Author Archives: Rev. Steve Clapp & Holly Sprunger
“Go into all the world…” Really?
Showing broad acceptance of people of different sexual orientations, as well as other diverse backgrounds should be our goal. The message of Christ is for the whole world, and all who embrace Christ become part of the body of Christ, …
Making churches safe places for gay youth
In Christian Community’s study on the sexual values and behaviors of 5,819 U.S. teenagers who are involved in congregational life (described in Faith Matters: Teenagers, Religion, and Sexuality), we found a surprisingly high number (12% of males; 9% of females) …
How inclusive hospitality can help your congregation grow
Congregations with inclusive attitudes and practices toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people make themselves much more attractive not only to LGBT people but to many others as well. Becoming a welcoming and accepting congregation can create an atmosphere …
Why young people may be avoiding your faith community
The welcome and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in congregations contributes to a positive image of Christianity, especially among young adults, many of whom have rejected the church.
Sadly, the harshness of many denominations and congregations toward LGBT people has contributed to a negative image of the Christian faith, particularly among people in their twenties and thirties, both inside and outside the church.
The hospitality gap
In response to surveys and as a part of informal conversations, most people share the perception that their congregation is friendly to those who visit.
The reality, however, is that most of our congregations are not as welcoming as they like to think; and people who join our congregations often do not continue to be as active as when they joined. There is a significant hospitality gap between the image of the church as warm and welcoming and what guests and new members actually experience.
A grandson trumps theology
A prominent church leader and retired university president, whose name would be immediately recognized by many if we used it here, found his view of homosexuality challenged when his twenty-year-old grandson came out as gay. He described it in this way: