Arguably one of the most divisive topics of our time, faith and sexuality conversations continue to divide churches and families, hurt our witness with others, inhibit our own spiritual growth, and damage LGBTQ+ people.
The church has a reputation for being anti-gay, oftentimes because of harm we have unintentionally caused to LGBTQ+ people. As a result, LGBTQ+ and straight Christians alike are leaving the church or giving up on their faith because they feel unsafe around other believers, unable to engage sincere questions, and unwelcome from community where they can authentically grow in their faith.
But there's a better way.
the way forward.
An often quoted African proverb says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We believe we can go far...together. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Him, we find all we need to heal, and to reconcile to one another, ourselves, and God. To move forward, we must respond to the current spiritual needs of Christians (LGBTQ+ and straight individuals alike) who are dissatisfied with the church’s response to the LGBT community. Simultaneously, we must equip the Church to repair their anti-gay witness.
Dual target audiences
We take the unique approach of serving dual audiences:
LGBTQ+ and same-sex attracted Christians (Side A, B, and everything in between)
Christian leaders who maintain traditional theological views on sexuality
Why both? We can learn together what we cannot learn alone. Our theological divisions encourage us to stay in our echo-chambers, listening only to the voices that affirm our own theology and views, painting those with whom we disagree with the most uncharitable strokes. Conflict can quickly bring out the worst in us. To fix what's gone wrong between us, all of us must show up with humility, graciousness, and hope that God has a better way forward for us. Confession, repentance, and reconciliation simply cannot happen with only one "side" present in our conversations.
We know that coming into contact with insightful, open-hearted individuals who are different than us has a proven track record for empowering us to shed tendencies towards dismissing or dehumanizing one another. So conversations with one another, rather than about one another, are vital. In community, both straight pastors and LGBTQ+ Christians alike can hear the joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, setbacks and victories that the "other" experiences. We can be called to remember we are all made in the "imago dei", the image of God.
We equip Christians to practice reconciliation with the LGBT community through:
Exploring questions of Biblical interpretation of key Scriptures on sexuality
Building a theological model for Christlike presence with marginalized groups
Fostering empathy and compassion by sharing thoughtful LGBT stories/perspectives
Instilling confidence into pastoral leaders by providing LGBT culture training (language, history, customs/celebrations, views)
Creating entry point opportunities for dialogue between Christians and the LGBT community
Calling Christians to repentant action on behalf of the LGBT community
We respond to the spiritual needs of LGBTQ+ Christians by:
Building Christian community/discipleship groups for LGBTQ+ and straight Christian friends
Providing resources for LGBTQ+ Christians to connect with other Christians and grow in their faith
WHERE WE WORK
As a small team with limited resources, our work is currently centered in the Greater Cincinnati & Ohio Valley region. This focus is essential for our momentum and success. Reconciliation doesn’t come easily – it demands careful attentiveness to the communities in which we invest. Our aim is to create thriving communities in this focused area to export to other cities around the country.
However, our trainings & consulting are available anytime & anywhere. If you’re interested in scheduling time to talk or bringing a LOVEboldy seminar to your area, let us know!
events & programs
Small Group Bible Studies meet regularly as a rich place of healing and discipleship, custom designed for LGBTQ+ Christians and straight friends working towards community and discipleship together.
Training Events provide an essential resource for church leaders to learn how to maneuver in a complex and challenging arena.
Outreach at Gay Pride empowers Christians to spread God's love to the LGBT+ community in practical ways.
Dialogue Events foster productive conversations between diverse viewpoints on faith and sexuality.
We also curate important resources for you that have helped us tremendously. This growing library is available for your continued enrichment.
Finally, we offer consulting & training for churches seeking help and direction.
what if this works?
It's time for a new day to dawn. It's time for God's Kingdom to come in our divides over faith and sexuality. Join us as we watch His light overcome our darkness and as conservative and progressive alike grow to:
Understand the breakdowns in our communication...
Repent for the ways we've demonized and hurt one another...
See that it is possible to be for one another despite our differences...
Our dream is to see our region palpably and noticeably transformed. To watch a movement happen, divides bridged, and Christ’s kingdom advancing as it never has.
And then, to replicate that movement in city after city until the last need has been met.
But hey. That’s probably a couple months down the road.
For now, friend, we have work to do.