SAN FRANCISCO -- Ministry leaders and ex-homosexuals believe that local churches should minister to homosexuals - both open and hiding - although churches often dont.
Jesus expressed nonjudgmental love to all and that's what churches must do, says Richard Holloman, Director of Sight Ministry, a local ex-homosexual ministry.
But Holloman believes that its not just the homosexual ministry that the church should adopt.
The Lord is calling the church to be relevant. I'm sensing there is a renewed spirit spreading throughout churches," Holloman said.
Its not just about homosexual issues either. It's about finances, adultery, unhealthy marriages, dark secrets, and things that we don't want to talk about because we're embarrassed," he said. "We tend to just sweep them under the rug. That's dysfunctional."
Holloman, who overcame a struggle with homosexuality, believes in the importance to express biblical truth with the radical love of Jesus, but also knows there is no compromising with the ultimate truth.
He spoke truth, but He never compromised," Holloman said of Christ.
In the past year, Sight Ministry doubled the number of those counseled.
Meanwhile, a pastor of a local church in the San Francisco Bay Area who has been involved in homosexual ministry for a decade, noticed that there has been a gradual change as Christians become more open-minded to the idea of a homosexual ministry in their own church.
Christians in general tend to be more conservative, explained Pastor Mike Riley of the Open Door Church in San Rafael, Calif., which he believes accounts largely for why the church has been reluctant to adopt a homosexual ministry.
However, slowly but surely, we've seen a change.
We used to be the only church in America that was doing anything around this issue. I was called upon to speak here and there, and now there is a plethora of ministries, he said.
There are different types of homosexual ministries, and Holloman believes the most effective are those that build strong same-gender mentoring relationships.
A big part of the puzzle for many is that they lack a strong, healthy, pure God-honoring same-sex relationships. I especially know this about men. To know that you can be loved and mentored by someone by the same sex is so important because very often that's totally missing, he said.
Jeff Buchanan, an ex-homosexual, agrees that homosexuals suffer from the absence of a male role model and healthy male affection. His father's absence since he was 3 years old caused him to seek approval from other males and led him down a struggle with homosexuality.
"I so desperately needed another male to accept me. I needed a level of intimacy that I never felt I had and I just so wanted to be valued by another male's eyes, and at that point it was innocent," Buchanan said.
He experienced a change in his life after he attended a local church with a homosexual ministry, New Song Christian Fellowship, in Brentwood, Tenn.
Now on staff with the church that led him away from homosexuality, he shared his view that not only must the person be discipled in a healthy one-to-one relationship, but every homosexual also needs a healthy family environment.
"What the church has got to realize is that in order for a person with homosexual tendencies to see freedom, they need to be with healthy men. They need to be with families. They need to be with grandmothers and grandfathers and children. They need to have that healthy family community aspect," he said.