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endorsements This new edition of Guiding Families is an incredible resource It will continue to be my number one go to resource I recommend for parents and friends with LGBT loved ones Dr Preston Sprinkle President of The Center for Faith Sexuality Gender I highly recommend the second edition of Guiding Families The first edition assisted me not just in ministry but in my own family I am grateful that the second edition goes deeper into language and healing conversations real life stories from parents and frequently asked questions Nina Edwards Senior Director of Leadership Development at Youth for Christ USA This second edition of Guiding Families from Lead Them Home has transformed an already helpful resource into an invaluable treasure trove of information and wisdom Dr Nate Collins Ph D in New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of All But Invisible This is a fantastic resource on blending grace and truth in loving LGBT youth well Some youth feel they re facing a dead end regarding faith my hope is that as followers of Jesus apply these concepts more youths will see a path forward in pursuing God Debbie Child People Care Network Cru I ve had parents churches and pastors often express that they want to love LGBT loved ones well but don t know how Well here s how Guiding Families is such a gift because it clearly and practically shows how to embody the love of Jesus Don t let the accessible format and practical guidance fool you Guiding Families is a great work of theology Rev Branson Parler Ph D Professor of Theological Studies Kuyper College Director of Faith Formation Fourth Reformed Church This a resource full of wise counsel and practical advice Brimming with real life stories it leads the reader through a series of discoveries that can help any family or any church build bridges to the people who need it most Intellectually satisfying and visually beautiful this work is an astonishing achievement Dr Gordon L Isaac Professor of Church History Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary Guiding Families is a huge help when friends reach out to me either coming out themselves or in concern and confusion when their child comes out I can think of no other resource like it with real life stories avoiding language triggers loving well while holding to our beliefs answering tough questions avoiding common mistakes and much more We who hold a traditional view of sexuality need this resource to help us be Christ s hands feet and ears to the LGBT community Carolyn Carney National Discipleship Steering Committee InterVarsity Christian Fellowship I long for a world in which every Christian who holds a traditional sexual ethic loves their LGBTQ neighbors with the kind of sensitivity and compassion modeled in this book Gregory Coles author of Single Gay Christian The second edition of Guiding Families provides a concise comprehensive road map to help conservative Christian parents and caregivers navigate how best to respond to a loved one s LGBT disclosure It provides information and resources that are instructive in helping parents in their desire to maintain an unconditional love based relationship with their LGBT oriented son or daughter Guiding Families is a valuable resource and a unique gift to the Christian community Francis Cavallo PhD LMFT LMHC Pastoral Counseling Services of the South Shore I have been given another chance to pursue God with my whole heart The church also has another chance to reflect God s love for LGBT people Reading Guiding Families will transform you it will pave the way toward a better expression of Christ s love Luis Javier Ruiz survivor of Pulse nightclub shooting MORE ENDORSEMENTS ON BACK INSIDE COVER

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From the Author I am honored to share with you Lead Them Home s Guiding Families of LGBT Loved Ones This resource is designed to increase family acceptance and enhance church inclusion in order to nourish faith identity in LGBT hearts Pastors and church leaders parents and families seminarians and college administrators counselors and social workers student and campus missionaries youth and justice workers and ministries assisting families of LGBT individuals all who care will find Guiding Families to be a helpful resource This edition includes reflection questions for use in leadership training adult learning classes parent groups and personal reflection FOR EVERY PASTOR FOR EVERY PARENT Why every pastor It s simple We reach many people You Whether your loved one just came out or did so years as pastors reach countless more Many of you have experi ago our hope is that Guiding Families will equip and enced Posture Shift which equips pastoral leaders to effec encourage you It starts with what Lead Them Home tively care for and share Christ with LGBT people Guiding refers to as a posture shift Against the backdrop of Families incorporates key Posture Shift teaching points to decades of mistreatment of LGBT people we must help you encourage parents and families to generously love shift our posture to ensure that our actions attitudes and care for LGBT loved ones and words look more like Jesus Our hope is that Guiding Families will eliminate the out Many years ago it often took months of interaction to sourcing of care that LGBT loved ones and their families positively shape how families would respond to LGBT often experience Our resource offers you an easy frame loved ones I wrote Guiding Families because teaching work to quickly educate yourself on caring directly for the content in this resource allows parents and fami LGBT people and wisely walking with their families lies to start relating more effectively in just a few hours To train your team visit postureshift com and request a For additional support contact us at Posture Shift proposal info leadthemhome org FOR ALL WHO CARE Teaching love and compassion for LGBT people can sometimes trigger concerns about biblical compromise Nothing in Guiding Families will dishonor God s Word We encourage you to maintain your biblical position to honor God and adjust your posture to love like God has loved you We all fall short of the glory of God Those who have encountered Jesus have been saved by an amazing grace We did not earn it We do not deserve it We have not achieved it God saved us precisely because we are sinners in need of grace People saved by grace do not mistreat or place roadblocks in the paths of others We are called to clear roadblocks and authentically reveal Jesus living in us to people where they are We pray that Guiding Families will help you more generously live out the gospel of Jesus Christ Bill Henson Founder and President Lead Them Home

