gay-men-suits-holding-hands-Flickr-smallTo say that issues surrounding the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer movement are sensitive to navigate would be a gross understatement. Here are three mistakes that are often made in our ministries:

1. People make “gay” jokes. Statements like, “That’s gay,” or, “What are you, gay?” are exactly the types of things that will repel someone who needs to have a safe place to share. This will alienate kids and make you completely unsafe to talk to. We come across as arrogant and condemning. Huge mistake.

2. People treat this issue as a simple one. This is perhaps the most complex issue we are dealing with today from a pastoral perspective, mostly because it’s tied to identity in such strong ways. We cannot make the mistake of trying to make it simple for people. It’s not.

3. People just point to the Bible. We can no longer just say we’re against “same-sex marriage” because “the Bible says marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman.” This may be true, but it in no way addresses or even acknowledges the emotional turmoil people are in.

What are some ways you are addressing this issue in a positive way in your ministry?

Chuck Bomar planted and is lead pastor of Colossae Church in Portland, Ore., and is founder of both CollegeLeader ( and iampeople ( He is author of six books, with the most recent being the highly anticipated work titled Better Off Without Jesus.

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