Thank you for your partnership. Your prayers and financial support make possible our ministry and all that we offer across the country to churches, Christian colleges, universities and secular campus ministries.
It’s been a full week of ministry for Love & Truth Network and Transforming Congregations (UMC), the two ministries I lead. I flew into New York City Sunday, January 29 and “hit the ground running”, with four meetings Sunday afternoon and evening and rich ministry opportunities throughout the week. I’m writing this update to you from a discipleship conference in Memphis, with about 1,200 people in attendance, where L&TN and TC exhibited.
As we minister across the country we’re making pastors and leaders aware that Transforming Congregations exists as a renewal movement for The United Methodist Church and Love & Truth Network offers support to the broader denominational and non-denominational church. As you know, both organizations provide a loving, grace-filled message and ministry anchored in Biblical truth about God’s design for human sexuality and flourishing.
God has been growing a relationship with a secular campus ministry leader (and several of their staff members) in the NYC area. Our ministry has become a strong advocate, resource and encouragement as this leader and her staff graciously guide and disciple young men and women.
Sadly, a couple of the student leaders of this secular campus ministry, are a part of the LGBTQ community and have been strongly influenced, confused and drawn away by the progressive arm of The United Methodist Church.
We’re saddened to see the results of gay-affirming “doctrine” in the lives of these young and influential campus leaders (and the students they provide spiritual direction to) who have decided that God blesses homosexuality and are now rejecting an authentic Biblical understanding.
Authentic freedom isn’t found in mere “niceness”, rooted in error or a revisionist interpretation of Scripture. Instead, that leads to slavery to sin and allegiance to a false gospel.
Following are some highlights from this ministry trip –
I had the privilege to develop deeper connection with someone who works and ministers at a highly influential church in NYC. Who knows what God has in mind or what doors may be opened? We keep praying for opportunity to share with more leaders of this incredibly influential church. Thank you for praying with us.
I was asked to attend a meeting at Columbia University of young vibrant and zealous Christian leader. Their ministry is located on multiple college campuses in NYC. I’m looking forward to developing deeper connection with the leaders of this amazing Church movement.
God has given us favor with a number of other relational networkers in NYC who are actively looking for opportunities and Christian leaders to connect Transforming Congregations and Love & Truth Network with. Many of those connections have already born amazing fruit.
I was asked to speak at a Teen Challenge chapel service in the NYC area. There were about 80 men and women in attendance. The response was “off the charts” – so favorable and appreciative. In fact, the women’s ministry director, who has been in her role for several years, told the executive director that this was the most impactful chapel service she has ever attended! The men’s director was also impacted and has asked for further equipping. This appears to be a wide open door of opportunity that we’re thrilled and humbled to step through it.
A ministry partner and dear friend in Brooklyn is starting a CrossCurrent program (mini version of Living Waters) this month, and several of our new friends and ministry connections are joining this program for personal benefit and to become more equipped!
Higher Ground is a Biblically sound, wonderful ministry in NYC that offers discipleship to men and women experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction. We’ve had a connection with them for many years. I had the privilege of sharing with and encouraging their men’s group while I was in New York City. Actually, this was a time of mutual encouragement and building up of our faith together.
There were many other meetings and sharing opportunities – I taught on forgiveness and facilitated a small group at the Living Waters pilot group, connected with a colleague and dear friend at a Christian college where Melissa and I have shared and ministered in the past.
A particular highlight of my ministry trip to NYC was speaking at St. Francis College, again. This campus has a large LGBT enrollment. I’ve had the awesome privilege of sharing at this college 4 or 5 times – with their evangelical student ministry. For the first time, at this last meeting, we were joined by 5 or 6 leaders from the LGBT community and several pro-LGBT professors. It was wonderful to have them join with the evangelical students for our gathering and discussion.
It took a while, but people from the LGBT group began asking questions, revealing deep hurt and frustration with views that are unable to celebrate their perspectives and sense of identity.
Of course, I’m sure some of the hesitancy and pain was due to rejection and mistreatment by the Church in the past.
I’m so thankful that following our meeting there were reports from those who didn’t like my story or a lot of what I shared, that they still appreciated the respectful way I spoke, answered questions and conducted the meeting.
Please pray for eyes to be opened and genuine hurts against God and the church to be healed.
As I mentioned earlier, on the final two days of this trip (yes, we maximize our travel dollars!), we were so blessed to exhibit Love & Truth Network and Transforming Congregations at the Downline Discipleship Conference in Memphis TN, with about 1,200 men and women in attendance. I had a number of great conversations with Christian leaders, who were excited about our ministries and the approach we take to equip Christian leaders on restoring relational and sexual wholeness.
Two church leaders that I met during the Downline Discipleship Summit asked if I would provide video training to their teams. We’re working on dates and finalizing content for those trainings.
Please pray for an impactful series of meetings and new open doors for sharing the freedom and truth of God’s amazing design and purpose for human sexuality.
Also, please prayerfully consider supporting the vital, front-line ministry of Love & Truth Network. You may click the button below to learn more about donating online.
Ever grateful for you!
Garry Ingraham, Executive Director
Love & Truth Network