Ten Tips for Evangelizing Gay Non-Believers

Last summer, I spent a few days in Washington, DC. I called my cousin who lives there and met him and his partner for dinner. Over drinks and good food, accompanied by a lot of laughter, I had the surprise opportunity to talk about my faith with him.

My favorite guys in DC!Only later did I recognize what happened as evangelism. Moreover, it was just the kind of evangelical opportunity that I believe I was born for. It is not for every Christian. But then again, the way other Christians evangelize is not for me. God made each of us unique.

You see, my cousin is a gay non-believer. Here are the reasons I believe I was able to talk about faith with him, and maybe plant a seed that will grow:

  1. I didn’t get together with him because I had an agenda to evangelize. I got together with him because I adore him.
  2. I am genuinely interested in his partner, a high-end hairdresser who raises a ton of money for charity through his athletic endeavors and who happens to be a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He’s a kind and handsome man who’s made my cousin very happy.
  3. I’m delighted to coo over pictures of his twin sons, fathered through artificial insemination and being raised primarily by a lesbian couple. Those are some gorgeous babies . . . and in some 21st-century way I barely comprehend, I’m related to them!
  4. I didn’t present myself as perfect, sinless, or superior; I am not any of those things. I brought along my boyfriend, talked about my divorces, and drank a glass of wine. I may have laughed at an off-color joke or two.
  5. I asked him and his partner about faith when the opportunity came up naturally in conversation.
  6. I didn’t judge or despise his lack of faith, but shared stories about my own mother, who at the end of her life was unhappily, vehemently anti-Christian.
  7. I didn’t go heavy on Jesus, knowing from my experience with Mom how quickly that can close a conversation. Instead, I talked about how my faith has gotten me through life’s hard situations. Don’t get me wrong; I love the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But a lot of non-believers, having been force-fed Jesus by angry fundamentalists, are more comfortable with the Father, the Spirit, and the practical benefits of faith.
  8. I picked up on his partner’s desire for a faith community, and we talked about churches in their area that might welcome them, and about gay friends of theirs who attend various churches in DC.
  9. I acknowledged how poorly many Christians and churches treat gay people and how much hate is out there and expressed my dismay over that.
  10. I let the conversation move on naturally without pressing for a commitment or action.

Will my cousin become a Christian? I don’t know—that’s up to God, not me. But this urbane, brilliant, and very popular man said something that makes me feel like it was a successful, if unintended, attempt to evangelize. He sounded surprised when he told me, “Nobody talks to me about religion.”

Maybe nobody dares, as my cousin has a formidable sarcastic wit. Maybe nobody thinks he has a need, because he’s already happy and self-assured. Maybe the people who most like to evangelize—evangelical Christians—don’t hang out in urban centers or fraternize with openly-gay people who have no wish to change their sexual orientation.

I’m thinking maFullSizeRender-6ybe we should. And I’m hoping for more chances to reach out to people nobody talks to about God.

 How about you? Do you share your faith with non-believers? Is it hard or easy for you? I’d love to hear your story!


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8 Comments on "Ten Tips for Evangelizing Gay Non-Believers"

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Robin Bunting

What a great blog. Lots of food for thought and self examination. Lots to apply to my judgmentalness. Thank you so much. Keep writing from your heart. We need to hear this kind of message.

Ann Ellison

A beautiful example of being God’s light to those around us. My daily prayer is that I will be that light no matter where I am and it isn’t always easy.

Todd Moody

This is lovely, Lee. I definitely think we need to focus more on loving others and leave the judgment to God. Too many Christians don’t see it that way and unfortunately it turns a lot of unbelievers away.

Beth Steury

Great post, Lee.

Mary Kay

Two things I try to remember: we are to be known by our acts so act always with love. And let him without sin cast the stone. Hence, I don’t pick up rocks. .

Nancy Thomas
My nephew “came out” about a year ago. Although we had all suspected he was gay, as the years went by and he spent time with women (even became engaged for awhile) we all hoped we were wrong and he just had “feminine” characteristics. He was raised in the church and surrounded by a mostly Christian family, so I’m sure that and the deep love he has for his mom were factors in his hiding his true self. Two or three years ago he began to change. He started drinking heavily, constantly did things to emotionally hurt his mother and… Read more »
Susan Waldrop

Nancy Thomas, Respectfully I ask….You said that your nephew was hiding “his true self”. If it’s his true self, why isn’t he good enough? It takes courage to be your true self in this world. I give him credit. Just love him without all the anti gay slogans. If your nephew read that it would hurt him…. Even though it is not your intention. It’s who he is. God made him perfectly ok.