (or she) needs to have a sense of belonging in the Body and know they are valued.
Many Gays (Ex-Gays) Do Not Have Adequate Social Skills.
They may be withdrawn and fearful. Go the second mile and give them some special attention. (Arrange to have them picked up at their home for church activities, at least for a while.) Introduce them to as many people as possible; pave the way for future relationships.
Along This Same Line.
Through mentorship, the chruch can be instrumental in helping those afflicted with homosexual attractions become comfortable in their God-given gender roles. Men in the church should realize some gay men have not had sufficient role-models to help them feel affirmed in their masculinity. Help them with outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. Rather than ridiculing their for their inability to play certain sports, or have knowledge of cars and machinery, they can do much to educate these men in their areas of need. The results of this type of mentorship will be amazing.
Through It All Change Is Inevitable When Someone In Full Cooperation With God.
There is no person alive who is so perverse or damaged that God cannot move in their life if they open themselves up to God and allow Him to do what He wants when He wants. New life may at times be painful and much may be required, because the old must die before the new can emerge. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only-a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25 NIV) There will be times when nothing seems to be happening, there will be other times when God may be ignoring the sexual problem and working on the basics; responsibility, honesty, anger, and a host of issues connected with immaturity.
We Live In Certain Anticipation Of The Lord’s Soon Return.
While there is still time, there is still hope There is no sin that cannot be forgiven, no chains that cannot be loosed, and no brokenness that cannot be healed. We are to be the ambassadors for Christ, an embodiment of His love, given to the task of reconciling gays to God. The love of God manifested in you, and through you, as you worship. sing, and pray will touch sinners. His Spirit working in you as you reach out to homosexuals will affect them as only He can.
Beacon Ministries – Nello Pozzobon Founder/Director
Mail: 10248 Alondra Boulevard
Bellflower, CA 90706
This pamphlet “How To Minister To Homosexuals” written by Beacon Ministries is distributed by Beacon Ministries affiliated with the International Pentecostal Church, UPCI.