Reaching the gay community is not an easy task but can be done if street evangelist have the right heart about doing it. Let me be very clear: the gay community can see your motive from a mile away!
It is also important for us to separate the political issues of gay marriage and rights for LGBTQ people from the biblical status on people involved in those lifestyles. After all, we are trying to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ, not win a political debate. Evangelism leaves little room for political discourse.
It is important to come to the gay community, especially in mass gatherings with a heart of love and compassion. The crazy guy with the megaphone telling them they are going to hell did you no favors. (Which is true theologically) The angry prophets has much of a help either. It is critical that you minister out of a place of love for their soul and compassion for their brokenness.
When you come at them with love and compassion, the angry they have for the church seems to disappear. You have just disabled their main reason why they hate anything to do with Jesus.
Remember the goal is to reach them for Christ, not win a debate!
How to deal with Gay Pride events?
Most people, such as myself, will end up trying to do evangelism at gay pride events and gay pride parades. This is where the street evangelists are serious out number. Thousands of sinners of the homosexuality option has gather in one place. You are in the same position as Jonah was in Nivenah. It is up to you to handle it better.
I have been an evangelist in a few of these. The ones in California was down right dangerous and should only be done by veteran street preachers. They can get out of hand really fast and the gay community in California is far more militant than the rest of the country.
I am from Kansas City so the one that I have the most experience with is the Kansas City PrideFest that is every early summer. Naturally, being in the Midwest, it is more casual and less freaky. Also, the people on both sides try to have respect for others. I have never had a problem where I had to worry about my safety there. However, the Kansas City Police Department will be on hand to try and keep things peacefully.
I am normally just moving around the best I can and handing out water, offering hugs and asking their permission to share with them why I would come to a gay pride event as an evangelist. It is very effective.
One thing that is important is to move in groups but make it look like you are not. When I have went, I always try and make sure that people can’t tell we are a group as I work through the crowd.
Again, this was NOT the case with the gay parades in California!
What about Homosexuality is a sin?
Of course, it is. There is no getting around that. The Bible is very clear on the issue and that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. However, over eating is also a sin that can keep you out of the Kingdom. Just saying.
As I talk with people from the gay community at these events, I do not back down on what the New Testament teaches about homosexuality. However, I am just as quick to remind them that it teaches that ALL have sinned and need a savior. Gay or straight. The focus is always on the eternity of the soul; not the chosen lifestyle they are living in. I talk to them just like I would someone on drugs, a fornicator, or greedy man. It does not matter the sin, it is all going to put people in hell without Jesus Christ being their savior.
This is where so many people get messed up in evangelism. They want to tell them they are going to hell because of their sin. We forget that without Jesus we would heading to hell just as quickly. The goal here is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ; not have a sermon on sin.
In fact, Jesus rarely came down hard on anyone outside of the religious elite in his day. When dealing with the lost, his messages were always about compassion and kindness. It was the religious elites that he called vipers and hypocrites. The message of Jesus to the gay community would be simple: Go and sin no more.
How to address repentance with gay community?
The gospel demands it. We also know that tomorrow is not promised and your next breath might be your last. All of this is true. However, when reaching out to the gay community in gay pride parades; I find having the confrontation over sin is not fruitful. As you talk with them, try and get a contact to meet up with them in a few days. This is normally much better. Emotions are less high and you are one on one in a coffee shop with them to talk about the core of the gospel.
This is a place where you can connect with them and share some truth with them but mainly build a relationship with them. Your last job as the evangelist is to tie them into a local Assembly where they can grow more and overcome their trauma from being in the gay community. It will be a long road. Nothing a “sinner’s prayer” can do.
It is also important that you make sure that they realize Christianity is not in unity with homosexuality but again, Christianity is not in unity with any sin. They just sin differently.