Part 1: Lesson Learned from Andrew

It’s great to be back home after speaking four times in the last four days in Atlanta at the National Youth Workers Convention. These past four days have been very humbling for me, and such an encouragement with numbers of people coming up to me and saying some variation of the following:

“Over the past year or so you have singled handily changed my entire perception and understanding of the gay community, ministry with my youth group and how I need to walk my Christian faith. Thank you more than I can ever say.”

I cried many tears this past weekend hearing such things. Selfishly, I needed to hear that this weekend. There are a lot of very scary things right around the corner, and I, my family and The Marin Foundation are at a huge crossroad. I will be writing more about this in the upcoming days/weeks, but for now, please pray with me for:

1. Continued courage to walk against so many barriers constantly fighting me every step of the way that really do discourage me from having hope – and yet even in the face of this I try with every ounce of myself to continue faithfully walking into the unknown

2. The hearts of those people/organizations/universities/churches with knowledge of this blog, my book and the continuing work of The Marin Foundation to be prepared to step up in a tangible way as this next big phase of my life and organization comes to the most pivotal moment of each of their existences that might have to totally change course

3. That the Lord’s ultimate will be done – whether I can see it or not

So the next few days I will be posting some videos of lessons that were learned by people who heard me speak and were involved with this bridge building Movement and how their lives have been changed because of it.

If there is something you have been challenged by or learned through this Movement, or things that you wish could happen but don’t have a means or knowledge to continue on, let’s talk about these and band together, all of us, in the face of those who, because of their fear or silence about this topic and the work we’re doing, are apathetically watching things slowly drift away because they think it’s not worthwhile enough to believe in. 

Much love with a humble and heavy heart.

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  • Sarah

    I attended your talk on Friday and greatly appreciated your message. I wanted to tell you something afterwards but I knew you needed to be at your book signing. During your talk, you said that you had only heard of one Christian family who replied well to their child coming out. I have to tell you that my in-laws have been a great example to me about how to do this well. My brother in law came out to me a full year before he came out to any of his family members, and I was very worried as they made comments throughout the next year–“did he like this girl,” “he may marry this one,” etc.

    When he came out, though, they handled it with grace and love. They said simply, “this changes nothing about the way we love or feel about you.” They are now attending an open and affirming church in Seattle even though he doesn’t live there himself because they want him to feel like he has a welcoming place to come home to. My in-laws don’t always feel HAPPY about the fact that their son will face discrimination and they admit that this has turned their theological world a little topsy-turvy, but they have dealt with these things behind the scenes and shown nothing but love and respect to their son.

    I just thought you should hear about this.

    I really respect the work that you are doing. It is tricky and hard and I know you probably hear a lot of negative feedback, but it is important. Being gay does not exclude you from the kingdom of God; it should not exclude you from the church, either.

  • Mrs T

    When I first read you comments, I thought that your ministry shouldn’t change. It might need some ‘tweaking’ & certainly enlarging, but ‘completely’ changing??????
    But I did think about something & maybe that’s it. I won’t say anything now. 🙂
    I do hope that you could still stay in our neighborhood, but thankfully the internet keeps us all together!
    You have so many fans; never forget that!!
    Be blessed. We love you!

  • Mrs T – Everything will be more clear soon. But I’m not quitting and I’m not moving. This is the neighborhood I’m to be in, and this is the work the Lord has given me. I will just faithfully continue in knowing those things while trying to be as diligent as I can with The Marin Foundation and our time/efforts/reach/funding/etc.

    Sarah – Thanks for the story … I can now say that I have legitmately heard one example where it didn’t go directly to the worst case scenario! 🙂

  • Hi Andrew,

    I hope things aren't changing too drastically. Are you working on getting your vision you have set up in Chicago/Boystown in other cities across the USA?