Jesus cared about people on the fringes. He hung with people at the bottom of the barrel. In fact, Jesus spent time with people who had such shady reputations that rumors spread that he was a sinner and a glutton. Just think about his friends: the Samaritan woman (the wrong race), the lepers (the wrong condition), the woman caught in adultery (the wrong sin), tax collectors (the wrong occupation)—the list goes on.
If Jesus were still in the flesh today one place we’d find him would be among gays and lesbians. Gays and lesbians are marginalized people. The government struggles with what to do with them; the church struggles even more.
One of the reasons I’m so excited about starting a church in the heart of Dallas is because there’s a significant gay and lesbian population in the area. We first discovered it when we were driving down a major thoroughfare in Oaklawn (just north of Uptown). Gay pride flags hung from the exteriors of bars and restaurants. I thought to myself: Jesus would start a church here.
God is already providing mentors and resources for us as we prepare to be good neighbors to those of the gay and lesbian community. Earlier this month at the Zoe Worship Conference in Nashville, we met Sally Gary, Executive Director of CenterPeace. CenterPeace is a new organization committed to help churches better understand and respond to those with same-sex attraction. We listened as Sally shared her own same-sex struggles and how God had healed her. She spoke of how CenterPeace would equip people to move into gay and lesbian communities as agents of the kingdom. Needless to say, Sally was enthralled to hear of our plans.
I anticipate future conversations with Sally and the ways that she’ll equip and mentor us as we love those who live with same-sex attraction. I know there are so many questions concerning this subject to which I don’t have answers; and there are so many questions I haven’t even begun asking.
But God is already there, already at work. The most important question we can ask is, How can we join you, God?