Caleb Kaltenbach has an incredible story.
Born to parents who soon divorced to pursue gay relationships, Caleb grew up to become a Christian and then a pastor, much to the alarm of his parents.
Caleb shares his honest, gutwrenching story of confusion, hope and reconcilliation with his mom, his dad and their partners.
Welcome to Episode 33 of the Podcast.
Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction – Available October 20, 2015!
The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is too Important to Define Who We Are by Jenell Williams Paris
3 Things You Can Do Right Away
Conversation about homosexuality in the church can be uncomfortable, and as a pastor with gay parents, Caleb Kaltenbach has felt the tension within each community. Here’s how you can get started with bridging the gap between each side:
- Understand the difference between acceptance and approval. When someone we love comes out to us, it doesn’t mean we change our relationship. Thank them for allowing you to come into this season of their life and trusting you. That doesn’t mean you have to approve of the behavior. Sexuality is between a man and a woman; it’s not the only thing that defines them, and that’s where the line is drawn. We can love the person, but we don’t have to approve of what happens.
- Invite the conversation into church. Christians in the church think they have to “get their act together” and have to play a certain part. But Caleb says that when we don’t allow messy conversations in churches, we create sanctuary for fake people. Start engaging with your leadership team, and let the conversation work through the entire church. Keep communication open and affirming, and talk to other churches about what the conversation looks like in their ministries. Be honest and allow people to feel like they belong before they believe.
- Create a safe environment. Discussion of sexuality opens up vast vulnerabilities on both sides, and it’s not a black or white issue. It was difficult for Caleb when he “came out as a Christian” to his gay parents, but it encouraged him to show the same love and compassion he always had for them. “I had to spend so much time treating them well, loving them, even when they came at me with patronizing Bible questions. I wanted to build that trust again so they could see that nothing really had changed,” he said. You can apply the same principles in your church as you open up the conversation with others. Invite others out to dinner, and get to know them. Put a face to the individual instead of looking at them by just their sexuality.
Quotes from Caleb
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In Atlanta This Week? So Am I!
This week, April 29-May 1st, I’ll be at the Orange Conference 2015 in Atlanta. All the details are here.
Come hang out. And even if you’re not there, you can follow along online. Here’s how.
Next Episode: Wayne Cordova
Some leaders are tech geeks. Others are not. In an incredibly helpful, practical episode, GeekPastor.com’s Wayne Cordova walks leaders through beginner, intermediate and geek level apps, tools, hacks and strategies that can help every leader free up time to do the real work of leadership.
Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 34.
In the meantime, got a question?
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As I said on the podcast, given the sensitive and important nature of the conversation around same sex relationships and the church, I will be watching comments carefully. Any inflammatory or mean-spirited comments will be deleted.
That said, I’d love to hear from you! The conversation is so important.