Gospel-Grounded Understanding of and Ministry to Sexual Minorities

Is it possible to reconcile the church’s doctrines with the challenges of sexual minorities in the church?

In this series we explore this and other questions in depth. We recommend beginning with our intro video:

The full video playlist for the series on sexual minorities can be found here:

Note: Slides are available here, though may differ slightly from the presentation form.

Below is a handy index of common questions and claims that we answer in the series:


What does it mean to have a gay or LGB identity? Answer

Why are so many people now identifying as LGBT+? Answer

Does orientation equal identity? Answer

Is there a conflict between the gospel and orientation-identity? Answer

How does identity relate to other aspects of sexuality? Answer

Sexual Orientation

Is there a way to visually map out different aspects of our attraction and identity? Answer

How is sexual orientation defined? Answer

What causes sexual orientation? Answer

Is sexual orientation ever chosen? Answer

Does sexual orientation ever change? Answer

Can attachment wounds and relationship trauma affect sexual orientation or identity? Answer

Link to resources on sexual orientation


What does the term “queer” mean? Answer

Can anyone (including heterosexuals) be queer? Answer

Why are some gay activists protesting against “queerness?” Answer

Link to resources on queer

Restoration Sexuality

People tend to envision the sexual minority experience in terms of either pride or shame. Are there other ways to think about it? Answer

How do we transcend the demonic binary of pride and shame? Answer: we provide examples beginning in Section 3.1, and continue with more examples in Section 3.2 and Section 3.3

What is the spiritual discipline of acceptance? How does it apply to the experience of sexual minorities in the church? Answer

Ministry to sexual minorities

What things should I understand about myself before undertaking ministry to sexual minorities in the church? Answer

What should we understand about the role of empathy in ministry? Can empathy ever result in harm? Answer

Is it possible to transcend the framing of allies versus enemies in our ministry to sexual minorities? Answer

What are some common adversarial traps we fall into in our efforts to influence others? Answer

What is The Pyramid of Change and how does it function as a pathway to develop our ability to influence others? Answer

How does my definition of love impact my ability to minister? Answer

Should we always act with the goal of easing people’s distress? Answer

What is the Drama Triangle and how does it apply to our tendencies to view other people? What is an alternative to the Drama Triangle? Answer

What are some basic things to be aware of when it comes to the ally movement? Answer

Can goodness end up doing harm in social movements? If so, how? Answer

How is the Drama Triangle seen in the ally movement? Answer

How is Marxism seen in the ally movement? Answer

Modern society condemns judgmental behavior, but we have to make judgments about things. How should we approach that? Answer

How have shifts in understanding and usage of the term “homosexual” affected the church over time? Answer

Why are LGBT labels so important in modern society? Should we tell others to avoid those labels? Answer

People often claim that their views on gender and sexuality are supported by “studies” and “research.” What is the Double-H Effect and how does it apply in situations involving sexual minorities? Answer

As we minister, what are some things we should be aware of when it comes to understanding the person in front of us? Answer

What is cognitive behavior and how does it relate to our ministry? Answer

What is locus of control, and how does it affect our views of how to improve our lives? Answer

When it comes to sexual minorities, what does the research say about things that are helpful for their happiness in a life of faith? Answer

How do we approach hard conversations where the person I’m ministering to may have adopted some views contrary to the gospel? Answer

What does it mean for someone to be receptive (or not) to gospel concepts? Answer

Why is it important to be very clear about gospel principles? Answer

I’ve heard the phrase “bishop roulette” before. What does that mean? Is it something to worry about? Answer

Is there a process to follow to minister according to people’s receptivity? Answer

What are some kinds of questions we can ask to invite an expansion of our thinking around the sexual minority experience in the gospel? Answer

How can we help people to think realistically, and why is that helpful? Answer

Should we ever worry about a soul being “lost?” How should we think about that idea? Answer

How should we minister in cases of suicidal ideation? Answer

How can we respond to “snowflaking” and pain-comparing? Answer

What are some tips for connection and inclusion for sexual minorities? Answer