Shane Stacey is national director of ReachStudents and a member of First EFC in Minneapolis, Minn.
Every year our national team at the EFCA tries to call as many of our senior or lead pastors as possible. One of the questions I ask during my calls is: What are some of the cultural issues your leadership team is wrestling with and wishing you had more resources or help on?
Nearly half the leaders I spoke with identified the same-sex attraction and gay-marriage issue as one they are working to clarify their position on, and its implications for everyday ministry. This includes, but is not limited to, the implications for weddings, youth retreats, volunteerism, membership, etc.
After sending the following two resources to several pastors, I realized that many others would benefit from these resources as well and may not know they exist.
The EFCA Spiritual Heritage Committee has developed a helpful resource for church leaders entitled, A Church Statement on Human Sexuality with a specific focus on Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”. As stated on the download page, “This Statement, drawn from Scripture as our ultimate authority, sets forth a Christian vision of human sexuality as a good gift of God. The divine design for sexual expression within the commitment of marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the well-ordering of human society and is integral to human flourishing. We desire to articulate this ethic as moral truth binding on us all while recognizing our need of God’s grace and forgiveness in the ways that we all fall short of this divine ideal, specifically as it relates to homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage’.”
The 2013 EFCA Theology conference theme was The Theology of Human Sexuality. Additional resources from that conference can be found here.
The second resource that I find helpful is a very helpful video training entitled, Is God Anti-Gay? The video contains accessible lecture from Sam Allberry that was given at the Village Church where Matt Chandler pastors. Village also lists several other resources you may find helpful.
Allberry wrestled with same-sex attraction all his life. His lecture, and his book by the same title, is richly gospel-centered. Sam starts in the right place—starting with the nature of God and the nature of man rather than in the middle of the specific issue. In so doing so, the gospel does what the gospel always does: it levels the playing field for all, leaving no room for arrogance or self-righteousness.