today marks the first blog post of 2013 at the WayWard follower (thanks for the break!), and also the first post of a series surrounding conversations i’ve had in recent years with churches and church leaders regarding their relationship and reputation within the LGBT community.
back in 2010 bill hybels spoke at his leadership summit (a 5 minute summary video may be found toward the end of this post) in which he said, ‘leaders move people from here to there.’
he went on to say that it’s imperative for a leader to bring people to the realization that the here (the current reality) was awful and unacceptable before any group can be effectively mobilized to move there (toward a preferred future).
‘figure out what God wants to get done in the world, figure out what role you play in that and then to move something or someone from here to there.
your job is to convince people that we cannot and we will not stay here…but we are moving there.’
in these next posts, we’ll explore together how the current reality – the ‘here‘ – of the church’s relationship with the LGBT community is unacceptable – intolerable, deplorable and yes, even unchristian.
regardless of your theological position on the topic of homosexuality, or whether you approach the scriptures with a conservative or progressive hermeneutic, i think we can all agree -
how the church has traditionally approached this conversation is unhelpful.
it has been said that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same behavior again and again expecting different results.
what we’ve been doing simply isn’t working.
the reputation of the church within the broader LGBT community is more of a hindrance than a help to bringing people into relationship with christ. we’ll explore why that is, and examine how even well-intentioned efforts to engage in conversation with the LGBT community not only have failed to promote peaceful and productive conversation, but have alienated an entire population of people, making the message of christ essentially inaccessible to that population.
and that’s unacceptable.
we’ll then work together to paint a picture of what could be, encouraging thoughtful conversation and intentional movement to a preferred future – the ‘there‘ – of boldly living out our faith in counter cultural ways.
we’ll look at how we can become agents of change within our own church culture and communities for the purpose of reconciliation with those whom have been disconnected and dehumanized in the name of christ.
let’s move from here to there, together.