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Book Review: Ministering to Gay Teenagers

Shawn Harrison has written the go-to guide for youth workers who want to learn more about ministering to gay teenagers. Written by someone who’s been there and done that, Ministering to Gay Teenagers manages to hit exactly the right tone: compassionate yet informative.

ministering to gay teenagersHarrison himself is gay, but his views on homosexuality are orthodox Christian—which is important to know before reading this book. He believes same sex attraction is not a choice, but he also makes crystal clear that it’s not same sex attraction that’s a sin; it’s acting on it. He stresses again and again in his book, that the point of ministering to gay teens is not to make them straight—as if we could—but to make them follow Christ.

Filled with practical, yet spiritual advice for youth workers, parents, friends and relatives who have a gay teenager in their life, this concise book covers frequently asked questions and key topics. Some examples include how to respond when a students comes out, how to set boundaries for gay students (actually: for all students) in youth ministry, and how to love radically while sticking to your Biblical convictions.

Harrison also shows how to make your youth ministry a loving environment, where gay teens can truly experience belonging—without necessarily affirming their choices. Those having more liberal views when it comes to LGBT issues may disagree with some of harrison’s orthodox viewpoints, but I doubt anyone can criticize the love for jesus and for students that shines bright on every page.

Ministering to Gay Teenagers is a must read for youth workers and anyone who has a gay relative or friend.

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1 thought on “Book Review: Ministering to Gay Teenagers

  1. I thought it was a good book too! I had him on the podcast last week. Check out the interview — it’s up at


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