Last week we talked about taking a hard look at the community inside our church walls to see if it is healthy and inviting. Why would we want to actively invite people into a community that is not thriving?

When we determine that our church family is indeed a healthy, functioning organism, then we can work to turn our gaze outward. Last week we looked in the mirror.  This week, let's begin to look out the window and dream a bit! Let's begin to unpack some ways that we can invitingly reach out. And because my heart is to see us reach out well to the LGBTQ community, that is who I’ll focus on.

Lest we get overwhelmed, let’s tackle just a couple ways to focus our efforts that can bring a lot of “bang” for our relational “buck.” The first is fostering an expanded view of “family” inside our walls. It means intentionally encouraging couples and families to include single people, LGBTQ or otherwise, in their families in meaningful ways. This is more than simply being in a small group with a single person and seeing them once a week.

My vision is life-on-life relationships, where my life and the life of my family intersects deeply with another person or a couple of other people.

I’m going to share a bit of my story next week, but for this week I am going to link you to a post by a man who has walked this path for many years now. His name is Wesley Hill. He is living out an expanded definition of family in a way that honors the Lord and should be challenging to the rest of us.

Read here for his story, and then tune back in next week for mine!

Susan Titus