The Living Out Church And Leaders Course
The LOCAL course has been running for six years. It's a day of biblical and practical teaching on sexuality, designed to equip churches to better help those who experience same-sex attraction to stay faithful to biblical teaching on sexual ethics and flourish at the same time.
The course offers a positive biblical vision and practical steps forward as we seek to model both grace and truth in our Christ-like love for all those who experience same-sex attraction.
The Living Out team share their insight and stories as same-sex attracted Christians who hold to traditional biblical teaching on sexual ethics and who have spoken and written on this subject widely.
Living Out is delighted to bring you this day of training in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance. We ask that all who attend assent to the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith and its biblical and pastoral position with respect to homosexuality, summarised in these affirmations.
What happens on the course?
The day includes talks, interviews, videos and plenty of time to ask your questions.
The typical sessions that make up the course are:
|Understanding the cultural challenge||A wake-up call to the cultural changes, why they’ve taken place and the weakness of our response so far. Question time at the end.|
|A biblical vision for human flourishing||A Bible overview setting teaching on human sexuality in the context of God’s gracious plans to redeem his people. Question time at the end.|
|A biblical vision for church||Practical steps for churches to take to better welcome and disciple people who experience same-sex attraction. Question time at the end.|
|Interview & question time||Interview with a Living Out storyteller and question panel responding to questions submitted during the day and from the floor|
|Next steps & prayer||Over to you – time to think how to make the day impact where it really counts.|
Who is it for?
The course is open to all, but will particularly benefit those in a leadership or pastoral role at church, such as pastors, prayer team, homegroup leaders and youth leaders.
What are participants saying about it?
'Fantastic day…Thank you.'
'Great to hear from those that have walked the walk and are working out their salvation.'
'There was good pace and balance through a very useful day.'
'Superb training day that far exceeded my expectations.'
'It has been EXCELLENT. Thank you.'
'[Most helpful were] the honest and open explanations from those living with same-sex attraction in a church context. It is really helpful to hear what is helpful and supportive for someone living to honour God.'
'Your whole approach. Sound on the Bible but also personal testimonies and nuanced approach was very helpful. Your willingness to be vulnerable and your authenticity.'
'Superb foundation for helping church leaders pastor people who are same-sex attracted and equipping the church to do so too.'
Who commends the LOCAL Course?
'We at the Alliance are very aware that many church leaders up and down the country are scratching their heads about how to respond pastorally and biblically to those experiencing same-sex attraction. I’m so grateful for Living Out’s heart for seeing the Church respond with grace and truth to the lives, experiences and stories of these brothers and sisters in Christ. The LOCAL course is an excellent way to engage and wrestle with the issues, and then to provide church leaders with the practical tools they need to go back to their congregations.'
Steve Clifford, Former General Director, Evangelical Alliance
'I found this to be a very helpful, positive and challenging course from the Living Out team, combining informed and careful biblical teaching with the tools to help church leaders better equip their churches in exercising the gift of true welcome and hospitality for all.'
Rev Dr Emma Ineson, Bishop of Penrith
'I would urge church leaders who don’t know where to start on the issue of engaging with people experiencing same-sex attraction to book onto the LOCAL course today. This unique course will provide a safe space to ask those questions, to learn from others and be better equipped – pastorally and biblically – to respond.'
Yemi Adedeji, Director, One People Commission
'The issue of sexuality is unavoidable in contemporary Britain. Specifically, the issues around same-sex attraction need to be handled with a combination of warm sensitivity anchored to clear biblical values. The LOCAL course provides skills, wisdom and insight for leaders as they try to care for their congregations and communities. I thoroughly recommend it as a much needed resource for local churches and Christian agencies.'
Stephen Gaukroger, Director, Clarion Trust International
'We had a wonderful day yesterday with the Living Out team at the LOCAL course in Cambridge - over 150 folk! - and deeply appreciated by all I spoke to including many from my team at Eden. It reminded me what a brave and useful thing you guys have done in launching and running Living Out and how much we all owe you for it.'
Julian Hardyman, Senior Pastor, Eden Baptist Church and FIEC Trustee