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DEDICATIONS To Jesus Christ for dying in my place To my parents for modeling unconditional love To my wife and children for being the joy of my life To our trustees for leading our ministry with excellence To Fr Ray Pendleton for supporting and encouraging me during the toughest times To our tireless staff and volunteer editors for laboring long and hard To faithful friends for endorsing reviewing and contributing inspiring articles To each individual interviewed for opening the most vulnerable parts of your life to help others To Dr Paul and Christie Borthwick for modeling a life long commitment to mobilizing missionaries To 11 year old bullycide victim Carl Joseph Walker Hoover for awakening my heart to do something To Dr Caitlin Ryan for graciously venturing across the belief gap to educate me on what to do To my home church Grace Chapel for offering personal care and practical support since my coming to Christ To pastors ministry leaders and administrators for trusting me to teach Posture Shift To countless LGBT young people and parents of LGBT loved ones for trusting me with your stories To our prayer partners Guiding Families readers and donors for encouraging and supporting Lead Them Home POSTURE SHIFT BOOKS Guiding Families of LGBT Loved Ones Second Edition 2006 2018 Lead Them Home All Rights Reserved Second Edition May 2018 Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible AMPC Copyright 1954 1958 1962 1964 1965 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission www Lockman org Guiding Families of LGBT Loved Ones is an individual rights purchase No distribution is permitted No copying scanning or posting online is permitted Those using Guiding Families as a small group study must purchase a copy for each study participant 100 Powdermill Road Suite 325 Acton MA 01720 info leadthemhome org 978 212 9630 leadthemhome org postureshift com

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LEAD THEM HOME PRESIDENT Bill Henson CHAIRMAN Dr Raymond Pendleton VICE CHAIRMAN TRUSTEES Dr Allan Sutfin GUIDING FAMILIES AUTHOR Bill Henson DESIGNER Meg Baatz CONTRIBUTORS Pastor Paul Atwater Elizabeth Cernoia Jim Vellenga EDITORS REVIEWERS INTERVIEWS BY PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS Meg Baatz Gregory Coles Nate Collins Steve Froehlich Laurie Krieg Ray Low Hayley Mullins Branson Parler Josh Proctor Roberta Raftery Preston Sprinkle Ty Wyss Mitchell Yaksh Thomas Mark Zuniga Meg Baatz Bill Henson Jairo Hernandez Peter Keto Ray Low Ty Michonski Catherine Mullaney Josh Proctor Molly Stanley Luke Swetland Jessica Wightman Mitchell Yaksh Jill Baatz Nina Edwards Elaina Francisco Rachel Gilson Ed Guzm n Colin Halstead Anna Henson Andrew Henson Lesli Hudson Laurie Krieg Thomas McClure Hayley Mullins Sandy Park Jill Rennick Leann Theivagt Seth Touchton Pieter Valk Adam Woods Sabra Woodward Ty Wyss Bill Henson Erol Ahmed Lance Anderson Alexander Andrews Roman Arkhipov Peter Aschoff Amos Bar Zeev Evelyn Bertrand Jake Blucker Yoann Boyer Luca Bravo Alex Blajan Aaron Burden Matteo Catanese Dan Carlson Calvin Chin Drew Coffman Courtney Corlew Anthony Delanoix Stephen DiDonato Todd DeSantis Samara Doole Semir Ahmed Douibi Nathan Dumlao Janko Ferlic Giorgio Fochesato Chris Gallimore Paul Garaizar Joseph Gonzalez Patrik Gothe Moriah Gross Hollie Harmsworth Rowan Heuvel Randy Jacob Yeshi Kangrag Andreas Kind Tahir Khan Robert Lamb Tyler Lastovich Pedro Lastra Aaron Lee Chris Leggat Christian Lohner Jay Mantri Grace Madeline Freddie Marriage Biel Morro Ben Neale Denys Nevozhai Roberto Nickson Jesse Orrico Vitaliy Pakyov Nirzar Pangarkar Glenn Carstens Peters Ben Rosett Mohammad Saifullah Alex Sawyer Kari Shea Kelly Sikkema Jonathan Simcoe Jordan Steranka Allie Smith Annie Spratt Craig Strahom Jennifer Tee Patrick Tomasso Jon Tyson Jeremy Vessey Milada Vigerova Syd Wachs Johnson Wang Warren Wong Kristine Weilert Kevin Young Special thanks to the Unsplash photographer community at unsplash com and to Sergiy Tkachenko Julieta Ulanovsky and Yellow Design Studio Ryan and Rena Martinson for font design

