MEET MY DEAR FREIND KYLE BARR & Read his book The Touch That Transforms.
Pray for #holyclubs as we work to raise up discipleship communities from those that are finding God's healing touch.
Is it time for us to rethink the word #gay?
Everyone has a story to tell. But only some find the courage to tell the whole story. Kyle has brought you on a journey through the pages of his heart. Here he stands before you, exposed and naked, unashamed of the journey because of his peace — the true peace which can be found only in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. This is a story for every parent, every leader, and everyone who has a heart for the next generation. Why? Because Kyle’s story is similar to hundreds of the young people around you.
Certainly, everyone knows of someone struggling with homosexual desires. And for many, this reality strikes close to home. What can we do? The answer may be simpler than you think: hear their story and then serve their practical needs. First, just listen; hear the stories of those walking in a homosexual lifestyle. Within the gay community, there are very few people who have known a Christian to sit down and simply hear their story without preaching (#listentome). In this is Christ’s love. As you listen to their stories, their hearts will be healed, and yours will grow with a compassion rooted in God’s love towards people. Secondly, serve the person that is struggling with homosexuality. Don’t just preach to them; the goal is not to win an argument and prove that you are “right”. Instead, win them to Christ by being an example to them as Christ was an example to us. Walk as a new creation, that they might come to Christ and walk as a new creation too.
In 2014, I worked alongside Kyle in an outreach to the Gay Games: an international sporting event for the gay community. Our goals were to do two things: hear the stories of athletes, and serve them so that they could see God’s love and walk as new creations in Christ. And that is exactly what we did! We just sat down and asked people about their lives. And we heard the most amazing and passionate stories! In the midst of listening, we bought them lunch, carried their equipment, picked up their garbage, bandaged their wounds, and gave them hugs. We had a blast! And do you know what? The more we spent time listening and serving, the more they said ‘yes’ to Jesus. It really is that simple.
In your hands is a book, but it is more than a book. It is a story with an opportunity. Yes, it is a book about a young, sometimes scared, little boy that needed someone to hear his story. But it is also an opportunity for you to learn how to love. So read this book. Read it until your heart is filled with God’s love for the gay community.
(Tell me honestly: If you had met Kyle in the early years, would you have entered into his life as a source of healing?)
After you read this book, ask God one question, “Whose story do you want me to hear?” Make an appointment with them and sit down. Put your phone down and look into their eyes. For in their pupils is the heart of their story. Then, after you have listened, lovingly do something for them. In this service of listening and action is the love that saves lives!
To my friends that are struggling with the gay lifestyle – You are not alone. I love you. Jesus loves you. Heaven loves you. I truly am sorry for how the church has dealt with you over the course of your life. Some in the church just don’t understand. But, don’t let the rejection of the few stop you from the joy of the many. We want you in the body of Christ. We need you in the body of Christ; the body is not the body, without you! Please read this book. Let this story help you gain courage to overcome.
Lastly, I want to say this: the best is yet to come for your life. How do I know? The bible says,
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
Paul further adds, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17) There are two key phrases I want to highlight. First of all, “And such were some of you.” If you are in Christ, these very words free you from the feelings you may have been born with (specifically: those feelings that do not line up with the will of God). When I was growing up, I was controlled by fear, anxiety, and lust. However, when I made Jesus my Lord and Savior, I put off my old ways (which were satan's plan for my life) and I put on the new man, becoming a new creation in Christ. Secondly, the phrase “new creation” tells you something about God. What is the word found in “creation”? Hopefully you answered “create”. This shows that God is “creative”. He wants to creatively make you a new creation day-by-day. But still, the devil hates you, so he wants to destroy God’s creative desires for you to walk holy. The words “new creation” invites you to do just that: allow Jesus’ creativity to form and fashion you by His mercy and grace day-by-day. Don’t let your feelings define your life and hide you in the closet of shame. Everyone is waiting for you to arise and come forth, to take your rightful place as a new creation, soaring in your holy destiny! The BEST is yet to come.
As a leader of a prayer and discipleship movement, I have diligently served the gay community over the past two decades. Therefore, I strongly urge you to read this book. Let Kyle’s courage clothe you with empathy for the gay community and empower you with true grace to love your neighbor as yourself. – Ben Atkinson, Author and Director of holyclubs.com