An Introduction From The Interim Director

What a bittersweet situation to find myself writing as the Interim Director. As Nate’s friend, I am excited for this new season of life. Organizationally, however, this is a sad farewell. Nate has been a force for innovation and strength at Outpost, and his legacy will be something we carry with us permanently.

Now, we move forward. This is not a long-term appointment for me, but one that is intended to last a year at most. I already had a role at Outpost as the Executive Pastor, and long term I will step down as director to make room for the next leader. The Board of Directors will be actively looking to find a new director over the next year. We covet your prayers deeply in this process. We know that Jesus has someone special in mind to lead this vital ministry.

As I serve in the interim, I want to tell you about why I am here and what I love about this ministry. I am someone, like many of our Elijah Company participants, who was introduced to Outpost through a close friend who was struggling with same-sex attraction.

Then and even more now, the mission of Outpost resonated so deeply with me because my own testimony is one of overcoming. Because of the work of Jesus in my life, the things I struggled with before are just a memory. I was made new. In a world that increasingly tells us to just get by, my heart was immediately caught by this ministry and its message that no matter your struggle, Jesus can make you whole.

We are a company of overcomers. You and me. We are a people set apart. We have been made holy. Whether your struggle is with same-sex attraction or other forms of sexual and relational brokenness, Jesus remains the same. He makes us new.

While I am sad to carry on this ministry without my dear and beloved friend, Nate, I know that Jesus is still in the business of overcoming. He won’t stop rescuing the lost, and Outpost will continue to stand as a testimony of freedom.

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Conversion Therapy and Urban Legends

WickedAre you familiar with the Tony-award-winning Broadway musical Wicked? Wicked recounts the life of Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, and her best friend Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Only this retelling of the story puts an incredible spin on these two characters and what we know of them from the movie The Wizard of Oz.

It turns out that Elphaba is actually the “good guy” who has been forced to take on a reputation of being evil and dangerous. We really only know of the urban legend that is the Wicked Witch. Glinda, on the other hand, is actually calculated and manipulative. She is only after power and a spotless reputation in the eyes of the public. All is not what it seems. All is not what the masses have been told and led to believe.

We understand Elphaba’s plight.

What the Masses Believe

A recent USA Today article highlighted that an increasing number of states are banning what is commonly referred to as “conversion therapy,” particularly for minors. The article defines conversion therapy as “an attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity through tactics as obvious as hypnosis or as subtle as inducing shame.” The list of state bans is growing. So is the list of bans on freedoms for adults who, due to their religious convictions, are seeking help for themselves.

Unfortunately, the masses are believing what they have been told. “Conversion therapy” (and all of the negative—and false—implications associated with it) has become a catch-all term describing any therapy or ministry like Outpost that addresses issues related to unwanted same-sex attractions or gender identity confusion. Another broad and undefined term, “sexual orientation change efforts,” has also become a catch-all expression. It usually refers to any activity associated with the intention of changing someone’s sexual orientation. “Sexual orientation change efforts” has become synonymous with the dangers of “conversion therapy.” We have become the stuff of urban legends.

What We Don’t Do

For the record, Outpost Ministries does not do “conversion therapy.” We don’t even do “sexual orientation change efforts,” if that means trying to turn people from “gay” to “straight.”

What We Do Do

Outpost Ministries has a much higher calling. We are here to turn people into Christ-followers, especially in regard to their sexuality. Jesus had a lot to say about the proper and holy use of our bodies. Many people come to us seeking help in aligning their lives with their (and our) sincerely held religious beliefs regarding sexual expression. There are actually individuals who, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, conclude they no longer ought to be involved in behaviors where they are acting upon their same-sex attractions. They desire clarity in their identity as sons and daughters of God.

Priorities

At Outpost, we focus our attention on the character of the God-man Christ Jesus, the perfect human, and upon the character of Creator God, in Whose image we are all created as males or females. What does that mean? We try to flesh it out―literally. Our bodies are the location of our devotion to Christ. We worship him in our bodies. Like Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (ESV).”

Our “religion” is integral to the way we live our lives. Our spirituality profoundly affects our sexuality. And it is that priority order: God is first, we are second, not vice versa. As we bring our sexuality under the lordship of Jesus Christ, no matter our struggle, we are progressively healed and transformed.

