Monday, October 17, 2005

The Gathering Last Night

We had our Gathering last night. It's pretty cool. Last year there were 12, this year 42. We've definitely seen growth over the past year! Last night was a real "defining moment" as we talked about homosexuality, and asked the question, "What does God say about homosexuals?" We had an interview with Tim, a friend of mine, who did a great job of communicating his journey and the reaction of the church that he was part of at the time compared to his current church. Anyway -- it was a stellar evening! I was really happy with how the evening turned out (although I was anticipating a slightly higher turnout, so I was a little disappointed, but that's God's deal, so I won't sweat it too much!) If you missed it, here were my three conclusions, after Tim spoke: 1. The short answer to the question: God says nothing about homosexuals that he doesn't say about all of us (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). [Talked about the idea that somehow, those on the Christian right have managed to make homosexuality the sin that God cares about and is offended by over and against every other sin. And so I made it a point here that while I do believe that the Bible teaches that it is sin, it's not a special case, and is no different than any other sin.] 2. The mission of the church is to help seekers find God. [Talked about Northwoods' mission statement and the idea that while sexuality is a big part of who we are, what God wants to do in someone's life is bigger than their sexual orientation.] 3. At Nexus, we want to be a place where twentysomethings -- college students, singles, married people, gays, straights, people of every race, and every religious background (or even no religious background at all) -- can safely seek after God. [The key idea here was safety. Newsflash: most homosexuals don't identify the church as a "safe" place to be who they really are and to seek after God, wherever they may be on their spiritual journey! We want to be that place in Peoria! ]

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