People are reading these gender roles articles like they have tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers on them! Wait, can I say that as a Christian? You bet! For the third and final article, I asked one of my best friends who is a youth pastor to write about his experience of trying to minister to a student in his youth ministry who wanted to be a homosexual. Youth pastors, and everyone else, listen in to what he has to say. This guy is the real deal who just wants to pastor and live life biblially. He’s a solid preacher of the gospel and teacher of the Word. If you haven’t already, you will go through an experience like this with one of your students. Chances are, they are already sitting in your youth room weekly…dreaming about the same-sex.
“My name is Matt, I’m 29, and a youth pastor in a small town of 4000.
He then told me he thought he was gay. Trust me, if you’ve never had one of your students look you in the eye and say, “Pastor ________, I think I’m gay,” I pray you never have that experience. It broke my heart.
I first thanked him for feeling he could share this information with me. Then I asked him why he “thought” he was gay. He said, “I’ve tried dating girls, but I’ve also dated guys, and I just like guys better. It just feels right.”
My goal was to get him to agree with scripture that homosexuality was not God’s design for him, and that it was actually to the contrary. With some time, and careful study of the scripture, he finally agreed that God did not make him gay. This was the first step toward success, that he agreed with God’s word. From there I wanted to simply saturate his life with the word of God. He was involved in our drama team, so the condition for him to remain on it was that he do an online bible study course at www.settingcaptivesfree.com. They have a wonderful 60-day online course on homosexuality and various other things. It offers a daily devotional on homosexuality, strong biblical exposition, and an accountability partner who will ask the tough question; are you looking at porn, masturbating, entertaining homosexual thoughts, and so on. He agreed to do the course.
For 17 days, he studied, repented, and turned from sin. Or so it seemed. After a while, he quit the course. I asked him repeatedly to continue, but he would not. He told me he was having victory over his sin, but about six months later came out again and said, “Pastor Matt, I’m gay, it’s my choice, and this is what I’m going to do.”
I pressed him with a series of questions. “You agree this is sin?” “Yes,” he said. “You know this is contrary to God’s will for your life?” “Yes.” “You are willingly going to turn from God and disobey his commands?” “Yes I am.” “Do you not care that Jesus died for your sins on a cross?” “No I do not,” he said. “You don’t care?” “No,” he repeated.
From here, we followed Matthew 18. I next approached his grandparents (the spiritual leaders in his life) and asked them to plead with the young man. They did but he would not repent. Then we approached his parents along with his grandparents, but he still would not repent. Finally, we brought this before the elders of our church, and he was asked not to return (I Cor. 5:1-5).
There are so many details I’ve left out of this story, but I hope what bleeds through these words are: 1) we had complete and total dependence upon the Word of God as our authority; 2) we loved him with biblical love.
We all miss his presence. For the sake of our other teens however, it is better he is no longer with us. As youth pastors, we must protect our sheep, not just from those outside, but those from within as well.”