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Ed Shaw: How God Has Used Same-Sex Attraction to Equip Me As a Pastor

“What we’ve got wrong in the past is allowing there to be a perception that the worst sin possible is gay sex. That there’s loads of sins here, but the worst possible sin that anybody could ever commit is having sex with somebody of the same sex. And that…we never get anything particularly significantly wrong, and we are looking down at you, gay people, who have got everything wrong.” 

“We haven’t actually applied the gospel to ourselves and to gay communities.”

“All human beings seem to fear people who are different to them.”

“One thing I sort of push back on is this idea that there’s an LGBTQI+ headquarters that is planning the downfall of the church. That’s often the impression we give—it’s not the case…There’s a whole host of different views and approaches to civil liberties and to church and to freedom of religion and belief among gay communities now.”

“I am in most ways no different to any other pastor. I am someone who is struggling with patterns of sin in my life. I’m usually being more public and open and honest about them than many pastors are.”

“Your church family want you to be on a pedestal. They want to believe that there’s some human being who just doesn’t struggle and lives a life of total perfection. They want you to be Jesus…and to be honest, for a pastor, it can be very flattering to be on the pedestal.”

“When it comes to a lot of our behavioral sins…often as pastors, we’ll be telling our church family stuff that they know about already.”

“Why have I picked up this rule that you can’t share about yourself and the gospel when you preach?…We should be sharing about the gospel and ourselves.” 

“Some people do have a sense of being ‘made’ gay by a bad relationship with a same-sex parent…Other people have a narrative, this would be mine, of, it just felt natural. As natural as, I would presume, heterosexuality felt for my peers as they grew up.”

“We believe in the Fall, we believe that none of us were born perfect, we believe that in all of us at the beginning of our lives, there were the spiritual seeds of what has brought challenge into our lives, whether it’s stubbornness or same-sex attraction.”

“The thing that God has most used to make me grasp the gospel of grace and the thing that God has used most to equip me to be a pastor is my experience with same-sex attraction.”

“When pastoring somebody who is same-sex attracted, rather than thinking, ‘The thing I need to sort is their sexuality,’ you know, you want them to become more and more like Jesus. And actually you need to be open to the possibility that God is going to use their sexuality…to help them become more and more like Jesus.”

“The challenge to the church so often is to remember that Jesus was single. Jesus, who talked to the woman at the well, with a single man.”

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye