Issue 19: Your Fear of Losing People Over These Issues Will End in Losing People
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I had a conversation recently with a leader of a large ministry that doesn’t want his ministry to address LGBTQ+ issues. He equated it to differences of views in baptism or women in ministry.
My immediate response back to him was that this isn’t an “agree to disagree” issue. These things are the difference between Christian and non-Christian. The stakes are sky high.
The biggest reason he didn’t want to address LGBTQ+ issues is because they are controversial, and he doesn’t want his ministry handling those things. He would rather them focus on the gospel and not debatable issues. He’s afraid of losing people.
This is a wrong-headed approach.
Know What Time It Is
The most frustrating thing about the conversation was it showed he doesn’t understand the times. It’s 2023 in America. If your plan for discipleship doesn’t include those issues, you’re irrelevant.
Why? Because Christians are bombarded with LGBTQ+ ideology every day. The world wants us to embrace these views and syncretize them with Christian doctrine. We cannot do this.
Not only does the Bible teach that these things are sinful but, practically, they do not lead to peoples’ flourishing. It is unloving to let people believe lies that go against God simply because they are in fashion with the culture.
It’s ironic that fear of losing people over addressing these issues is why we will lose people. If we fail to address these issues, we will lose our people to this ideology. They are aggressively discipling people, especially young people.
If the church and Christian ministries fail to confront these topics in 2023, we should cease to exist.
1 Actionable Tip
Disciple your people on cultural issues, particularly LGBTQ+ ideology, or you can guarantee someone else will.
Don’t make these things your exclusive focus. We don’t want to jump around constantly on the latest fads, but we do need to help people think biblically about real things they experience in the world. We need to teach what the Scriptures say on these topics.
It is important that we not only teach what the Bible says is wrong, but also explain why the Bible teaches about what is right. God designed us and gave us His Word for our good. We need to help people trust God’s good design for sexuality and gender.
Give your people resources on these subjects. Provide articles, books, and other resources to help them stand firm in the faith.
1. Hold The Line: A Call To Christian Conviction in a Culture of Conformity. This is my latest book. It is short and accessible for Christians of any maturity level. It is written to help them know how to stay faithful despite the constant pressure to conform. Order on Amazon.
2. Student Ministry & College Conferences. Your students and young adults are bombarded every day with assaults against their faith and the Christian worldview. We have a conference dedicated to helping equip them to walk faithfully in a world that isn’t going to make it easy for them.
Our Engaging Truth Conference is held in three different locations. Find one at a date and time that works for you and your church. This year’s theme at each location is: Out of the Dust. The sessions will explore what it means to be created in the image of God and belong to God in a world that believes we are autonomous and free to define our own gender and sexuality. Don’t miss out!
New Orleans – Join us at NOBTS / Leavell College on March 24-25th
Minneapolis – Join us at Bethlehem College and Seminary on April 21-22nd
Asheville – Join us at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina on October 13-15th