Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry

Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry

by Ross Murray
Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry

Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry

by Ross Murray


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Through the debates about the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church, one overlooked community is LGBTQ youth. Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry builds on experience and wisdom cultivated through The Naming Project, a ministry created at the intersection of youth, faith, and LGBTQ identity.

Formed at a time when the overlap of such categories was unthinkable, The Naming Project provides a place where youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities can be safe and affirmed in their identity and faith. Because of that foundational work, other pastors and youth ministers often reach out to leaders of The Naming Project with their questions about LBGTQ-inclusive youth ministry. Made, Known, Loved provides the guidance these leaders have been asking for.

The book first helps congregation leaders and parents examine the values of the congregation and youth group. It focuses on keeping young people, including LGBTQ youth, safe and helping them feel respected and see themselves as beloved children of God. The book also provides a how-to manual for LGBTQ-inclusive youth ministry, sharing the best procedures and practices from the fifteen-plus years of The Naming Project's ministry, including its ongoing summer camp.

Made, Known, Loved shows congregations how to create a program that affirms LGBTQ youth in their faith and their identity, accepts and welcomes diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and equips future leaders for the church and the LGBTQ community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506468006
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 04/20/2021
Pages: 199
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ross Murray is the founding director of The Naming Project, a faith-based youth ministry and summer camp for LGBTQ youth and their allies. He has worked with youth and families in a variety of settings and presented LGBTQ youth ministry around the world.

In his day job, Ross is vice president at the GLAAD Media Institute, providing activist, spokesperson, and media-engagement training and education for LGBTQ community members, corporations, and advocacy organizations desiring to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community. Ross has secured national media interest in stories that bring examples of LGBTQ equality across diverse communities in America, with a specialty in the relationship between religion and LGBTQ people.

Ross is an ordained deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with a specific calling to advocate for LGBTQ people and to bridge LGBTQ and faith communities. He is a producer for the Yass Jesus podcast, a faith and sexuality affirming podcast that believes you don't have to pick between gay and God. In 2014, he was named one of Mashable's "10 LGBT-Rights Activists to Follow on Twitter."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 What Questions Should I Be Asking about LGBTQ Youth Ministry? 1

2 What If I Encounter Resistance Establishing an LGBTQ Youth Ministry? 7

3 Should I Set Up a Program Exclusively for LGBTQ Youth? Or Just Practice Inclusivity? 15

4 How Much Should We Focus on Issues Other Than Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity? 27

5 How Jesus-y Should Our Program Be? 33

6 What Do LGBTQ Youth Want to Be Galled? 39

7 What Is the Big Deal about Names? 45

8 How Can the Church Help Youth Wrestle with Identity Questions? 51

9 What Holy Days and Rituals Do LGBTQ Youth Observe? Are These Even Christian? 57

10 What Rituals Exist for Personal LGBTQ Milestones? 63

11 When Should We Be Serious and Heavy? When Should We Be Fun and Campy? 67

12 What Part of an LGBTQ Youth's Story Do I Need to Believe? 75

13 When Should I Keep Confidence and When Should I Report? 79

14 What Kind of Adult Should Lead LGBTQ Youth Ministry? 85

15 What Relationship Guidelines Can the Church Teach LGBTQ Youth? 93

16 What Is Faithful LGBTQ Sex Education? 99

17 When Is It Important to Know a Person's Gender? Why Would It Be Necessary? 107

18 What about Sleeping Arrangements? 113

19 I've Divided Youth into Small Groups by Gender-What Should I Do Now? 121

20 How Can We Queer the Youth Ministry Experience? 129

21 What about Queering Youth Ministry Songs? 137

22 Does This Mean LGBTQ Youth Might Change My Bible Study? 143

23 What about Working with Other Ministry Organizations That Don't Share My Values about LGBTQ People? 153

24 What Happens to LGBTQ Youth outside My Youth Group? 159

25 Now What? 165

Appendix A Resources on the Christian Argument for LGBTQ Equality and Acceptance 173

Appendix B LGBTQ Christian Organizations 179

Appendix C LGBTQ Holy Days for Your Youth Ministry to Commemorate 185

Appendix D Other Helpful Resources 191

Notes 195

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