Through the debates about the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church, one overlooked community is LGBTQ youth. Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry builds on experience and wisdom cultivated through The Naming Project, a ministry created at the intersection of youth, faith, and LGBTQ identity.
Formed at a time when the overlap of such categories was unthinkable, The Naming Project provides a place where youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities can be safe and affirmed in their identity and faith. Because of that foundational work, other pastors and youth ministers often reach out to leaders of The Naming Project with their questions about LBGTQ-inclusive youth ministry. Made, Known, Loved provides the guidance these leaders have been asking for.
The book first helps congregation leaders and parents examine the values of the congregation and youth group. It focuses on keeping young people, including LGBTQ youth, safe and helping them feel respected and see themselves as beloved children of God. The book also provides a how-to manual for LGBTQ-inclusive youth ministry, sharing the best procedures and practices from the fifteen-plus years of The Naming Project's ministry, including its ongoing summer camp.
Made, Known, Loved shows congregations how to create a program that affirms LGBTQ youth in their faith and their identity, accepts and welcomes diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and equips future leaders for the church and the LGBTQ community.
I like this book by Ross Murray so much, especially for its central premise that LGBTQ people are and belong in every faith. I was not raised very religious, but I was taught that God is love and that I was loved. That certainty had a huge effect in helping me accept myself as a member of the #LGBTQ community and to build a happy life--it was pivotal. I am so glad this book exists as a guide for leaders of any faith to give young people (and everyone else too) the huge gift of belonging and feeling loved. I will share it with friends who are active in their congregations with the hope they will then share it with the leaders in their churches so that youth ministries expand, because feeling loved and a part of a community makes for such a happier and healthier life.
It was late in the evening when I finally got a chance to read my advance PDF copy of "Made, Known, Loved." I figured I'd read a couple of chapters of interest, but I absolutely couldn't stop reading! I laughed and cringed as I remembered my own years in youth ministry, including ministry with LGBTQ youth. I appreciated Ross Murray's honesty about his own growth in ministering to LGBTQ youth as well as the hard-earned and practical wisdom he offers to others working in this field. I immediately bought a hardcopy and I can't wait to go through it again. Oh, and all Christian caregivers should read this too, not just those with LGBTQ people in their care.
Wow, this book should be required reading for ALL Christian denominations. Ross Murray, in all of his experience, skill and wisdom, smartly and poignantly lays out tools for church leaders and congregations to build LGBTQ affirming ministries. Filled with anecdotes of successes and failures, this book utilizes Murray's 20+ years of experience in LGBTQ youth ministry to lay out learnings applicable to any church body. It truly is a roadmap for any church looking to bring its ministry into the 21st century - and more importantly, and congregation looking to build a special place of worship and comfort for their LGBTQ youth.
Also, it was just a joy to read. Church leaders and congregants alike - this is a must-have in 2021!
Jesus ministered to people where they were at. Today's church isn't doing that with only 47% of US adults belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque. Made, Known, Loved: Developing Lgbtq-Inclusive Youth Ministry will help our churches do a much better job of telling LGBTQ youth what a beautiful creation of God they are. Imagine how different a generation of LGBTQ youth could have grown up into faithful adults if we hadn’t pushed them out by telling them that God didn’t love them as they are. This book starts to turn that around...hopefully it’s not too late.
This is a very well written book!!! For me love is love and can't be encapsulated in boundaries or boxes and The Naming Project provides a place where youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities can be safe and affirmed in their identity and faith. I totally recommend this one !!!
This book is thoughtfully written and purposefully organized to proivde practical ideas that can change your youth ministry at its core. The author provides personal experience and anecdotes to enrich your understanding.
(Full disclosure: I know the author and think he's great)
What a wonderful resource from Ross Murray! He's created a guide to thoughtfully and faithfully approaching youth ministry with LGBTQ youth that focuses less on logistics than on values, frameworks, and theological concepts. A great and grounding book for anyone approaching youth minstry intending to include and uplift LGBTQ youth in their congregations and communities.