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contents PART 1 UNDERSTANDING LGBT LOVED ONES The courage It Takes 1 For a Loved One to Come Out Growing Up LGBT 4 The Weight Teens Carry Key Terms Vi Welcome LGBT Readers VIii Introduction x Six Developmental Stages 8 How Teens Come Out Six Acceptance Stages 12 How Parents Often React Risks LGBT Teens Face 16 Leading Risk Factors for LGBT Youth LGBT Teen Q A 20 Teens on the Edge of Coming Out Reflection Questions 22 PART 2 DEVELOPING A CARE PLAN Responding Well 26 When Loved Ones Come Out how to express acceptancE 28 Loving Well While Holding to your Beliefs Follow up CONVERSATION 29 Ensuring Your Teen s Safety sustainable support system 30 How Your Role Could Save a Life Common Mistakes 34 Even Loving Parents Make words matter 38 How to Avoid Language that Triggers Reducing Lateral Distractions 40 Removing Rocks That Block Growth Navigating Relational Gaps 42 Shepherding the Path to Independence how to reset THE RELATIONSHIP 46 Knowing It s Never Too Late to Apologize REFLECTION QUESTIONS 48 PART 3 FAQ BELIEFS FAMILY MATTERS Addressing the Hardest Questions 53 With Simple Accessible Answers common questions 54 Informed Answers to Tough Questions How to Discuss Biblical Beliefs 56 Fostering Thoughtful Conversations CULTIVATING A HEALTHY VIEW 58 Of Biblical Truth Interview with Theologians 60 Preston Sprinkle Branson Parler When a Theology Question 64 Is Not a Theology Question my Adult child s partner 66 Winning Trust by Loving Well When a Child Has an LGBT Parent 68 Eight OK s for Kids When A ministry Leader is the Parent 70 Of an LGBT Child REFLECTION QUESTIONS 74

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PART 4 SPECIAL SECTIONS Reaching People Where They Are 79 PARENTS HELPING PARENTS Beyond LESBIAN GAY 80 INITIAL REACTIONS 6 OVERCOMING RELATIONAL MISTAKES 36 Parents Loving Well 44 Pastor Parents of LGBT Children Respond 71 God s Faithfulness in the journey 113 BEYOND LESBIAN GAY Engaging with Humility Sensitivity Transgender and Plus Identities Practical Tips 81 For Guiding Transgender Teens my Child is Transgender 82 Guidance for Families of Trans Loved Ones Overview of Other Plus Identities 92 Bisexual Pansexual Questioning Intersex REFLECTION QUESTIONS 94 REAL LIFE PROFILES PART 5 DianE The Danger Of Family Rejection 7 Liam In Over My Head 10 David Tina A Closet Of Our Own 14 Crystal Homeless Transgender 18 JESSICA How Support Unfolds 32 JOHN John s Support Network 33 KENNY PARENTS First in Our Lives 72 MOLLY Living Life With Mark 86 ABREE SARA Yesterday Today Tomorrow 88 LIZ When Life is not Black White 90 MARK I forgive You 93 Riley The Fifth Call 120 Luis The Pulse of the Gospel 136 PRAYING IN FAITH TRUSTING GOD A Special Word for LGBT Loved Ones 100 Jesus Invitation to All of Us The God of All Comfort 102 How Suffering Leads to God s Comfort Declaring a Decree of God s Protection 104 Confessing His Word Receiving His Promises Praying Through the Stages 110 Turning to God No Matter What REFLECTION QUESTIONS 115 PART 6 GUIDANCE FOR ALL WHO CARE Thirty Two Tips 118 For Relational Effectiveness WELCOMING YOUR CHILD S LGBT FRIENDS 124 Making Sure Your Home is a Refuge BEING A FRIEND TO PARENTS OF LGBT CHILDREN 128 Faithful Friendship in a Time of Need for youth student Campus ministries 130 Fostering Inclusion for LGBT Students FOR FRIENDS RELATIVES NEIGHBORS 131 Preparing for Crucial Conversations The Justice Generation 134 Writing a New Church History REFLECTION qUESTIONS 138 GUEST ARTICLES PASTORAL FAITHFULNESS GENDER CONFLICT 84 Steve Froehlich You Don t NEed to Pray THAT GOD MakeS Me Straight 106 Greg Coles TAKE HEART 108 Mitchell Yaksh AIMING HIGHER BURDENS LIGHTER 109 Meg Baatz No Agendas 119 Ty Wyss Deep Dark Secrets 121 Thomas Mark Zuniga wHEN A Loved One Comes Out seven truths to Consider 122 Hayley Mullins EIGHT Things I Wish Every Christian LEader knew About Gay Teens in Their Church 126 Laurie Krieg Posturing the Church for Corporate Reconciliation 132 Nate Collins LEAD WITH JUSTICE 133 Ray Low

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GROWING UP LGBT THE WEIGHT TEENS CARRY T eens do not decide to come out on a whim They have likely been trying to sort out their identity for many years They often experience isolation and depression as they seek answers with little social support It is critical to avoid stereotypes that misrepresent others experiences and result in the patronizing of people Put another way it is disrespectful to presume that we know another person s story Just because someone identifies at LGBT does not necessarily mean that they have been bullied or mistreated While stereotypes are dangerous statistics do not lie Victimization of LGBT young people occurs at a much higher rate than that of heterosexual peers For this reason it is critical that we understand what it can be like to grow up LGBT LGBT young people routinely report feeling different at an early age This internal difference may or may not be visible to their peers If it is visible peers may begin to exclude such a child Even if it is not visible LGBT youth feel discomfort inside and may withhold themselves from interacting with peers During elementary school years this withdrawal can amplify perceptions of difference leading to name calling overt attempts to exclude and assigning labels to areas of differences Sadly this exclusion gets infused into the social lives of many LGBT young people As middle school years approach there is a greater risk of bullying When LGBT teens come out to themselves they often wrestle not only with their past pain but also their future fears They may fear their parents They may fear their pastors These fears can lead many young people to isolate repress and attempt to pray the gay away 4 The weight that many LGBT teens carry is too heavy And we cannot lighten their burden if we are unaware of what they have been through In a young life feeling intrinsically different from peers over a long period of time can be a trauma Being routinely treated differently possibly even being repeatedly threatened or harmed is an additional trauma Fearing parents reaction to sexual or gender identity adds yet another layer of trauma These past present and future traumas shape brain chemistry to continually anticipate condemnation threat or harm The cumulative impact of the above traumas can yield growing isolation lower self worth and for some trouble in academic performance Understanding one s own sexual orientation or gender identity can be a confusing and frustrating process that takes time This is a very real experience you cannot demand that these feelings go away or deny the reality of what your child experiences THE WEIGHT THAT MANY LGBT TEENS CARRY IS TOO HEAVY WE CANNOT LIGHTEN THEIR BURDEN IF WE ARE UNAWARE OF WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH www leadthemhome org

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MAY HAVE ATTEMPTED OR CONSIDERED SUICIDE 9 ANTICIPATE JUDGMENT AT CHURCH FEAR FAMILY REJECTION HIGHER VICTIMIZATION BULLYING TEASING FEEL DIFFERENT AT AN EARLY AGE 7 4 3 1 10 8 6 5 COME OUT TEND TO REPRESS TO A POINT OF EXHAUSTION HIGHER ISOLATION DEPRESSION AND POST TRAUMA STRESS WONDER IF GOD HAS DISOWNED THEM SELF REALIZATION I AM GAY 2 DIFFICULT PEER INTEGRATION ESPECIALLY SAME GENDER Repression is the mental and emotional energy expended in an attempt to subdue or shut down unwanted feelings through selfeffort This process commonly leads to mental exhaustion or even a psychological breakdown This can lower hope increase feelings of self contempt and increase suicidality info leadthemhome org 5

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RISKS LGBT THE 2 LEADING RISK FACTORS RELATIVE TO THEIR HETEROSEXUAL PEERS 1 1 2 LGBT YOUTH ARE 2 4x more likely to attempt suicide in accepting families 4 8x more likely to attempt suicide in rejecting disconnected families 91 46 3X 2x BULLYING LGBT YOUTH HOMELESSNESS 3 20 40 of homeless youth identify as LGBT more likely to be bullied 62 have attempted suicide more likely to be victimized 59 have been sexually victimized Many are forced to trade services such as survival sex for food and housing more likely to miss school out of fear 94 of youth homeless shelters more likely to skip college report serving LGBT youth in the last year 1 Schuster MA Bogart LM Klein DJ et al A longitudinal study of bullying of sexualminority youth N Engl J Med 2015 372 1872 1874 2 Ryan C Russell ST Huebner D Diaz R Sanchez J Family Acceptance Project Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian gay an bisexual young adults Pediatrics 2009 123 1 346 352 75 report working with transgender youth in the last year 68 of homeless LGBT youth report serious family rejection Durso LE Gates GJ 2012 Serving our youth Findings from a national survey of service providers working with lesbian gay bisexual and transgender youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless Los Angeles The Williams Institute with True Colors Fund and The Palette Fund 3 Kosciw JG Greytak EA Giga NM Villenas C Danischewski DJ 2016 The 2015 National School Climate Survey The experiences of lesbian gay bisexual transgender and queer youth in our nation s schools New York GLSEN 4 Percentages of LGBT teens who have already experienced bullying and victimization 85 VERBAL HARASSMENT 49 ELECTRONIC HARASSMENT 27 PHYSICAL HARASSMENT 13 PHYSICAL ASSAULT 58 DID NOT REPORT OUT OF FEAR 62 16 Increased VICTIMIZATION Lower GPA Increased depression Increased self harm Increased suicide attempts Bullying for all students declines as age increases but it remains higher at every grade level for LGBT students relative to heterosexual peers 1 REPORTING TO SOMEONE DID NOT STOP HARM www leadthemhome org

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TEENS FACE FOR LGBT TEEN SUICIDE 2 FAMILY REJECTION LGBT YOUTH IN EVANGELICAL FAMILIES 5 A teen comes out Her parents hug her They cry They say We love you no matter what Afterward the topic is never raised again because her parents 85 felt uncomfortable coming out to parents are uncomfortable with homosexuality This silence leaves a young person isolated 81 feared being viewed as disgusting by family carrying internal stress out of her own 57 feared being disowned by parents 42 forbidden to share with others 9 literally kicked out of their home FAMILY REJECTION FAMILY DISCONNECTION strength Holding this stress in rather than verbalizing it in safe conversation raises the risk of suicidal ideation We can say that family disconnection even in a loving home operates similarly to active forms VanderWaal C J Sedlacek D Lane L 2017 The Impact of Family Acceptance or Rejection among LGBT Millenials in the Seventh day Adventist Church Journal of Social Work and Christianity 44 1 2 72 95 5 of rejection Although family disconnection is not intended to reject it can produce IS THIS AN EMERGENCY dangerous risks for young people Many people who are suicidal are not imminently suicidal Here are 4 factors indicating that help is urgently needed 1 SUICIDAL THOUGHTS 2 SPECIFIC PLAN 3 STATED INTENTION 4 ACCESS TO MEANS National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800 273 8255 Bullying and family rejection are the leading risk factors for LGBT teen suicide Contact a licensed counselor if your loved one is suicidal If they are imminently suicidal call 911 or take them to the hospital immediately If uncertain call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for further evaluation Remain calmly alert about these risks Stay present in your loved one s daily life info leadthemhome org 17

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DAVID AND TINA SHARE INSIGHTS FROM THEIR JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF AFTER THEIR DAUGHTER AMANDA CAME OUT My husband David and I found out via social media We were in shock Everything in our world changed that day everything except God While David had noticed curious clues during our daughter Amanda s college days he had quickly dismissed them Now they were proving true We could barely focus since being stunned by the news David and I had difficulty functioning at work and at home We couldn t eat or sleep I spent many days in my bathrobe the whole day We isolated ourselves in fear of how our church community would respond As our daughter was coming out of the closet we were experiencing what it was like to go in LGBT teens can be fearful of people finding out about their sexuality We ve now felt those same fears Amanda had put her faith in Christ when she was 10 Will church people say she must not really be a Christian Will friends stop calling and drop away Will they misunderstand aspects of our journey and mischaracterize what we believe Our minds raced to find answers and solutions to lessen our pain and make us feel like we had some control over our circumstances anger The first remedy we tried was to simply deny reality Maybe we could convince ourselves that this was just a phase It didn t work We also tried distorted logic maybe if we caused this we can fix it too We searched for ways to help change Amanda because it seemed hopeless otherwise But staying in denial would not fix our hopelessness and growing anger We understood how difficult it might have been for Amanda to tell us about her sexuality given our deep church involvement But did she have to use social media to express her romantic feelings toward her partner even posting photos all while giving her parents no heads up We didn t stumble upon those postings until months after they began dating We didn t know who knew by then but we figured many of her followers were dear Christian friends and family members We were livid not that she didn t tell us but that she didn t tell us before going public We had no privacy to process our sorrow and get our hearts wrapped around this shocking revelation Amanda s posts revealed a person overjoyed and in love But we were far from a place of joy 14 Denial SHOCK A CLOSET OF OUR OWN Thankfully God got ahold of our hearts before we told Amanda how we felt He pulled us close to Himself We heard our God of love and mercy telling us He wanted to teach us a better way a way that can only be walked out in His power So in the midst of our darkest days our precious Lord started a new thing within our hearts Rather than expecting Amanda to have empathy for us we began feeling empathy for her and for all LGBT people We began to feel angry on their behalf for having been stigmatized as the worst of sinners by many who say they follow Christ We now have eyes to see the hypocrisy that can exist We are sorrowful over our own hypocrisy and silence as these attitudes and behaviors have been deeply ingrained into much of our Christian culture for far too long We want to capture a more Christlike love for Amanda her partner and the wider LGBT community www leadthemhome org

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For the first year and a half it felt like we were stuck in a deep dark pit of depression It ebbed and flowed but was an ever present part of our experience I had many appointments with our Christian counselor who has provided much grace and wisdom for the journey We also got a significant amount of relief simply as time passed But the depression can still hit in unexpected waves It has now been 3 years since we started down this road Recently Amanda and her partner Dana became engaged David and I sank into depression once again It started to subside as we spent more time with God and supportive friends God has put people in our lives who are there for us when the going gets tough Their prayers and love make a world of difference in the quality of our lives on this journey acceptance What breaks our hearts the most is that Amanda seems to want nothing to do with Jesus Thinking about that reality can depress me Another trigger involves my longing for closeness with her Sometimes she holds me at bay or even attacks me for no reason It hurts when that occurs Depression Bargaining Our more subtle attempts to escape our new reality would surface at unexpected times We prayed for God to use these circumstances to change us Though sincere in that prayer we admit that we may still at times secretly hope that our cooperation with God in changing our hearts would move His Hand in changing our Amanda s heart too But as our relationship with Christ grows closer it becomes harder to play those bargaining games Much has changed in our hearts in the last several years As we learn to place our full dependence upon God this experience becomes less about Amanda and more about our journey with Christ I can honestly say that most of our days are filled with gratitude and contentment in Him We are learning to love our precious daughter from hearts that are being re shaped to look like His We believe Amanda is experiencing our love in a fresh yet still imperfect way We pray that it is beginning to feel more like Christ s radical love high school and his classroom has become a safe spot for LGBT youth to hang out He wants them to know that they have a place where they are loved and wanted David and I are committed to journeying through life together with Amanda and Dana Dana is a wonderful young woman We love her dearly as family We have fun visiting them out of state and hosting them in our home We enjoy making cherished memories together leaning on God as He unfolds His purposes This is my prayer Lord help us not miss out on what we have today because we miss what we thought would have been a better path We trust the uniquely perfect path You have already prepared for us and we trust Your promise to be with us every step of the way We release our desire to know what is yet to come and we trust Your abundant grace to be ready to meet every future need Keep us in Your peace as we seek to know and to walk in Your will each day In Jesus name amen Without this journey we might have continued to live with a blind spot that minimizes LGBT people We share their hunger for love acceptance and belonging David teaches info leadthemhome org We thank God for the privilege of walking alongside other parents in any stage of this journey Know that your family is not alone There are others who will stand with you and declare that all our children are made in the image of God Each is incredibly valuable and deserves our deepest love 15

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BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE SUPPORT SYSTEM JESUS PARENTS OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS PASTORS COUNSELORS MENTORS PEERS 1 2 3 5 1 3 SEE BELOW KEY INSIGHTS ON A HEALTHY SUPPORT SYSTEM PARENTS can ask helpful questions that allow you to determine how well your child internalizes God s love and their family s acceptance Such questions could include In your spiritual identity is God for you or against you Do you feel like Mom and Dad truly love and accept you What additional support do you think you most need PASTORS can ask a young person which pastoral staff they d feel safe sharing with in order to expand support COUNSELORS are needed not because a child is LGBT but because they are a critical help for any person who might be experiencing anxiety fear hurt or trauma 31 OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS can play a critical role adding to parent support or offering acceptance for young people whose parents are grieving angry rejecting or not yet in the know ADULT MENTORS are men and women from 3 to 30 years older than your child Never underestimate a young person s need for both father or older brother and mother or older sister figures speaking value into their lives Mentors are critical for every human being IF YOUR CHILD IS UNDER 21 Allow but do not encourage additional peer support Immature peers sometimes gossip tease or reject This can potentially raise the risk of suicidal ideation Do not block healthy friendships but be aware of this risk www leadthemhome org

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Churches are seeking practical loving biblically sound guidance on LGBT inclusion and relational care Is your church ready POSTURE SHIFT TRAINING SEMINAR Posture Shift is a private at your site leadership training seminar designed to equip your team for effective LGBT outreach and care This missiological teaching educates your team on historical victimization of LGBT people vulnerabilities of LGBT youth and key language mistakes that damage trust Walk away with a 10 step best practice care plan that includes coverage of complex matters such as church inclusion Join tens of thousands of Evangelical leaders across North and South America Equip your team today REQUEST A PROPOSAL AT POSTURESHIFT COM info leadthemhome org 12

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32 TIPS FOR RELATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Be a Missionary Understand that hurt and judged people easily anticipate condemnation Engage Like Jesus Look Smile 12 Love Pause Ask Listen Pause Five Minute Rule There is a brief initial window to prove that I am safe and comfortable to be with Curious Be sincere and curi13 Be ous enough to draw out their Build Trust Develop relationship in order to cultivate and nurture spiritual interest growth Safe Space People given 14 Offer space to self reveal can more free No Agendas Never bait and switch the purpose and related content of getting together Their Partner I best honor 15 Honor my friend by asking about those No Biases Engage others as whole persons never deconstruct a person to one dimension of their life 16 No Triggers Avoid words or phrases clich s that stereotype or reflect judgmental attitudes Authentic Avoid attempting 17 Be to appear relatable by front lining No Hammers Resist any temptation to use doctrine to position God against others Humbly Weep with those 18 Walk who are sad grieving laugh with No Hang Ups Let go of any hangups that hold me back What if my friend becomes attracted to me Do Justice If any protection is 19 needed be the first person to Surrender Disgust If people disgust me I have the real problem low missional effectiveness Mercy See beyond sin to 20 Love express acceptance love and Well Make direct eye con10 Listen tact smile warmly and genuinely Playing Field If the topic of 21 Level repentance surfaces share about by Asking I do not have 11 Answer to carry the weight of every ques Sin Comparisons Sin compari22 No sons ultimately break down It may 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 listen to what others share tion I can ask a question back 118 23 Ask Listen Pause Love story in their own words ly discover God s will for their life who are important to them Lose False Power I lack the power to condone or enable sin by asking about my friend s life all the gay people I know those who are happy funny Recognize Gifting Be perceptive and generous in identifying positive qualities traits gifts and talents Faith Commit to nour24 Nourish ishing rather than chopping at the roots of a person s faith identity to Judge Jesus reminds 25 Refuse us that there is absolutely no room for judgment see Mt 7 2 Patience Who am I to 26 Practice determine the Spirit s next step for someone s journey of repentance 27 Remember Salvation Did I earn it No Without the Holy Spirit invading my life I could never repent Be Invitational Invite them to 28 share a meal or coffee specifically invite them to be with me Include Them The gospel of 29 exclusion has no power to reach already banished persons defend against harm Jesus Always reveal the 30 Reveal presence of Jesus within me and extend His amazing invitations compassion 31 Share Scripture Consider it missional success even if I only read through the Psalms with my friend 32 Show Affection Respecting others comfort and safety appropriately offer physical and verbal affection it in first person i e my own life be tempting but it doesn t work www leadthemhome org

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FROM OUR CHAIRMAN T HERE ARE MANY WAYS TO RESPOND TO LIFE S MOST challenging events One of the most difficult issues for parents relatives and caregivers is when an individual discloses for the first time that they are gay The response of parents relatives and caregivers is of critical importance Knowing how to respond makes an enormous difference to the person who has taken the risk to disclose This publication gives clear and thoughtful ways to consider how best to respond You will read the responses of parents and others who discuss their own reactions to disclosure This is an essential publication for everyone who works with individuals and families who are dealing with their own reactions to the discovery that someone they know and love is gay Bill Henson and his staff have put together this useful and powerful publication as a tool for parents and professional caregivers As a psychologist and a pastor I find this publication an essential tool for helping families and caregivers respond in a way that will be most helpful The message of love and care in the context of Christian truth is powerful in maintaining truly redemptive relationships The Rev Dr Ray Pendleton Sr Professor of Counseling Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary Asst Rector for Pastoral Care Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church MISSION VISION APPROACH Our mission is to love LGBT people in the church Our vision is to increase family acceptance enhance church inclusion and nourish faith identity in LGBT people We train church leaders guide families provide care to LGBT people and build justice bridges to serve LGBT communities JOIN US Have you or your family church or ministry benefited from Guiding Families Please consider helping us advance gospel work by becoming a financial partner Give as an individual business or organization via check debit or credit card or electronic check ACH or consider us for a mutual fund or stock investment Start your recurring or one time gift at leadthemhome org give 140 www leadthemhome org

