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Ministry with LGBTQ youth

Woman counseling a teen

The Youth Worker Collective of Discipleship Ministries offers a helpful guide to being in ministry with LGBTQ youth after GC2019.

Youth Worker Collective

This post provides reflections on ministry with LGBTQ youth in a general sense, and it also contains specific references for youth ministries in the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church gathers a legislative body in order to speak officially on behalf of the church, and many of the recent gatherings have hosted an ongoing debate about human sexuality, same-sex marriage, and the ability to ordain those who do not fit traditional definitions of gender or sexuality.

(If this opening paragraph hasn’t scared you, please read on! It really is good! Also, I realize that I am a white, married, cisgender male, father of two – and that I don’t know everything. In fact, I have family members who revel in reminding me of that regularly.)

This post is not designed to change your mind. I write this with no liberal, nor conservative, theological agenda.

The only explicit or implicit agenda set forth in this post is as follows: to help the church become (or remain) a safe place for teenagers. Many youth workers identify safety as one of the top priorities of their ministry. 

Teenagers all struggle with sexuality, as hormones turn on and off, teens experience new world of power dynamics, pleasures, dangers, and identity questions that they did not know about in childhood. Teenagers also all experience bullying in different degrees.


Last Updated on November 1, 2023

The Michigan Conference