How do I find a good gay affirming church?

by Wes
(Niagara area, Ontario, Canada)

photo by Magnus Rosendahl

photo by Magnus Rosendahl

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

Finding a good Bible-believing church which welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is not easy. As gay Christians who face the difficulty of finding the right church, there are some things we can do.

Jump to Original Question

First, we need to pray about it regularly, consistently. It is God's responsibility to answer our prayers. When we pray with a believing heart, God always answers, if not immediately then eventually.

Second, we need to pray specifically. Ask God to lead you to the right church in your area or to provide a better car so you can drive to Toronto to locate a church.

Third, while you are searching, be careful to keep up your daily quiet time with the Lord, your daily prayer life and spending time in the Bible.

Once you find the right church, its still your responsibility to feed yourself spiritually. Even in the best church, you can't get enough spiritual food to keep you going. All of us need to study on our own too.

Learn to read, study and obey the Bible under the leading of the Holy Spirit. GC101 has Bible study resources for eDisciples and a Bible Studies page.

Fourth, ask the Lord to bring into your life other Christians including GLBT Christians with whom you can have fellowship and perhaps small group Bible studies in your area. Having Christian friends, especially gay Christian friends who love God, will help your spiritual life.

Fifth, remember that true Christian discipleship is not easy yet God walks with you on the dark hills, through every difficulty you face. Many Christians get discouraged and quit when they encounter opposition and the going gets tough.

God will sustain you in the middle of defeat, discouragement and disappointment if you will cast your burdens on Him.
"Cast your burden on the LORD and he will sustain you." -Psalm 55:22

"Casting all your care upon him for he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7

Sixth, here are links to additional information which may help you as you search for the right church. God bless you abundantly.

Additional Information

Would you like to find a gay affirming church?

Can you help us find a church for our son who is gay?

Is there a good website where someone can find a church that is gay friendly?

Why would a preacher constantly make anti-gay remarks?

If you're a gay Christian does God still love you?

Does the Bible say anything about Lone Ranger Christians?

Are mainline evangelicals becoming more open to homosexual Christians?

Is there a good website where someone can find a church that is gay friendly?

Original Question:

"I have left the denomination i grew up in as i am out and not willing to attend where i would be consider a 'sinner" and not welcome (because I'm openly gay).

I can't seem to find an affirming church in my area that is also interesting and has a reasonable amount of gay christians it. A couple of churches have indicated "you are welcome here" but a hidden agenda of change occurs after a while (i.e. be gay but not active or in a relationship).

I feel very isolated and alone in my faith, not sure what to do. I have checked online listings of affirming churches and none in my area. I don't want to drive to Toronto (a long way and my car is a beater)."

Comments for How do I find a good gay affirming church?

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Jun 19, 2018
future lgbt pastors
by: can't stop rambling

I have a similar question.

If one is LGBT and feels a greater calling to serve (beyond standard membership; i.e. becoming clergy and related positions), where should they attend studies?

I am at a loss as t is politicized beyond and outside of the study of theology or the practice of faith.

I feel close to an orthodox community but my work (interfaith outreach and with aspirations to head into pastoral counseling) is hindered by a lack of authoritative credentialing.

The schools that are the most lgbt friendly are also rather antagonistic towards conservatives and those of more orthodox denominations.. some with zero tolerance policies that hinder any of us, the great many of us, that exist and will continue to work outside of metropolitan and more lgbt friendly cities. . . where absolution of political correctness creates more obstacles in serving the wider community as well as the lgbt community.

And of course, the faults of the more conservative & orthodox schools, some which do allow lgbt sparingly -- at least in their bylaws, are also hindered by these politicized language barriers..

while I'm not a one person pride parade, it's likely much of who I am will come out in my academic work.

I can no more be closeted in regards to my sexuality than I can be about my politics, faith or the desire to provide services all members of my community.

the interweaving of both human and g-d's complexity. . .

it is difficult in these days where people claim the desire for transparency but far too often this so called transparency is a call for us to be single dimensional props for the idol worship of political affiliations, to be black & white, to holdfast in blind absolution, in the hokey pokey of far left and far right. . . even in environments where the majority are neither.

