Have you ever felt like giving up? What comes to mind when I say that? Quitting your job? Your marriage? Smoking that joint? Hitting that pipe? A one night stand? Giving in to porn? Suicide? We are bombarded, yet encapsulated. Bombarded daily by the attacks of the enemy, yet forever encapsulated in the arms of God. Our choices are often satan’s playground. satan has had more than ample opportunity to kill me, but God has never let go of me.
Someone recently asked me, “Does ministry ever get easier?” I can answer with an emphatic Yes…and…No. I smile all day long when people are teachable. There are parents who receive the wisdom I have to offer. Then there are those folks I refer to as spiritual sandpaper. God applies them frequently and liberally to my rough edges.
This morning I was greeted with an email from a guy that used to attend our ministry a long time ago. We are having a ministry get together tonight and he has decided to come and join us. WOW WOW WOW! The story of the leaving the 99 to get the 1 is alive and well.
I love reaching the marginalized folks in the LGBTQ+ community, MY COMMUNITY, with the word of God. I don’t like having to deal with church politics, tradition and the antiquated, ministerial techniques that have only isolated and alienated the people of the gay community. The days of “Love the sinner, hate the sin” are long gone. If you are preaching it, then you belong in a warehouse somewhere next to a Tucker and a pile of T-rex bones. If you are wanting to have an impact on the gay community, then before you start talking about what gay people may or may not have chosen, take a good look at your own sin buddy. When you are ready to get honest, let’s get some coffee and get to work.
For the most part, churches and the pastors of those churches have abdicated their right to speak into the lives of LGBTQ+ people. They haven’t spoken the truth in love. They have spoken a partial truth in manipulation to try and get “those people” to straighten up. I feel like Dr. Phil would ask the church, “How’s that working out for you?”
When it comes to ministering to the gay community with the truth of the word of God, the church has lost the battle. Yes, the bible is a sword, but it is also a well spring of life. LGBTQ+ people aren’t showing up en masse to our church. They will one day, but for now that is the niche where my ministry lies. LGBTQ+ people have their own churches, bars and neighborhoods. They have retreated to these places, because we weren’t playing nice. They were tired of being persecuted and having their character maligned, by people that assume rather than relate. The largest part of my ministry plays out in real world scenarios not in the church. (WHAT? Clutching pearls. GASP!) Not in the church? The bible doesn’t say, sit and smugly wait for the 1 to return to the 99. It says, leave the 99 that are fat and happy and unconcerned about the lost and go find the one that really needs and wants help. .
The ministry I direct is a relational one. It is not something that can be diagrammed and statistified (LOL) in order to make it more palatable to Christians with money. Yet, daily I am subject to a meddling kind of scrutiny, that doesn’t exist with other missionaries. For the past year, I have been “busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest”. I worked 5 part time jobs, direct two ministries and orchestrate every aspect of two giant garage sales. I am not living it up on the beach at Disney people, I am in the trenches. And quite frankly if you were, too, you might be a little more understanding.
I had a supporter call me up, again, to scrutinize how I might be spending their $50 a month. In stark contrast, I had a gay man who is married to his partner call and offer to pay for a scholarship to my upcoming inner healing prayer conference. WHAT? I remember that one scripture that says if my people refuse to praise me, then the rocks will cry out.
The hardest part of my ministry isn’t reaching the hearts of the gay community with the message of Jesus. The hardest part is getting Christians to pay for it. (Mic drop)
Our ministry is the classic case of “I don’t want to do that, but I will tell you how to do it.” Frankly, it insults and exhausts me. I am doing what God has called me to do. I can’t quantify my efforts, but I can see the results.
On more than one occasion, I have felt like giving up. The level of support for a Christian ministry to the gay community is not one of the churches priorities. Most churches have either aligned themselves with gay theology or simply stuck their head in the sand regarding this issue. If I was a missionary who sold everything to go live in a mud hut somewhere, wear burlap, eat rice and beans and play “impromptu” soccer games with the local children, people would be throwing money at me left and right. Their only expectation would be an occasional grainy picture through email of me and a yearly visit where I show up emaciated and looking fatigued. God has not called me to that though. I think that is where the confusion sets in. I don’t work hard enough for some and to others I work, too, hard. Since, I have chosen to live stateside, the level of care, concern and support is anemic at best.
It can be summed up in one statement. “I love what I do. I just wish other people with money did as well.”
I have probably lost about three of my 10 supporters with this email, but these things needed to be said. I am not the only under-funded ministry to the LGBTQ+ community in existence. I am simply vocal. I grow tired of limping along financially, as I do what God has called me to do.
If you won’t write the check, I will. If you won’t love you daughter or son’s partner, I will. If you won’t take your head out of the sand to share the gospel, I will. I love what I do. I will continue to do it until God calls me on or home. Funded or not. Tired or rested. You may think these to be spirited rants from a disgruntled heart, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. I spend each day wondering, plotting, thinking about how to make a difference in the lives of your kids, your relatives and friends in the LGBTQ+ community. You can make my job harder or easier. That is the only choice that exists here.