Rooted Resources for Ministering to Teenagers During Pride Month

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Gospel-centered youth ministers often wrestle with how to engage our teenage friends surrounding matters of LGBTQ+ identity and practice—and perhaps especially during Pride Month. As ministers of the gospel, we want to proclaim the goodness of God’s creation of human beings in his image, the reality of sin in our world, and the good news that Jesus has come and will come again to restore all things to himself. Here are some of our best resources on this topic, which we hope will encourage you as you serve teenagers.

Throughout the month of June, as many around the country and around the world commemorate Pride Month, youth ministry practitioners are considering how to speak out and serve in grace-filled, gospel-centered, Bible-saturated ways. Todays guest, Stephen Yates, highlights a number of resources that will help youth workers do exactly that.

While visiting Ellijay, GA for a speaking engagement with Autumn Ridge Community Church, author and speaker Becket Cook sat down with Davis Lacey to share this conversation with the Rooted Youth Ministry Podcast. Listen to hear Becket share insights from his book, A Change of Affection: A Gay Mans Incredible Story of Redemption: his embracing of a gay lifestyle, his radical conversion to Christianity, and his thoughts on how best to shepherd students with respect to issues of human sexuality. 

In this episode, authors Becket Cook and Rachel Gilson share their stories, both of which involve experiencing same-sex attraction as teenagers, living openly-homosexual lifestyles during early adulthood, and eventually giving up those lifestyles after coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Youth ministers and parents alike will find answers to questions such as, What is it like to experience same-sex attraction as a teenager?” “How can caring adults care for LGBTQ teenagers without compromising their convictions?” And, most importantly, How does the gospel offer good news to those who experience same-sex attraction?”

In this episode of the Rooted Podcast, Dr. Yuan shares his story of awakening to new life in the gospel. He reorients our thinking on sexuality toward holiness, reminding us that God is not against people but for their flourishing. 

By Gods grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, I think I was an example of what speaking both truth and love looks like. What I hadnt appreciated until that moment was how disorienting it must have been for someone not used to it. If you only hear affirmations from your transgender friends, and shame from Christians, meeting a person who fits neither category is shocking. Its a powerful apologetic to the false narrative many people have about Christianity as a religion of shame.

This wonderful article, written by a twenty-three-year-old man who experiences same-sex attraction, addresses parents of kids who are struggling with their sexuality. He writes with empathy and kindness, acknowledging that while he has never been a parent, he has been dearly loved by his own mom and dad, even and especially in the midst of his own struggles. This wise young man glorifies God and honors his parents while offering hope in the gospel to families who want to love each other well.

Our job as youth ministers and volunteers is to honor the words of our students by leaning in to clarify—whether its an Instagram post, a hasty text, or an indirect comment at youth group. Whenever you suspect suicidal thoughts, a face-to-face conversation is best; however, if you see something you are concerned about via social media or a text, please call your student immediately (and keep calling until you reach him, or call his parents). If you suddenly find yourself in a text conversation surrounding suicidal ideation, getting your student to talk to you in person or via the phone should be the priority. (The article also includes what to do when a student expresses active suicidality.)

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