We’re only ten weeks away from CenterPeace’s “e3” Conference! If you’re still wondering whether or not you should come, here’s the first of the top ten reasons you need to come to “e3″….
…for the 14 year old boy who sat across the table from me at the frozen yogurt shop and told me he was gay and Christian, and then asked if that meant he was going to have to spend the rest of his life by himself.
If there’s no other reason in the world to come to this conference and get plugged into this conversation, that question is it. The simple fact that we have kids who are growing up – who have been growing up forever – in our pews without a safe place to talk about their feelings, about how it feels to be gay and Christian, and how that means something entirely different than it did even ten years ago. Most importantly this young man needs a place to constantly reassure him that he is deeply loved by God – that nothing about him changes that – and that he will always have a place at the table.
This young man needs a church family that will love him like they love all the other students in the youth group, unconditionally.
This young man needs a youth minister who knows how to walk alongside him, just hang out with him, support, include, embrace him into the Body of Christ.
He needs a church family with leaders who will love and encourage his mom and dad. Who will know what to say to them.
He needs a church family who’s not afraid to talk about hard things.
A church family that will talk about what it means to live by a Christian sexual ethic.
A church family that will talk about same-sex attraction.
A church family that knows that being a Christ follower involves more than our sexuality.
A church family that will help his mom and dad continue to raise him to be a disciple first.
He needs a community of faith where he knows he belongs.
Where he can develop the gifts God has given him and utilize them in Kingdom work.
At the conference we’ll talk about how to be that church family. We’ll talk about how to be the community – the family – he needs us to be for him.
For the rest of his life on this earth.
So he won’t ever have to live by himself.