Let’s be honest, the church has traditionally done a very poor job at handling this issue. Â We have addressed it without the grace we all deserve to be given as new creations in Christ and we have just flat out ignored it. Â But at times churches have done a great job at addressing this issue…and in my opinion, we are getting much better at it.
And if you are in college ministry, you know this issue cannot be ignored. Â So, here are 6 quick tips/ideas for addressing this issue in your ministry:
1. Hold firmly to the whole of scripture. Â Teach the truth and do not avoid saying anything, regardless of how hard it may be to say them. Â And make sure you include the grace God has shown all of us…no matter how arrogant the people you are teaching may be when it comes to this issue.
2. Remember you have issues too. Â Remembering your own weaknesses allow you to bring grace to others.
3. Remember this is not a simple issue to deal with. Â People are struggling with this issue and it’s mixed into all sorts of feelings and desires. Â This is messy and rarely are there overnight testimonies of how God miraculously took away the desire to be affirmed by someone of the same sex. Â Pay the price of time and, at very least, acknowledge the complexities.
4. Accurately expose your students to different views. Â People hold to different convictions, that’s inevitable. Â The thing you don’t want to do in college ministry is only teach people your view. Â You want them to know why you hold to your view over another, but make sure you accurately portray other views – even giving their strongest arguments. Â People usually aren’t as stupid as our strawman arguments often make them out to be. Â Address the hard issues to deal with. Â The fact is there are a lot of arguments out there as to why the scriptures don’t apply to this topic as it’s viewed today. Â Do your homework and don’t coward away from the tough questions people are asking.
5. Have a testimony or two shared. Â If you know someone who is willing to be open and honest about their struggle, have them share. Â I have had single friends share that have personally struggled for over 30 years, couples that have worked through the issue of adultery in this context, and have had college age people share. Â I’ve had people that have seemed to overcome the struggle a bit and others share who are having a very hard time. Â The bottom line is people need to know others have deep struggles as well. Â There is some discernment necessary here, but overall having people share openly about their struggles has proven to invaluable in my ministry experience.
6. Never, I mean never, make homosexual jokes. Â This deems you unsafe and arrogant in the mind of someone who struggles. Â Don’t make jokes in person or in a message. Â Don’t imitate someone using a different voice that could in any way be portrayed as someone who is homosexual. Â These are things that many people don’t pay close enough attention to…but it is critical if you want to have a loving, Christ-centered ministry to hurting people in your ministry.