I know I could continue to serve without becoming an official member of the clergy. . .

but much like the process of coming out, the more I try to push this calling away... the louder it gets and the more it wears me down. And of course, there is the feeling of failure in serving G-d and these communities that desperately need more human hands to bridge the gaps between these extremities. . .

lgbt support groups are the same - the few I could find relating to clergy members and aspirants - either it's far to left or far to the right and no active support between.

the fears I have with education is being inundated with politics that really have nothing to do with why I would seek to go there.

that to be accepted by the more liberal school means I may have to sacrifice the more conservative parts of my being as the same goes to the more conservative school may mean that I have to sacrifice the more liberal parts of my resolve.

that suddenly all my beliefs - philosophy, faith, identity - requires being shaped purely by the mad hatter interpretations and stereotypes of the ruling parties.

That there is no place for diversity of thought and experiences.. either I am to be a caricature of the right or the left.

I guess, the real fear is in the loosely defined honor codes and moral clauses in the fine print leave me wary... with its university tribunals and far too many examples of people that fall prey them.

Perhaps it's just jitters. in my head that any of my being may hurt my chances of acceptance, let alone graduating. . . with either a more liberal or more conservative school as the journey of lgbt clergy remains a largely uncharted territory. . . particularly for those of us starting OUT rather than coming out later in life.

and realities, I can't shoulder the burdens of being the world or my nation's representative. . . a representative of the compartmentalized sum of my parts.. vs seeking wholeness.

ugh. I've spoken in so many recursive circles I've made my self sick.

it's just I live in a place where there's more churches, temples, synagogues than there is anything else... perhaps even people. And yet there is a huge dearth in their services - despite all the different denominations, sects, etc.. left or right, and the few between... they're all in desperate need for those that can serve the greater communities without being swayed by the surrounding politics - to counsel, to perform rites, to listen without preaching or taking a position, to guide not lead by leashes and chains.

One might think if I'm not aiming for the top bar that I don't have as much to worry about. Most of the programs I've been looking at are second or third tier clergy and yet I think it's somewhat worse than if I had decided to be a religious scholar, preacher, etc. - - - there's seemingly greater pressures to fall in line than to develop my own voice.

it's funny how that seems.. like a therapist becoming a pastor or a pastor becoming a therapist is given more free reign than those seeking to become a pastoral counselor despite that we all study the same things, take the same courses, head towards the same paths.. but these are somewhat a new concept - dedicated pastors to free up the time and responsibilities of a church's primary preacher - be it for therapeutic services to rites and rituals, or someone dedicated more to the one on one, to the immediate group instead of the entire flock all at once. they aren't viewed with the same reverence as nuns and monks as deacons or whatever. It's hard to know what people actually think of them as most people are seemingly unaware of what they are (meaning of credentials) or what they do. . . or the great many whys of... why they exist, how they should be treated, etc.

I don't know... I know it's not easier for the therapist turned pastor or pastor turned therapist, particularly if they specialize in these services vs becoming the head of a church, leader of a fellowship, etc..

well, outside of the military. sometimes I wonder if it's more of that... another way to serve with the navy again in something more interpersonal than being a civvy pencil pusher. Ugh can't stop rambling, sorry.

Rick's comment: Hi can't stop rambling - If God is calling you, He will show you the way.

There are many ways to minister. You can train as a psychologist and work as a chaplain, in hospital and social services settings or even in the military, provided you also get credentialed by a denomination and have a Masters level degree.

1. You can work in a local church and have them train and credential and ordain you.

2. You can start your own Bible study in your home or in the meeting room of a local restaurant or in a local park. That can eventually grow into a church of which you would be the pastor.

What must I do to be saved?

What is a house church?

3. You can get a secular degree and take online Bible classes on your own (apart from the secular degree) or get an advanced religious studies degree online from some place like Liberty University. I believe they have around 60,000 online students.

The Lord will open the right doors as you walk the path of His purpose for your life.

You sound strong and resilient. Stay biblically focused and Jesus focused.

4. Don't give in to the temptation to walk away from biblical truth and the biblical gospel in order to get along. Truth by its very nature is divisive but Truth is worth standing for because our Lord Jesus Christ is all about biblical truth, John 14:6.

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