One of the groups connected to our work that is worth paying attention to is Soulforce, a pro-GLBT organization that has worked hard to visit lots of Christian campuses (among other places) in the last few years. I remember discussing a Soulforce visit with at least one institutional college minister, a university ministries director at a major Christian college. If I’m remembering correctly, he described the visit as awkward – and not because of the university community’s response, but because of the visitors and their unpreparedness for actual dialogue.
While I certainly disagree with the theology of Soulforce, it is absolutely vital for us to recognize that the students this organization seeks to serve do feel as if we – those on “the other side” of this issue – have belittled, defamed, and detested them. We do not seem to have been successful, by and large, with expressing well what we actually possess.
So this organization and the many issues surrounding the GLBT (and other initials, depending on your campus) community are clearly important to our field. And I haven’t personally heard of any major efforts from Evangelical Christian college ministries on this front – let me know if you’ve heard of some.
Since the co-founder of this organization is retiring, he took the opportunity to share a detailed history of the efforts and perceived successes in the group’s twelve years. The letter seems to have been cobbled together a bit (for instance, it refers to Jerry Falwell as if he’s still alive) and seems to make some leaps in its correlations of Soulforce activity and certain outcomes. But it’s still helpful for understanding this organization from the inside… and not just their history, but their views, hurts, anger, and concerns.
And since it connects closely to this issue, I also wanted to point you to Gabe Lyons’s recent Headline News interview. Gabe is one of the authors of unChristian, which has been widely received by college ministers throughout our country. He has a new book out – The Next Christians – which continues his discussion of how Christians can present our views and “the life that is truly life” really well in the present day. It’s a brief interview, but it might get you interested in the book OR provide a great lead-in for a campus ministry talk / discussion.