A Ministry of Make and Deepen Disciples

Pastoral Resources

To help pastors lead, preach/teach, and care well in the area of human sexuality. Embrace: Pastoral Resources offers help Covenant pastors continue to embrace a posture of caring, leading, and teaching well with regard to LGBTQ+ engagement and human sexuality in general. Sermon tools and examples in harmony with the adopted position of the ECC are now available below.

Preaching Well: Tools for Getting Started

30 Best-Practice Tips for Preaching for LGBT+ Inclusion and Care
By Posture Shift 

Prepare your next sermon to share Christ with LGBT+ people. Complete the form to get instant access to this FREE resource.

Posture Shift Consulting
By Posture Shift

The Posture Shift team will provide a comprehensive review of a pastor’s sermon draft on sexuality, gender, and LGBT+ people. This service is offered at $250 per hour. Purchase one hour per three pages of content. For more information contact info@postureshift.com

Sample Sermons

These sermons are examples of how pastors in the ECC and beyond have preached on human sexuality with grace, truth, and a posture of embrace. All are in harmony with the ECC’s understanding of human sexuality as “faithfulness in heterosexual marriage, celibacy in singleness – these constitute the Christian standard.”

Please Note: These sermons are offered as samples which ECC pastors should both evaluate and learn from. The ECC does not necessarily endorse every idea presented therein.

“Love—A New Orientation” – two-part sermon
By Highrock Covenant Church

Addressing how the church in the United States has historically failed the LGBT+ community and how we can practically love our LBGT+ neighbors. (Preached by David Swaim, lead pastor of Highrock Covenant Church, Arlington, Massachusetts, February 28, 2016, and April 17, 2016)

Part 1

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Provides history on the dialogue between the Church and the LGBT+ community. Specifically names how the Church has failed this community (including not advocating for gay marriage to be legal from a civil/governmental perspective, which of course not everyone with a traditional view on human sexuality will agree with.) Unpacks the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), calling the Church to love our neighbor and suggesting that one’s position on human sexuality should not affect how we love gay people. Calls the Church to love our LGBT+ neighbors by building relationships, listening to experiences, extending grace, and apologizing for how the Church has failed.

 

Part 2 (forward to 48:00)

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Outlines four positions on human sexuality and exposits six commonly cited passages on human sexuality to help the church think biblically. Identifies the Covenant position, while recognizing that some may disagree with it. Roots human sexuality within the larger narrative of God’s story of creation, fall, and redemption. Pastorally speaks to all being broken and almost no one “choosing” to be gay.

“Grace and Truth”—four-week series on faith, gender, and sexuality
By Element Church

“Grace and Truth”—four-week series on faith, gender, and sexuality, calling for a Christlike posture with LGBT+ people. (Preaching by Jeff Maness, Brendan Anderson, John Wilson, and Laurie Krieg, at The Element Church, Cheyenne, Wyoming, February 2019)

Week 1: How should we respond to all people?

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Lays the foundation for the series from both a Christlike posture toward LGBT+ people (grace) and a position of traditional sexual ethics (truth). Tells stories of LGBT+ people and defines terms and positions Christians have held on same-sex attraction and behavior. The big idea: “If I believe the right things but respond the wrong way, then what I believe doesn’t matter.” Calls the Church to lead with love and truth, practicing a historic Christian sexual ethic, which he defines as marriage being intended for “two sexually different people (man and woman) and any sex or sexual activity is intended for and blessed only in that union.”

Preached by Jeff Maness, lead pastor

 

Week 2: Gender Identity Conversation

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Lead pastor and youth pastor define terms (sex, gender, cisgender, transgender, gender dysphoria, etc.) and provide statistics to help churches care well for people who identify as transgender and those who experience gender dysphoria. Recommends that the Church care for transgender people by using their preferred name and pronouns, and speaks to how the church has perpetuated stereotypical gender roles. Stories from Scripture provide multiple examples for living out one’s gender as a man or as woman. For a more in-depth and nuanced discussion of gender dysphoria, read or watch these recommended Embrace resources.

Preached by Jeff Maness, lead pastor, and Brendan Anderson, youth pastor

Week 3: A Conversation about Sexuality

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A scriptural foundation for a traditional perspective on human sexuality and how to posture as a church who loves LGBT+ people. Apologizes for the ways God’s life-giving word has been used to “clobber” gay people. This conversation speaks to how Scripture prohibits gay “action” but not gay “attraction.” Calls the church to be consistent in applying Scripture, reminding us that gay sex is not the only prohibition God makes for his people. In this sermon, the preacher shares his own story as a celibate, gay Christian.

Week 4: Broken and Beloved People

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Examines Jesus’s response to the woman caught in adultery in John 8, calling the church to look at our own sin. Practically speaks to bullying of LGBT+ people, corporate grieving when there is an LGBT suicide, and the preacher’s own story as a woman attracted to other women. To hear more from Laurie Kreig, you can view her embrace webinar interview and related resources.

Preached by Laurie Krieg, guest preacher

Let’s talk about “Gay Stuff”
By Daylight Church

This sermon tackles the objections of skeptical, atheist, and agnostic friends. Presents a spectrum of beliefs on same-sex behavior while confirming the church’s historic stance on sexuality, with a focus not on position but on the posture of the church toward gay people. Speaks to biological realities of intersex people and provides statistics on gay bullying and suicide. Shares how this congregation responds to and welcomes gay people in light of the gospel.

Preached by H. L. Hussmann, Daylight Church, Louisville, Kentucky, on May 15, 2016

“Let’s Talk About: LGBT+”
By New Life Covenant Church

Clarifies the church’s posture toward the LGBT+ community, emphasizing posture before position. Expresses grief that LGBT+ people have experienced the worst of humanity and speaks to the experiences of gay people. Shepherds the church in how to respond when an LGBT+ loved one comes out and provides resources to care well. Calls out hypocrisy of the sexual majority in the area of marriage and sex, reminding us that while grace is free for all, following Jesus costs our lives.

Preached by Chad Pickering, New Life Covenant Church, a Covenant congregation in Wichita, Kansas, on April 14, 2019

Leadership Resources

The Digital Leaders Forum

By The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender

Be equipped to lovingly engage the LGBTQ+ conversation in the context of your faith and ministry. This is the most comprehensive learning experiences on faith, sexuality, and gender, including over 8 hours of video content covered in 22 video lessons. The Digital Leaders Forum includes content like panel conversations with pastors and LBTQ Christians, thoroughly addressing 20 of the top questions about faith, sexuality and gender, and additional videos, papers, and articles.

We Want to Hear From You

As we develop Embrace, we hope to receive feedback from diverse voices, especially with regard to existing resources or experiences which you have found to be helpful and effective. Feel free to connect with us anytime at embrace@covchurch.org.

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