Monday Morning Pastor
A blog post by Bryan Wilkerson, Grace Chapel’s Senior Pastor
Like NFL quarterbacks, pastors wake up on Monday morning replaying the previous day’s message in their heads; reviewing what they got right and what they might have done better. That’s certainly true when it comes to a challenging message like last Sunday’s, dealing with same-sex marriage and other cultural issues. (I know, I know – it’s Friday. Maybe NFL quarterbacks think faster than pastors!)
We worked hard to strike a gracious tone and offer a clarifying message. For those who might have missed, or might still be unclear, the gist of Sunday’s message was that Grace Chapel remains committed to the historic biblical understanding of marriage as a lifelong, intimate union between a man and a woman. At the same time, we respect both seekers and believers who might hold to different points of view. Drawing on Peter’s counsel to Christ-followers in 1st century Rome, we called ourselves to engage this and other cultural challenges with genuine respect, remarkable love, and doing good every chance we get.
The feedback to this point has been overwhelmingly positive, both from regular attenders and guests. Even folks who might prefer that we lean more one way or another felt the presentation was respectful, honest, and helpful. The elders and staff will continue to discuss the issue and its implications for our life and ministry at Grace, and we continue to welcome input, especially from any who might be struggling with our perspective from one side or the other.
If I had a chance to do anything over again, I would hope to make a couple of things clear. First, I would want to apologize to our LGBT friends and neighbors for times the church has failed to offer the respect, love, and goodness we are called to in the Scripture. WE have room to grow in this area.
Secondly, I would make sure that every Grace Chapel person was prepared to give the same, simple answer to the question, “Are gay people welcome at Grace Chapel?” The answer is, “Yes!” Not, “Yes, if….” Or, “Yes, but…” Just, “Yes.” Every person is welcome at Grace Chapel, just as they are, to seek and follow Christ.
We will continue to call all people, gay and straight, to God’s good design for human sexuality and marriage, understanding that ultimately every person’s journey is between them and the Lord. Together, let’s trust the Spirit, the Word, and the community of faith to lead each of us toward becoming the people we were meant to be in Christ.
Please give a listen to the message if you haven’t had a chance yet and feel free to share your thoughts by emailing us at