All for Love

By the end of Wicked, Elphaba is not able to turn the tide of public opinion against her. But she concludes that what others think of her really doesn’t matter. She knows the truth, and she has found true love. We too doubt that we will be able to turn the tide of public opinion. We are concerned that this minority of people, who are tempted by same-sex attractions but wish to avoid acting upon them out of love for Jesus, will be shut out of the public discourse. But in the end, we can’t let what others think hinder us. We too are in love. We know the Truth, and He has set us free.

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Staying the Course

God has been good to us at Outpost Ministries. It is no small thing to be a ministry to the sexually and relationally broken and still be bearing fruit after 41 years. Our fruitfulness is especially remarkable given the reality of the front lines ministry we do and the major shifts that have taken place in culture. We begin the year with gratitude in our hearts to the Lord for His leadership and provision throughout the years. And we are looking forward to the future and staying the course, knowing that God is with us every step of the way.

Speedy Justice

In the fall of 2012, the Lord spoke to my heart from Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow. In this scripture passage, Jesus clearly teaches us that in the context of night and day prayer, He releases justice speedily to His elect ones. As I read the passage, it was as if the word “speedily” jumped off the page. “Lord, you mean we can speed up the process? Human beings can play a role in partnering with You in the release of justice?” The answer was, “Yes”! God had my attention.

You see, I had seen many of our clients fight for long periods of time to get justice for their souls. The warfare around getting free from unwanted same-sex attractions was intense. The enemy wasn’t letting go without a fight. This passage of scripture gave us insight into how to fight back. The answer was persistent, consistent prayer.

Biblical Justice

The Lord loves releasing justice. “For I, the Lord, love justice . . .” (Isaiah 61:8a, NKJV). Justice is when God makes the wrong things right. Though not an exhaustive list, Isaiah 61:1-4 gives us one of the best pictures of what justice accomplishes: Good news is proclaimed. Broken hearts are bound up. Captives are released. God shows favor to His people and vengeance to His enemies. Those who mourn are comforted and made glad. What has been torn down is restored.

Speedy justice for our participants is to experience the healing of their hearts and the restoration of their families. It is to be set free from the bondage of homosexuality. It is to become grounded in the truth of who they are as God’s image bearers. Speedy justice is the taking hold of their authority as sons and daughters of the Father. And it is to be made fruitful.

We said “yes” to the Lord and began the task of marrying night and day prayer with inner-healing ministry. The warfare intensified, but we started to see justice prevail in new ways. People’s lives were transforming. Our staff was growing. Our finances were increasing. God was blessing our efforts.

Now, I am more convinced than ever that times of corporate and personal prayer are key to overcoming life-dominating issues. There are many other helpful tools I wholeheartedly believe in that we use for the journey—Christian counseling, 12-step groups, life-giving community—but when we spend extended time in intimacy with God, we get more. God accelerates the process.

Not a Formula

I want to be careful not to make this formulaic—if you do “x,” God will do “y.” It is not a formula at all; God desires relationship with us. Prayer is dialogue with God. It is a conversation that involves sharing our hearts with Him. Our primary goal in prayer, however, should be listening. We are transformed from the inside out by hearing the voice of the Lord through His Word and through the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Discerning God’s Voice

God is always speaking the healing word. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” The Lord is quick to release truth that will set us free, but we have to be receptive to it. It can be hard to hear the voice of the Lord in the midst of all the clamor around us. There are so many other voices that demand our attention.

This is where Outpost comes in. One of the main skills we teach our participants is to discern the voice of the Lord from all the other voices—especially the voices of the world, our flesh and the devil. Our participants learn to have life-giving quiet times with the Lord and to obey what He is speaking to them.

Leann Payne, in her book The Broken Image, wrote:

 Listening to God is the most effective tool we have in our “healing kit,” for by it we know how to collaborate with His Spirit. Teaching others to listen is one of the most valuable lessons we as spiritual directors can give them; by this freedom to hear, they pass from immaturity (being under the Law or laws) to maturity (the walk with Christ in the Spirit), both as persons and as Christians. The Lord Himself becomes their chief counselor and guide, and our vocation is made easier (pg. 134).

Corporate Prayer

When we pray together, we receive more revelation of the love of God. In Ephesians 3:17-19, the Apostle Paul prays, “. . . that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (emphasis added). God desires personal prayer and corporate expressions of prayer. Thus, we teach our participants how to do both.

