At Training Day held on September 12, Keith Seary form Harvest USA shared with your Church Planters, and some guests information about “Ministry to Sexual Strugglers” and “Gender and Transgender Identity.” Keith is on the Staff of Harvest USA and ministers in the area of men’s ministry. Harvest USA, a Christian organization near Philadelphia, brings the truth and mercy of Jesus Christ by helping individuals and families affected by sexual struggles and by providing resources that address biblical sexuality to individuals and churches.
Ministry to Sexual Strugglers
Keith let us know that sexual struggles are easily hidden in the church and there is a lot of shame for those who struggle which makes people unwilling to share and be honest with their struggles. However, those who minister to others in the church can be equipped. Sexual strugglers need confidentiality and transparency. One of the biggest takeways for our church planters was the importance of being willing to listen. Like Proverbs 18:13 says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” Our own transparency can serve as a model in this ministering relationship.
Biblical View of Gender and Transgender
Keith also presented a Biblical View of Gender and Transgender. First he gave us a biblical view of compassion for those who deal with gender dysphoria. Those who experience it feel stuck and are suffering. The world offers a kind of freedom, but that kind of freedom to change genders doesn’t really offer liberation from suffering; it results in chaos and confusion. Keith also addressed the term “non-binary” where people do not identify as either gender and do not desire to do so. To them, gender is not important. However, we see in Scripture that gender is important. God created our bodies as good and our gender reflects God’s image. Through creation, fall, and redemption, those who struggle with transgenderism can have true freedom in Christ.
Keith shared much more with the church planters and if you are interested, I encourage you and your church to either host or attend a workshop with Harvest USA. Increasingly we are ministering to those with sexual sins and we need to be trained and prepared to minister with compassion and truth.
The church planters also had a time of prayer together during Training Day. A big thanks to Bible Fellowship Church of Newark, DE for hosting us and for providing lunch for us.