Review: Our Last Option

Option 1: I’m right and you’re wrong and that’s that.

Option 2: We’re all right in our own opinion and that’s that, let’s just get along anyway.

These are the two options most of us see when engaging in our society. You’re either pro-choice or pro-life. You’re either anti-gun or pro-gun ownership. You’re for gay marriage or you’re against it. You’re either FoxNews or HufffPo.

It’s exhausting and most people seem to teeter-totter between engaging in the topic du jour and ignoring it. They are exhausted by it because it lacks productivity. Few people can argue another person into change. But we seem to live in an age where winning is more important than virtue.

Church Leadership Contest

GIVEAWAY: Love is an Orientation DVD by Andrew Marin

What it is…

Love is an Orientation DVD is a video curriculum based on The Marin Foundation’s ground breaking work in the LGBTQ community. The byline is, “Practical ways to build bridges with the Gay Community.” I’ve heard amazing things from adult small groups and church leadership teams who have worked through this content together. Andrew’s ministry and work is truly a revolutionary approach.

Who is Andrew…

I first met Andrew in the lead-up to the 2008 National Youth Workers Convention. He was the guy coming in to talk about the hot-button topic and I was the guy trying to build buzz around the convention. During the 3-city tour we became friends and our friendship continues to grow.

Yup, some people don’t like Andrew. Either they think his approach goes too far or they think it doesn’t go far enough. That’s the tension The Marin Foundation lives in each day. And something in me says that this tension is just about right. (He’s speaking at The Summit on the topic of, Ministry within Theological Tension, see the connection?)

Why I like it…

3 reasons I like this.

  1. I’m in it. Ginny Olson and I teamed up on the youth ministry portions and I love how it turned out.
  2. There’s nothing out there as good. Andrew has presented this content to hundreds of churches, to hundreds of thousands of people, and in a bunch of countries. It’s really, really good stuff.
  3. It breaks the ice. I’ve talked to a few leaders who have used it and they love that it gets people talking about ministering in the gay community in a fresh, hopeful, loving way. Like any good teaching it causes great self-reflection and personal change.

How you can get it…

BUY IT. The more direct way is to head over to The Marin Foundation website and buy it.

WIN IT. Leave a comment of any kind to this post and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the DVD and a participants guide. (Comments close at midnight tonight, winner announced tomorrow.)

WINNER! SarahD92 – You’re the winner! Send me your mailing address and I’ll get it out to you.

Church Leadership

Love is an Orientation DVD now available

Last May I spent a day in Chicago’s most historic gay bar, Roscoe’s.

Besides having great food and a very helpful staff, the reason I was there was to shoot the adolescence portion of The Marin Foundation‘s new DVD curriculum Love is an Orientation.

Why was I part of this project?

First – I believe that the church as a whole, and youth ministry in particular, does not have an answer for ministering to the LGBT community. I should rephrase that… there are some rather unhelpful extremes. What I love about The Marin Foundation and Andy Marin‘s approach is that they don’t pretend to have all the answers. But they do know one thing. Regardless of your sexual orientation, you were made in the image of God and Jesus loves you enough to die for you.

There’s a lot of power in saying you don’t know all the answers. Their approach might not be the most popular and it certainly doesn’t lead to easy fundraising like their pro-gay or anti-gay counterparts… but standing in the middle is a powerful position and they have good company in acting as bridge builders.

Second – I believe a lot of bad things happen in youth ministry because there is inadequate training for youth workers. I feel pretty confident that Ginny Olson and I give solid training for ministering to individual students who are LGBT, including how to handle it when a student comes out to you, as well as how to create a safe environment for all types of students.

Why should you buy this DVD?

There’s a good chance you’ve already read Love is an Orientation. Essentially, this takes the teachings of the book and melds it into 6 sessions for a church team or small group to work through. It’s interwoven with teachings from the book, interviews with people in and around the LGBT community, and a sprinkling of outside voices like Ginny and myself.

Sorry for the shameless plug here. I’m not making a dime off of this thing. But I do want to encourage you to head of to The Marin Foundation’s online store and buy a copy of the DVD.