"Elephant in the Room" Toolkit

Where does the church stand on …?

It’s the elephant in the room in our conversations with family, co-workers, neighbors, and classmates. Perhaps that’s a question you’ve had a time or two.

The answer is simple: We stand with Jesus.

Jesus loved dialogue. He hung out with anyone and everyone. People had questions. When they were confounded or frustrated by Jesus’ answers, Jesus wasn’t fazed. His ministry was to point to a new way to live; a new way to be human.
 
The way of Jesus was often to question people’s categories on the hot-button issues of His day — no matter whether He was speaking to His disciples, tax collectors, Pharisees, or ordinary hardworking people doing the best they can.

Our series, Elephant in the Room, is helping our family take Jesus’ posture when it comes to the issues that divide our communities and our nation

.

The following resources are suggestions to expand your understanding of the toughest issues Christians will confront in today’s culture: LGBTQ issues, pornography, injustice, politics, racism, and identity.

We want to get around tables, have conversations, honor our differences, love and bless those who disagree with us, and always point to the way of Jesus. We’ll talk about our convictions, and we’ll do it with incredible compassion.

We want our family to trust God’s promises and speak into our culture humbly, patiently, and graciously with God’s truth.

Jesus offers a glorious alternative to the world’s view of what true life is and how humans are designed to flourish. God’s simple truth speaks for itself, and introducing people to Christ’s transforming love is all we are asked to do.

Current topic: sexuality 


How to have good conversations

[Video] "Your conversations are never forgotten," Jonathan Parker



[Video] "Having a conversation 101," Jonathan Dodson 


Explore the Issues

The following suggestions are not endorsements by our church of the theological views they represent. We offer them in the spirit of dialogue and engagement with viewpoints that may differ from the historic Christian teaching our church affirms. We believe you can love people, love Jesus, love the truth, and disagree with grace and humility.

We strongly encourage you to engage with this content alongside the sermons in the "Elephant in the Room" series. If you have questions about our beliefs, reach out to us at hello@newspring.cc or speak to one of your campus staff.

Gender Identity

[Book] “Transgender," Vaughan Roberts (A view of how people struggling with gender dysphoria can do so with hope as they live out their faith.)

[Book] “Understanding Gender Dysphoria," Mark Yarhouse (A Christian response establishing an integrated framework for understanding gender dysphoria.)

[Book] ”God and the Transgender Debate," Andrew T. Walker (A helpful guide about what the bible actually teaches on the subject of gender identity.)

[Book] ”Love Thy Body," Nancy R. Pearcey

[Audio] “Jesus, Gender, and the Trans Community," Jon Tyson

[Video] ”Grace/ Truth - Conversations every thoughtful Christian should have about faith, sexuality, and gender," Preston Sprinkle. (Requires a RightNow Media account. Get yours free.)

Sexuality

[Book] “Divine Sex," Jonathan Grant. (A biblical vision of sexuality that is liberating and life-giving rather than legalistic.)

[Book] ”The Meaning of Marriage," Tim Keller (How marriage points to Jesus' love for the Church.)

[Audio] “Jesus and Sexual Formation," Jon Tyson

[Audio] “This Cultural Moment: Progressives as The New Pharisees and The Immorality of The Christian Sex Ethic," John Tyson

Homosexuality

[Book] “People to Be Loved," Preston Sprinkle (A biblical path for engaging people with compassion.)

[Book] "What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?" Kevin DeYoung (A concise biblical perspective — only 158 pages!)

[Book] "Washed and Waiting," Wesley Hill (A biblical, historic position on this issue within a sensitive, personal account.)

[Audio] ”Jesus and the Gay Community," Jon Tyson

[Video] ”Why is the Bible's Sexual Ethic Good for the World?" by Jackie Hill Perry, Rosaria Butterfield, and Sam Allberry

Racism

[Book] “Oneness Embraced," Tony Evans

[Book] "The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation," Miles McPherson

[Video] "MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop," Matt Chandler. (Requires a RightNow Media account. Get yours free.)

Politics

[Video] “Jesus and Politics," Jon Tyson

[Video] “Arguing About Politics," Tim Keller

Talk about it in your group

NewSpring's Elephant in the Room Bible study playlist on RightNow Media. (Requires a RightNow Media account. Get yours free.)

NewSpring Elephant in the Room Group Leader Guides (Available on Sunday afternoons each week, beginning Sept. 8.)

Talk about it with your kids

Gender identity

[Web site] Transgender resources, Focus on the Family

Sexuality

[Book] The Story of Me, Brenna Jones, Stan Jones, and Joel Spector

Spread the word

Share video trailer

Trying to avoid the elephant in the room is pretty ridiculous. If you want to laugh about it, watch this video, then use it to invite people to "Elephant in the Room."

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Click to save this image and others, and use them to invite people to “Elephant in the Room”.

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Worship wherever you are

We’ll be singing these songs during our "Elephant in the Room" series. With this playlist from NewSpring Worship, you can worship to the music you love in the car, shower, cubicle, or wherever you go.

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