We provide a place for corporate prayer in the TCJHOP Prayer Room. In the Prayer Room, our participants are able to join with the greater body of Christ in a unified cry for justice—not just for themselves, but for the believers in the Twin Cities and beyond. As we pray together, we receive more of God’s heart for those we are praying for. As we pray together, we are set free from the prison of being only self-focused.

Looking Forward

One of our main objectives in the coming year is to make our resources more accessible to the region. Requests for speakers and our Distinctions Seminar are increasing. Outpost North in the Brainerd Lakes Area is going strong under the leadership of Angie Klein. We have planted groups in the South Metro that we hope to grow in 2018. As the Lord gives grace, we will consider the possibility of expanding in the east and west.

Even as the tide of culture continues to embrace gender and sexual confusion, there are still those who are seeking our services. Young people are still making different decisions about how to deal with their same-sex attractions. Instead of embracing them and living them out, they are striving to bring their sexuality under the lordship of Jesus Christ. God is meeting them in their obedience and restoring their souls. Jesus Christ has life-changing power! We have the privilege of witnessing this process week after week.

As I look forward to the future, we are staying the course. We will continue to strive to make prayer central to all we do. From the overflow of what we receive in prayer, we will do the work of inner-healing ministry. Thank you for partnering with us in this essential work, and blessings on you in 2018!

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Still Shining, Still Growing!

growingOver 40 years ago, God had a plan for Outpost Ministries. Knowing the trajectory of culture, He made a way for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. He established this ministry to stand for the truth of God’s Word in the wave of delusion that would soon wash over this great nation.

Forty one years later, we are still a beacon of hope to the sexually and relationally broken and their families. And we are growing!

A few months ago, I wrote about Outpost North, our branch office in Brainerd, MN. Now I’m excited to tell you about two other expanding programs.

Living Waters

Living Waters is a 20-week, closed group for men and women seeking healing in their lives. It includes worship, teaching and small-group prayer ministry. Ultimately, we learn how to press into Jesus more deeply, allowing Him to meet our needs and transform us for His Kingdom purposes. We have been running Living Waters as a regular part of our programming for many years. This year we will not only run a group in the North Metro area of the Twin Cities but also one in the South.

Elijah Company South

As you may have read, Elijah Company is a group for parents, family and friends of those impacted by homosexuality. The group provides prayer and support for its participants. This fall, this group will be held in both the North and South Metro areas as well.

I am so blessed to see the Lord continuing to expand this much needed ministry in this hour. Jesus Christ has life-changing power for ALL who will turn from their sinful ways and make Him the Lord of their life.

Once again, I thank you for all your prayers and financial support. We cannot do this without you. Let’s us continue to stand in the gap for those who so desperately need the transforming love of our Savior Jesus. He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.

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Remembering Frank

CoastlineSingle acts of heroism make the news and cycle through social media. But a lifetime of faithfulness—acts of loving obedience to Christ day in and day out—is worthy of a moment of reflection. Those acts over a lifetime are like the constancy of waves along the shoreline. Some large and some small, they eventually change the entire landscape of the coastline.

Frank Worthen lived his life in that manner until his passing earlier this year at age 87. Unless you are in the trenches of—or actively opposed to—ministries like ours, you may have never heard of him. Frank was the pioneer of what has been called the ex-gay movement, blazing a trail for thousands of others to follow.

Blazing a Trail

In his book, Destiny Bridge (Forever Books; Winnipeg, Canada; 2010), Frank shares his story of how God brought him out of 25 years of living as a gay man and led him to start a ministry for men also desiring freedom. His ministry began in, of all places, San Francisco. God went right to the heart of the matter. He chose a man to do His bidding in a city renowned for its homosexual community.

Frank recalls in 1973, a pastor friend encouraged him to put his testimony on a cassette tape. He put an ad in the Berkeley Barb, a New Age paper that also had numerous ads for men looking for sexual encounters. His ad ran in November of 1973 and read, “Let Jesus break the chains of homosexuality. Brother Frank tells how Jesus changed his life. Send for the tape on free loan . . .” His first ad was published on the same page with the racy ads and nude pictures he used to frequent. His tapes became popular enough that he had to make many duplicates.

“You May Not Want Me”

Then in 1974, while driving, Frank was listening to a Christian radio broadcast of a popular preacher talking about the book of Leviticus. The preacher focused almost entirely on homosexuality. He said, “Don’t waste your time trying to convert a homosexual. They can’t be saved.”    

