Not too long from now I aim to shoot a video for the “It gets better” campaign, to which if you haven’t heard about it it’s a campaign that is aimed at (primarily) the LGBT community youth who are being bullied and perhaps treated badly due to misunderstanding of others or dare I say homophobia.
I aim to do this because there’s a tug on my heart to build bridges between the Christian community and the LGBT community, but I also recognize that as a youth minister I want to do better than the church has done.
Here’s the thing, I recognize the church has kind of sat on its haunches and observed the LGBT community and has said “we’re here and will remain here till you get here.” Note the language I used? Here, as in a position fixed, a position that doesn’t reach out but “waits” for whomever… I aim to do things different, as I recognize I’m not counter-cultural, but counter-church-cultural.
Here’s my reasoning…
If you recall the parable of The Prodigal Son, get this imagery Jesus provides (bold words are of my own doing) in verse Luke 15:20; “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son“
The father left and made the first move! He had every right to say “I’m here and will remain here till my son gets here!” But he ran, with compassion and love when his son was a mere speck in the distance…
I aim to run to the LGBT community full of compassion and love and share with them the love of Jesus Christ. Yes there might be some who eagerly come forward but I want to be like the Prodigal Son’s father, leaving my comfort zone (and expanding it) and going where not a lot of followers of Christ have gone before!
It certainly puts me in a place where I’m disliked by followers of Christ, who pander me and say what I’m saying now is a phase, or that “when you get older you’ll understand” and it kinda breaks by heart when those who criticize what I’m doing now and what I intend to do are coming from, I’m learning to put up guardrails on my critics and criticism, because in a way it strikes me as amusing when haters invest time in writing something or expending some energy AGAINST me, I’m honored and thrilled that someone takes the time. It doesn’t fuel me or get me in a more counter-church-cultural position, but it doesn’t leave me as miffed as it used to.
I like what Billy Graham said; “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love” and as followers of Christ that needs to be our stance. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, then why are we trying to be His mouthpiece? We need to step out in faith and love sincerely, if we start defining how we’re loving we’re not really loving but picking-and-choosing whom we are going to love.
So it is with these intentions in mind that I’m going to shoot a “It Gets Better” video, because I aim to change things and mix things up to the glory of God. I could tell the church to clean up its act, but my words wouldn’t be coming from a place of love and it would be like shooting myself in the foot, the change I want to see and be a part of begins with me.