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endorsements I often meet with families in crisis after an LGBT child comes out I ve found Guiding Families to be THE resource I leave with them to continue leading them Most LGBT resources require reading the entire work for just a few insights Guiding Families is a decluttered resource that gives insight after insight drawn from on the ground pastoral and parental care Pastors will find what they need to be safe confidants and guides and parents will find language and insight that enhances their connection with their adolescent or adult children Ty Wyss Founder of Walls Down Ministry Guiding Families is a Holy Spirit infused practical tool that has the potential to save churches save families and save lives Laurie Krieg Executive Director of Hole in My Heart Ministries Guiding Families teaches families and friends to love LGBT people well while faithfully loving God Contained in this book is everything you need to learn to love well and remain faithful to the historic Christian faith Rev Dr Jonathan G Smith Pastor of Redeemer Anglican Church of Orlando and host of the Grace On Fire Podcast I am so blown away by God leading us to your resource Guiding Families Your work is saving lives the lives of family relationships and the literal lives of LGBT loved ones Thank you for your work and bravery Molly mother of transgender son Read their story on page 86 Such a thorough practical precious and needed resource I m already anticipating the stories of understanding empathy courage and breakthrough that will be born from this book Thomas Mark Zuniga Cofounder and Editor of yourotherbrothers com Guiding Families is a must read One of the best resources I have found as a licensed therapist to help families heal wounded relationships Guiding parents in having deeper and meaningful dialogue with family members enables them to walk side by side with their loved ones with compassion and without shame Cynthia Fisher Clinical Director and Founder of Quadra Counseling Associates LLC As a licensed counselor who works with LGBT individuals and their families I am extremely thankful to have a resource like Guiding Families It is an invaluable tool that will bring families together and mend broken relationships Matt Krieg Director of Counseling at Caring Well Counseling After years of looking for helpful materials Guiding Families has become the go to resource for our ministry We use it both for families who are new to the journey and for those who ve been walking with LGBTQ loved ones for years It is practical and encouraging to parents a great guide for small groups and invaluable to anyone walking with LGBTQ people and their families Jill Rennick Director of The Grace Place Guiding Families provides a much needed perspective to loving people whatever their sexual orientation This book is full of ideas practical advice and resources available to anyone needing them Most of all it calls us to love all people especially those who are hurting and at risk Dr Valorie C Nordbye Director of Campus Ministries Missions Door Guiding Families may be written for immediate family members of LGBT loved ones but its practical guidance and the spirit with which its written are for all of us who work with and love youth and young adults Through real life stories that take us beyond platitudes and into the messiness of what it means to live a life of grace and truth Guiding Families offers a constructive way forward Personally Lead Them Home continues to remind me that the goal is to save lives to show young people they are truly loved and known by Jesus Their method isn t easy it requires sacrificial and unconditional love but our young people are worth it Jennifer Jukanovich Vice President for Student Life Gordon College MORE ENDORSEMENTS ON FRONT INSIDE COVER

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My number one go to resource for parents and friends with LGBT loved ones Dr Preston Sprinkle President of The Center for Faith Sexuality Gender When LGBT loved ones come out parents can experience shock Fear and grief can disable their initial reaction Emotions erupt Hurtful words spill Trust is damaged Relationships become disconnected Meanwhile in the church LGBT people often hear impossible hurdles and suspicion about their faith One courageous disclosure can be met with a response that communicates I don t understand you Guiding Families offers a relationally honoring biblically sound path forward In these pages learn how to Respond well when LGBT people come out Protect gay youth against bullying and suicide Avoid unintentionally offensive words and phrases Build a support team for LGBT loved ones and their families Engage LGBT individuals in a trusting relationship over the long term ORDER TODAY LEADTHEMHOME ORG GF2 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bill Henson is founder of Lead Them Home and creator of the nationally leading Posture Shift seminar He has trained over 50 000 Christian leaders and has guided 4 000 families over the last decade Learn more at leadthemhome org 100 POWDERMILL RD STE 325 ACTON MA 01720 978 212 9630 INFO LEADTHEMHOME ORG LEADTHEMHOME ORG