I get asked often how Christians should evangelize non-Christians who identify as LGBTQ+. The truth? It's hard.
Let's start by reflecting on how missionaries in foreign cultures go about their work. And let's admit, the LGBTQ community is a "foreign culture" to almost all straight Christians.
1. They take time to learn the culture
How do these people view life, morals, marriage, religion, and everything else? Missionaries wouldn't think of starting out telling a people group how wrong they are living and how unhappy God is with them. Great missionaries take the time to understand the belief system those they wish to present the gospel to.
2. Take the time to learn the language
Do you know what LGBTQ+ stands for? Can you describe what it means to be transgender, or have gender-dysphorea, or what transitioning involves and why pronouns are so important to some LGBTQ+ people? If you don't take the time to have a basic understanding of the language of their culture and beliefs, no one will take you seriously.
3. Make friends, not just conversations.
I realize most straight Christians are very uncomfortable around LGBTQ+ people. But why? Do a bit of self-examination. Why am I uncomfortable? Where did that come from? Am I willing to work on building friendships with LGBTQ+ people until I'm more comfortable, or is it just way to awkward to try?
And when you meet with LGBTQ+ people you don't have to talk about sex, or marriage right off the bat. You'd never do that to a new friend, or neighbor who might be living with his girlfriend. You'd ask what they are interested in, their hobbies, their jobs, the family they grew up in. I've met too many Christian who felt compelled to explain very soon into the relationship how God feels about homosexuality. But I ask you this; Why would a non-Christian care what God thinks about anything? If and when they come to faith, then the the laws of God begin to make sense. If non-Christians ask what I believe about same-sex relations, I tell them but until they do, I try to keep the focus on Jesus.
4. Be the gospel to Non-Christians
Most of the LGBTQ+ people I've met are wary of Christians. Right or wrong most believe Christians are highly homophobic. But Jesus' gospel compels us to love, even our enemies or people who we think are the enemy, show them Christians are "for" more things than they are against. Talk about the work you do, or what your church is doing with the poor, immigrants, with people in prison, or addicted to something. Be kind and gracious even with enemies of the gosple. Be the gospel!
5. Learn to bite your tongue
If an LGBTQ+ persons says something offensive about Christians, or the Bible you don't have to defend every hurtful or incorrect statement. I'll often agree with them. Learn to take a punch. Stay focused on the mission-their salvation.
6. Don't invite them to your church unless you're confident they will be received by church members well.
Your goal should not be getting non-Christians to church, gay or straight. Your mission is to live out the gospel and explain the gospel to them. The good news is that Jesus is still more popular than his followers. Start reading the Book of Luke with non-Christians and introducing them to their only hope in life or death. Unless a non-Christian comes to faith, them having sex with someone of the same sex is the least of their problems.
"For though I am free and belong to no one, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be share it it's blessing."
-I Corinthians 9:19-23