Grace + Truth Support Group

For the past several years, a cultural war has emerged around the topic of LGBTQ+. It has been a challenge for most churches to find ways to engage in dialogue outside of vitriol and contempt. In many cases, the church has simply remained silent, not engaging in conversations about how to have grace-filled conversations when approached with this topic. This silence has left many individuals and families feeling marginalized – on the outside looking in – as they have grappled with their faith and their own feelings of confusion, shame and hurt when a loved one has identified as LGBTQ+.

What could it look like for the church to step into spaces with individuals and families who are hurting and confused when faced with this topic in their own family? How can the church engage individuals and families in a way that offers kindness in a gospel-centered manner? 

Preston Sprinkle, in his book People to Be Loved, said this, “Love doesn’t mean affirming one’s behavior. Jesus would not have high-fived Matthew as he was on his way to beat someone’s face in and take their tax money. Love means accepting one’s humanity without affirming everything they do. Love confronts as much as it forgives. The same Jesus who loved Matthew also preached the Sermon on the Mount, and I don’t think Jesus was schizophrenic. Loving people in spite of their behavior doesn’t mean affirming their behavior. The evangelical church needs to get this. I am not calling on the church to give up its convictions. I am calling on the church to change its posture, to be convicted about Christ’s stubborn one-way love that He called us to mediate to others. Remember, repentance doesn’t lead to God’s kindness. It’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4).” 

Preston Sprinkle goes on to ask, “Can the topic be moved from the often hostile, knee-jerk “us” versus “them” debate to a respectful, loving and truthful exchange?” 

This realization has us asking deeper questions at Bethel:

Are you an individual or family who is navigating this space? 

Where can you find hope? 

Are others in your church willing to walk alongside you as you wrestle? 

We speak directly to you when we say YES. We understand parents/family members often feel isolated when it comes to topics around sexuality, and in particular, when your kids/grandkids/family members are drawn to an LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Parents/family members often lack a safe, faith-based environment to process their emotions. Parents/family members often lack resources and support to become better equipped in entering these unfamiliar spaces. If this is you, there is currently a private, confidential small group of Bethel parents and family members meeting together weekly at Bethel Church to talk, support and care for each other and their kids/grandkids/family members.  Because of the nature of this topic, the group information remains confidential. But if you are a parent or family member who finds yourself in this place of confusion and concern, please reach out to for more information on how to potentially join this support group. You are not alone.