Posture Shift Brings Model of Inclusion
Last week, Transform Minnesota partnered with Posture Shift to host two separate 2-day Intensive Courses in the Twin Cities. Bill Henson, President of Posture Shift, and Aaron Meissner, Advisory Committee Director for Posture Shift, spoke to 200 ministry leaders about building a model within their ministries for inclusion and care of LGBT+ individuals.
Henson began the course by building a biblical apologetic for this inclusion model, recognizing that LGBT+ individuals have historically been excluded by the Church. He also noted that a majority of LGBT+ individuals in the U.S. have grown up in the Church. When we cast of LGBT+ people, we’re not casting off a group of “others,” but a group within our own body.
The course also introduced the idea of “minority sin,” or sin that is primarily experienced by a subset of community members. Minority sins are often condemned at a different level than sins experienced by the broader community because they can be viewed as something only experienced by others.
However, a Gospel of exclusion has no power to reach an already banished group. We must meet people where they are, because we cannot meet someone where they’re not. Everyone is on a lifelong journey with their personal experiences and religious understanding. The goal is to match this lifelong journey with a lifelong model of care.
The practical application of an inclusion model will vary by church, denomination, and ministry. Participants explored possible models together through “people studies,” discussing how they would respond to different scenarios which might arise in their ministries. The goal is not to develop a homogeneous model, but to develop a model that allows as much inclusion as possible within the ministry setting.
Participants were excited to use these conversations as a starting point for implementing a posture shift within their ministries. They looked forward to developing an inclusion model with their leadership teams which can be implemented ministry wide.