Frank recalls that those condemning words hit him hard. For several days, he considered taking his own life. He remembers praying, “Lord I’m going to serve You, just as if I were saved. You may not want me, but I want You.” Frank sent the radio station his “Brother Frank” tape. He added to his testimony 1 Corinthians 6:7-11, in which Paul declares to a long litany of sinners—including but not limited to homosexuals, “Such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (v. 11).  He received many positive responses from Christian believers.

Persevering

He started a support group and eventually named it Love in Action, the first formal ministry of its kind. Other groups sprung up all over California, as did several others around the country, including Outpost Ministries in Minneapolis. Back then, there were no resources other than the Bible, so many groups wrote their own curriculums. Frank wrote a booklet, Steps out of Homosexuality. 

He founded Exodus International in 1976, a network of these like-hearted ministries. The founder of Outpost, Robbi Kenney, joined the first Board of Directors, and Outpost was one of Exodus’ original members.

In the beginning, Frank had very little encouragement. Frank says his gay friends abandoned him. In the day and age when homosexuality was taboo to mention in church, his supporters were slow to come around.  He was bombarded with temptation, and in the early days, many leaders went back into the gay life. One can only imagine what he endured. To start an ex-gay ministry as he did with no help and no guidelines in a city like San Francisco is not only extraordinary, it’s miraculous!

Frank and Anita Worthen

Frank and Anita Worthen

Changing the Coastline

Frank not only survived, he continued to thrive. In 1991, he started a similar ministry in the Philippines. Upon the crumbling of Exodus in 2012, in his early 80’s, he led the charge with Anne Paulk and Stephen Black to form Restored Hope Network.

Frank leaves behind Anita, his loving wife of 32 years, and a stepson. He also leaves behind a legacy of steadfast obedience to God’s calling which has impacted men and women around the world for over 40 years. The weight of that impact will be felt as we gather for Restored Hope Network’s annual conference in June. The coastline has changed under the rhythm of his faithful perseverance.

Watch Frank’s testimony here.

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Introducing Outpost North!

Outpost NorthWe have been waiting for the right moment to announce our new branch Outpost North in Brainerd, MN! Outpost North offers our Foundations course to anyone struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions, family members, and pastors and ministry leaders who want to learn more about Outpost and the healing journey. They have also started an Elijah Company group for parents, family and friends of gay-identified loved ones.

Our Outpost North Coordinator, Angie, has a beautiful testimony of the Lord pursuing her, even in the midst of her sin and brokenness. She now has a husband and a little girl—a little girl who would not exist had the enemy succeeded in his plans to keep Angie from her true identity and destiny in God.

Angie understands by experience that it is the Father’s desire to restore the broken-hearted and restore the family. Malachi 4:5-6 says, “’Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (NKJV). Seeing the restoration of the family is our vision at Outpost Ministries and TCJHOP because we believe that it is the Lord’s end-time strategy to bring healing to families, to the family of God and to our society. Thank you for partnering with us in this mighty work the Lord is doing among us!

New Year, Same Mission

new yearHappy New Year! I pray 2017 is a year of peace, joy, and blessing for you and your family.

2016 was a full year for us at Outpost Ministries. We hit the ground running last January, having just merged into the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer. There was much to accomplish: establishing the vision and mission of TCJHOP, implementing layers of protection to keep us safe and viable in the ever-changing cultural landscape, and changing the many administrative things necessary with the change of the organizational structure. It was A LOT, but we did it. Yes, there are still some things left to do, but we have accomplished the bulk of them.

Now as we begin 2017, Outpost is stronger than ever, ready to serve the sexually and relationally broken and their families who are wanting healing through relationship with Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for our diligent team who worked very hard to accomplish this feat!

Outpost is now a part of TCJHOP, but I want to be very clear, our mission has not waivered. We continue to exist to see men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions. 

Last October, Outpost celebrated its 40th anniversary. We look forward to the next 40 years. We have recently developed a one-and-a-half day seminar called “Distinctions” to help educate and equip the Church on issues of biblical gender, homosexuality, transgenderism, and a biblical response to the sexual brokenness in our culture. We believe that this seminar is “prophetic” in the sense that it reveals how God thinks and feels about humans created in His image and makes known God’s heart to heal the broken. It also calls people to return to the Lord with all of their hearts. We also offer a condensed version of this seminar. If you are interested in having Outpost present at your church, youth group, Sunday school class or other group, we would love the opportunity!

Stepping into the Light

Celebrating 40 Years of Being Called Out of Darkness40 years

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. —1 Peter 2:9-10

In 1976, Outpost Ministries was born. I was born just one year later. I have often thought of the goodness of God. He knew that I would struggle with same-sex attractions, and He went before me to establish the place where I would ultimately find healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ.

I first set foot inside Outpost in the fall of 1997, and I was called out of the darkness of homosexuality and into the marvelous light of Jesus. True freedom always begins with stepping into the light. I had never before told anyone about my struggle. I was too afraid and ashamed. Now, for the first time, I was in a place where I could be open and honest about my sexual brokenness. How freeing!

In the light, we begin to see rightly. My sight began to heal through my involvement at Outpost. I began to see men and women very differently, I began to see myself differently. Most importantly, I began to see God differently. As I started to see how God truly thinks and feels about me, my heart began to change.

I saw that I am chosen. Growing up, I was not very athletic, so I generally wasn’t the first kid picked for playground sports, or the second or the third . . . We all desire to be chosen, and it’s painful when we are not. At Outpost, I got to know a God who chose me before the foundations of the world. He wanted me on His team!        Since then, I have often marveled at these words from 1 Corinthians 1:27-28:

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.

God’s standards are completely the opposite of the world’s standards, and in many cases even the opposite of the Church’s. He intentionally chooses for His team the weak and broken!

I saw that I am royalty to God the Father. What is so amazing about the cross is that not only does it afford us the forgiveness of sin, but it also give us a new identity. We are now kings and priests to God because of the blood of Jesus (Rev. 1:5-6). We have been given authority in Jesus’ name to partner with God in administering justice in the earth (Ps. 149) through our intercession. Our prayers matter to God!

I saw that I am holy. For someone who has lived in so much shame and condemnation for so long, it is an amazing thing for him to realize and truly believe that he is a new creation. In Christ, I have become the righteousness of God and am set apart to accomplish the good works God has planned in advance for me (2 Cor. 5:17, 21; Eph. 2:10).

I saw that I am special. I think my parents did a fine job of letting me know that I was special to them. There is, however, a part of our hearts that needs to hear this word from the Heavenly Father in order for us to feel confident in who we are. One who has heard the Lord affirm that he is fearfully and wonderfully made doesn’t need fame or status. He is already famous in the sight of the Creator of the Universe. It’s the angel Gabriel telling Daniel that he is “highly esteemed” by heaven (Dan. 9:23) or the angel of the Lord informing Gideon that heaven sees him as a “valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). A person’s soul is set free from always needing to perform for approval when he learns to live before an audience of One.

In the light, I saw more clearly. I saw a God who is mighty to save. At Outpost, I learned to trade my rags for my new identity. Christ had always been holding it out to me. In the darkness, I just couldn’t see it.

Chosen. Royal. Holy. Special. What a glorious exchange.

There has been much fruit that has come forth from Outpost over the last 40 years. I am just one of the many who has stepped into the light because I heard the call of God. There are many more walking in freedom and many more to come. How much more do we need Outpost for the next 40 years! We need this beacon of hope and truth now more than ever before in the history of our nation.

Thank you for standing with us, some of you since the very beginning. It has been such a privilege to run the race with you. I hope to see you at our upcoming 40th Anniversary Celebration and Called Out of Darkness. Let us all come together and proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!

Building for the Future

building campaignIn 1976, the Lord answered the cry of many men and women in the Twin Cities struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions.  They were wanting to live holy lives before God—their sexuality included.  Through the work of Robbi Kenney and several others, Outpost Ministries was born—a ministry seeking to help men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions.

Around this same time, other ministries like Outpost were starting to pop up around the nation.  They began to hear about one another and decided to meet in California to encourage one another and exchange ideas.  Out of that meeting, Exodus International was born.  God was faithful to teach these pioneering pastoral caregivers how to minister to those in the LGBT community wanting freedom and wholeness in their sexuality.  (Sadly, Exodus International no longer exists, but a new network has sprung up in its place, Restored Hope Network, of which Outpost is a member.)

Interestingly enough, these caregivers ultimately found that God heals same-sex-attracted individuals the same way He heals everyone else: through the cross.  It was in offering the healing of the cross to the gay community that some very valuable tools to heal the soul were discovered. It was clear that these tools were for the whole body of Christ.  We are all in need of healing!  Outpost’s programming has grown to include men and women struggling with all forms of sexual and relational brokenness.

In the year 2000, I was hired as the Youth and College- Age Director.  At this point, there was little curricula or programming for young people.  I needed to build from the ground up.  Once again, just as in the early years of our existence, the Lord was faithful to release the tools needed to heal the hearts of the next generation.

In 2007, we began an internship for young adults called Encountering Jesus.  The interns were challenged to spend three hours of their day in prayer and study of the Word.  While three hours seemed daunting at first, as the interns started to encounter God in prayer and through His Word, they were hooked—and they were changing.  Young men and women were making different choices than culture about their same-sex attractions, and God was honoring their obedience.  Jesus Christ indeed has life-changing power!

It became clear to the Outpost staff and me that prayer needed to be at the heart of everything we did.  Outpost established what was eventually called the Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) with the ultimate goal of 24/7 prayer and worship in the Twin Cities.

In 2011, I was appointed CEO of Outpost. Our house of prayer began to gain momentum, and we established Elijah Company, a group for parents, family and friends of those impacted by same-sex attractions.  We also began an introductory course called Foundations to give a foundational understanding of the issues to new participants as well as to church leaders.  God was releasing more tools for the healing journey of the bound and broken.

Seeing the social decline with the passage of several marriage-related laws, Outpost began seeking further protections.  It became clear that the safest place to conduct ministry is within the local church.  By the grace of God and under the leadership of Jesus, in 2015 we merged with the Twin Cities House of Prayer and The Well Church to incorporate anew as a church: Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer (TCJHOP).  Outpost is now a ministry of TCJHOP; I remain at the helm as Senior Pastor.  As a ministry arm of TCJHOP, Outpost’s mission and vision remain the same, and we continue to have a unique focus on helping men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions.  Moving forward, we will be able to do so under more layers of protection.  (Your donations will continue to  be allocated to the work of Outpost).

The vision of TCJHOP is to be a unified, praying Church moving in the power of the Holy Spirit to restore the family.  Families are under fire.  We want to stand in the gap by praying for God’s intervention, and we want to offer hope and healing through Jesus Christ.

The marriage of night and day prayer with inner-healing is cutting edge.  Outpost is believing that the Lord will hold true to His Word and grant speedy justice to those who cry out to Him day and night (Luke 18:7-8).  Can you imagine the possibilities as we seek God’s face for the healing of the same-sex attracted and their families?

For forty years, Outpost has seen the life-changing power of Jesus Christ transform both men and women.  Our history and fruit speak to the goodness of God, and our testimony is loud and clear:  all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26).

Now, we look to the future.  We have been renters for 40 years, and it is now time for us to have a place of our own.  And so begins our Building Campaign.  With completion of the merger, our staff has grown to almost 20 people, and in our current office situation, we are bursting at the seams!

To officially kick off this three-year campaign, we are hosting a banquet at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN on April 16 at 6 PM.  (Please note that this is a change of venue as of March 9.)  Tickets for the event are $40 per person or $320 to sponsor a table of eight.  Would you consider coming?  RSVP by April 6  or by emailing us at building@tcjhop.org, calling our Building Campaign phone line, 763-210-2634, or by registering online.  We would love for you to hear more about the vision God has given Outpost for the future.  We are trusting for 40 more years of Loving God, Declaring Freedom!

A Voice in the Wilderness

For those of us who cling ferociously to what we call “traditional biblical values”—that is, families which have two grown-ups in charge, a him and a her—the modern age has grown bewildering. The gay lobby now exerts immense influence in the public sphere, the LGBT community has taken the place of the Christian church as ambassadors of all that is considered right and moral, and Facebook members will find that their profile page now offers them 51 gender options to choose from.

Does all of this seem to you like something you’d rather not talk about? It did to me too. I found this whole topic to be depressing, frightening and generally unpleasant. Until, that is, I got to know Outpost Ministries.

Outpost is an outreach to men and women who are choosing to confront unwanted same-sex attraction. I’ve known about and supported Outpost for many years without thinking about it very much because a staff member is a close friend. It seemed a viable, worthy cause—you know, like the Food Shelf or Toys For Tots. A niche ministry among many.

But more recently, my understanding has deepened and my tune has changed, to the point that I’ve just accepted an invitation to join Outpost’s team. I’ve come to see Outpost as one of a small group of Christian organizations which are taking a stand and leading a charge against a strategic, global campaign of our Enemy. I believe now that what they (we) are doing is vital and urgent. It is so central and important to our Church as a whole. In fact, if they or somebody like them don’t do the kind of work they are doing, then our nation is headed pell-mell into chaotic darkness.

That’s a very large claim. It is either grandiose or true. To defend it, I must beg a little patience while I explain. Here’s how it works: we humans exist to love and be loved by God. That was God’s purpose in creating us. It is His great risk because in order to stand a chance of receiving back the kind of love He gives us, He had to make us like Him—able to choose.

And because we are like Him, we have the same choice in loving one another as we have in loving Him. God put us on the earth and gave us each other to love so that, in doing so, we may learn to love Him. That’s where the fun starts.

The human creature begins as a baby, a cute, little cherub full of needs but with absolutely no idea what love is or how to do it. He/she must be taught. By whom? Obviously, those people on whom the little tyke must depend for his/her every need, the caregivers. Ideally, a mom and dad.

As God does with the Church, the parents reach out in love to their little one. This begins on day one, and even in the womb. Baby responds in kind, and a mutual bond of trust, affection, identity and ownership begins to grow. And from this essential, primary bond, the child can then branch out to loving others and God.

But this scenario presumes that the parents in question live in a perfect world. They know what love is, how to do it, and are capable of teaching it to their child—perfectly. If they don’t, then even though the child may get fed and clothed and outwardly seem well-adjusted, one possible result when he/she grows up is—you guessed it—same-sex attraction.

At Outpost what we’ve found is that our clients come to us with versions of this same story. The result is that those children grow into adults who have a desperate need—because we’re all made that way—to love and be loved, but they can’t because they lack the ability to bond. They are often well-versed in social skills and forms of religion, but on the inside they are brutally isolated—from others and from God.

Well, that’s a sad story, but how is it a large-scale catastrophe? What makes it a battlefield (in what we loosely call “spiritual warfare”) is that through stories like this, our Enemy gets what he really wants: human beings who, through their inability to bond, are cut off from God, functionally unable to respond to His love. And because of this, the Enemy has moved every resource he can find in support of this dynamic.

The result is that in recent years the gay lobby has steadily gained in political, social and moral ascendancy; to the point that now, in the US and even in the Western world in general, to disagree—to advocate for biblical values—is considered virtually indistinguishable from a hate crime.

And the outcome—what the Enemy gets out of all this—is the destruction of the family as the foundational institution of human existence. And without a family, primarily a loving mom and dad, how can children learn to respond to God’s love?

I grew up in a small town called Bemidji, MN, and I miss it, partly because it’s such a safe, rational, sane place. If you live in a place like that, or go to a church like that, it probably seems like a very normal place. But it isn’t. Not any more. It is now one of many, shrinking pockets of relative sanity in a larger culture which seems grimly intent on shredding itself into meaninglessness.

A sad part of this story is that throughout this macro upheaval, the Christian Church has remained largely silent. In fact, many main-line denominations, responding to political pressure, have begun to waver and have even made declarations against biblical values. And many church leaders, while privately sticking to their beliefs, are unwilling to take a visible stand because they fear the storm of invective which may come their way if they do.

Outpost is one of the very few Christian organizations—a voice crying out in the wilderness, as it were—which is in the business of saying “No!” to these designs of the Enemy. And yes, we’ve paid a price. We’ve been misquoted, maligned and vilified in the press, vandalized, etc., but in the process, we’ve seen many men and women walk a path of humility and healing which results in new hope, restored gender identity, and families where their own kids are learning how to love.

But of course, Outpost is bigger than that. It has to be. Whether we really wanted to or not, by default Outpost carries a very public banner which says that all is not lost, the family as an institution is not an outmoded myth, and God still works through moms and dads to raise up children unto Himself.

That is why I think Outpost is so important. This isn’t just a worthy cause, this is vital. The need is vast and urgent, and we need workers.

And we need you too. We need you to open your hearts to the tearing need which inhabits the world outside our homes and churches. We ask only one thing from you: that you get with God and ask him what part he wants you to play. Will you do that?