I kiss dating goodbye

I’m truly thankful to be sharing my space at True Love with Joshua Harris today. It feels like just yesterday I was that 16-year-old girl, sitting under a tree at Creation Fest East, listening to him share about his best-selling book, It swept the nation like wildfire and totally changed the dating culture within the Church.Fast forward a couple decades, and here we are today, taking a second look at how his book impacted the dating scene – in both good ways, and not so good ways.As I listened to those stories I began to see a new side of church life. I heard how values could be applied in graceless ways.Ever since I had come to the church I had been a leader of one kind or another. I heard about people feeling rejected if they didn’t measure up.About six years ago when I was still a pastor I was sitting in my living room with members of my church who had come to talk about weaknesses in our church’s leadership and culture.

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For a long time I ignored the voices of those who didn’t appreciate my book or its ideas on relationships.I heard about people who felt like the only way to be accepted by God was to do the things the church culture seemed to demand and live up to a standard that the “good families” set.I heard about ways that we leaders hadn’t listened to those who disagreed with us.And I knew it was true because I saw that mindset in my own life.

My eyes were opened to the fact that in a church culture even well-intentioned practices and godly values can be applied in a way that deeply hurt people. Two years ago I stepped down from being a pastor to attend a graduate school of theology (it’s a long story and I talk more about it ).

As I concluded the message I said, “If there are ways that the leadership of your pastors has been unhelpful I want to hear from you.” Wonderfully, people responded.