counselingBy Jeffrey Bartz

Ryan regularly attended our church for a couple months before he asked to talk to me one Sunday after church. He offered an unusual number of compliments about our church, the people, and the pastors, then cut to the chase. “But the bottom line for me, I guess, is what does this church believe about homosexuality?” Ryan went on to reveal he was in a long-term, committed homosexual relationship. I had suspected. I had heard rumors. Now they were confirmed.

I was totally unprepared for that conversation, yet I thought it went really well. The fact that I haven’t heard from or seen Ryan since then tells me the conversation did not go as well as I had thought. Even though the conversation was nothing but courteous and pleasant, somewhere along the line I lost him.

I’ve matured a little since that conversation with Ryan and interacted more with homosexuals and those with same-sex attraction (hereafter, SSA). Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned.