Institution Granting Degree
Dallas Theological Seminary
The dual purpose of this qualitative study was first to evaluate why the ministry of selected churches who are ministering to male homosexual strugglers was effective. What makes these churches safe and welcoming for those seeking to gain victory over same-sex attractions and behaviors? And second, to convince church leaders that our churches need to become the kind of churches that are effective in ministering to male homosexual strugglers.
A confidential survey methodology was used in asking both male strugglers and active church members their perspective on their church’s attitudes and actions as it related to ministering to and discipling male strugglers. The participating churches were chosen based upon the entire church body having embraced the ministry to those who were struggling and desiring assistance out of homosexuality or same-sex attraction. The churches were located in Texas, Indiana, and Virginia.
The results of this study highlight that effective churches are: 1) welcoming and safe environments for those who are seeking assistance out of homosexuality, 2) exhibiting an attitude of equality throughout the congregation that the sin of homosexuality is treated as a sin not the greatest sin, 3) demonstrating empathy by a variety of church members engaged in relationship with strugglers counseling them to a place of holiness through discipleship, and that those churches 4) are committed to the equipping and training of heterosexual men to minister alongside each of the strugglers. Results were validated by the survey answers provided by the male strugglers as compared with active church members. In summary, the study brings to light that effective churches have created a welcoming and safe culture by demonstrating equality, empathy, engagement and education in its ministry to male homosexual strugglers.