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Leading Disciples

What challenges and opportunities do you see in leading disciples of Jesus to follow Him with their whole being, including sexuality? Deb Wiles Rock Island BIC Church (Herington, Kans.)

Following Jesus Christ means we choose to repent of sin as defined in God’s word, turn to Christ for forgiveness and salvation, and make Jesus Lord of our life. Sometimes it’s difficult to [do that] in the area of sexuality if one hasn’t dealt with and healed from deeper wounds. I have to help some individuals make sense of the internal chaos before they can come to terms with the truth of God’s word and how He designed sexuality.

Nathan Stonge Dillsburg (Pa.) BIC Church

Everyone is hungry for life in Christ. Some are acutely aware of this; some misread or misuse their innate desire. In pursuing these opportunities, we may face a hindrance we are reticent to admit—that our spiritual parenting has resembled the confusion and coddling of our society’s parenting style. Jesus both exuded spiritual health and effectively diagnosed and treated spiritual sickness. The fullness of His grace and truth is undiluted and radically transforming. This is reflected in the tenor of the apostles and New Testament church as we see in Scripture. If we examine and test ourselves, we should know if we pass the test. Fulfilling our privilege of witnessing to the world and discipling in the church, through the Holy Spirit’s power, we have much to offer.

Jon Hand BIC Canada

I personally think this is an exciting time for us because we get to become leaders in grace. Practically, we have the opportunity to move from fear to grace by not participating in social media when people anxiously combat the side they disagree with. In wisdom, we look for what God is doing and for opportunities to reorient our lives to love, serve, and bless those who think differently than us. Finally, we should be sensitive to avoid tired phrases like “love the sinner, but hate the sin” that unintentionally communicate fear, not grace. We need to find helpful ways to frame our approach to this issue while remaining faithful to our historic understanding of Christian marriage and sexuality.

Keith Miller LifePath Church (Newark, Del.)

A great challenge in conversations of sexuality is that we often assume that each person has the same starting point, which isn’t true. If we’re actually making disciples, people with a variety of experiences and understandings will be joining us. And we must help each person ask, “How does living in God’s kingdom change the way I understand everything?” If we are indeed trusting the Spirit for transformation, then the Spirit will indeed bring discernment, conviction, and direction. Then, as God’s people, we are able to help one another move toward a Christ-like sexual ethic.

This article originally appeared in the fall/winter 2015 issue of In Part magazine.

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