Time to get highly pragmatic:
Theology = What you believe about God.
Practical Theology = How you put into practice what you believe about God.
Concerning a theology of sexuality: I’ve discovered most youth pastors have one.
Concerning a practical theology of sexuality: I’ve discovered that most youth pastors are wrestling with what a practical theology of sexuality should look like in their churches and the ministries they lead.
So today, I want to provide you with a few questions to explore with the appropriate leadership of your church; questions that should help you land on a practical theology of sexuality:
- Is our church’s position on sexuality/homosexuality clearly defined? Does our leadership all know what it is?
- Is our church’s position on identifying as gay vs. same-sex sexual behavior clear? Are they the same? Is one deemed a sin while the other isn’t, etc.?
- Is someone who is openly gay allowed to serve in a ministry role? Are there limits to where he/she can serve? Do these policies change if the person is gay but committed to celibacy?
- How will you respond to a student who comes out?
- How do you counsel parents who have a child come out?
- How does that counsel change based on the parent’s faith commitment?
I’m sure there are other questions to consider, but my point today is simply this: Consider them!
If your church leadership isn’t talking about this, then lead it up! Youth ministry is on the front lines here, and you can’t afford to figure it out on your own. Force your pastor, elders, deacons, and other leaders to provide clarity on the topic.
Sexuality is part of our humanity. Because the church is supposed to care deeply about humans, we are doing a massive disservice to those we are called to love if we haven’t taken the time to wrestle through making sure our ministries not only know what we believe about sexuality, but know how what we believe gets fleshed out in the real world.
-Kurt / @kurtjohnston