We are family...

God sets the lonely in families – Psalm 68:6

Many of us who have walked away from the LGBTQ+ community to pursue our love of God will richly feel the truth of this verse. The way God uses our church communities to embrace and support those living a single life is very precious. I believe that this becomes even more precious to those who have left the gay lifestyle, many of whom have often left intimate relationships behind them and have made it this far largely because of the love and support of their church family. With no immediate hope of forming a new, Godly relationship, life may feel lonely and fragile at times like this.

I write today to urge you to spare a thought for all those who have suddenly had their church safety net ripped out from underneath them, because it is when we are at our most vulnerable and lonely that Satan strikes. I encourage you to look beyond a seemingly confident exterior and be bold to strike at the heart of the matter. Contact them regularly over the next days, weeks and months until such a time as Church life is fully restored. Just treat them like you would any other member of your family who you may not be able to see because of self-isolation.

1. Find out if anything is worrying them or causing them stress.

2. Offer to pray with them and let them know that they are in your prayers.

3. Acknowledge how difficult doing this alone must be.

4. Express your dismay at not being able to see them, let them know it works both ways and it’s not just them missing you!

5. Send them encouraging verses and spiritual food.

6. Don’t be a stranger, make contact regular, after all, we’re family!

I'm sure you get the drift, sometimes we need to scratch at the surface to find out how people really are. I am already speaking to a number of “ex Gay” Christians who are finding this period of social isolation challenging, and some who are struggling with temptation because they have less visible support around them. We pray protection over their lives and for their Christian family to come alongside and support them.

So try and be mindful of the times when you would normally be meeting together, Sunday mornings and evenings and regular small group meeting times. If your church is not doing something specific at that time, perhaps give someone a surprise phone call, or send them an encouraging message letting them know they are not alone. You have no idea how much that small act of kindness might mean to someone who is on their own, regardless of their background or experiences.

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