Imagine that this weekend at church services, Matt and Alex Jones-Smith, newlyweds, and their adopted daughter, Rachel, walk up to your sign up table for small groups and ask to join a couples' group that has childcare.
How will you respond?
There's a good chance this will happen at some point—maybe this weekend, or in a few months, or next year. And you need to be prepared with a loving, biblical response.
That's what Timothy Morgan tackles in his article "Why Welcome a Same-Sex Couple to Church?" from Christianity Today magazine. When considering how congregations can reach out to people with same-sex attraction, we must talk about how small groups can do so—because we know that small groups are a great way to help people connect and feel welcomed in a church.
Morgan's article explores how churches have been welcoming those with same-sex attraction without affirming or condoning the behavior, and he looks to Jesus' time on earth for wisdom on how to engage people with same-sex attraction.
At the end of the article, Morgan gives several characteristics of churches that are successfully welcoming people with same-sex attraction. Included: commitment for the long term, avoidance of quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions, and careful use of language so homophobic slurs aren't accepted.
What would your group do if a same-sex couple wanted to join? What can your group do to be more welcoming?