Everyone outside the church is talking about sexual issues—gender identity, same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage—the world’s perspective on these issues has certainly changed over the last decade. So how do you answer questions about God’s design for sexuality to church members and their families? Is your church equipping your people to understand a biblical perspective on sexuality and form a gospel-based response to questions from both inside and outside the church?
Harvest USA, an organization that has been thinking biblically and redemptively about these issues for decades, has now made available a video series that will help you wisely, kindly, and truthfully help your church to understand God’s biblical design for sexuality and give direction on how to speak the truth in love to the world around us.
God's Design for Sexuality in a Changing Culture consists of fifteen 30-minute videos (suitable for Sunday school or small group meetings) with a downloadable leader's guide and participant outline for each video. (Note: You will receive a separate email from Vimeo granting you access to the videos.) The seminars address questions and topics including:
—Why do we need to talk about sex?
—Why do we struggle with our sexuality?
—Is God’s design for sexuality still relevant today?
—What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?
—Can you change if you are gay?
—How can a single person live out God’s design for their sexuality?
—Understanding gender and transgender issues
—Understanding pornography's impact on marriage
—How to help the sexual struggler
—Key steps for raising sexually healthy kids
—Keeping your kids safe in an Internet world
Harvest USA is a non-profit that has been ministering to individuals and families affected by sexual struggles since 1983. With over 100 years of combined direct ministry experience, Harvest USA staff also seek to equip the Church with their writing and teaching on biblical sexuality and how to help those who struggle sexually.
"Harvest USA understands the enormous significance of God making us sexual beings and the consequences that follow when sin disrupts our sexual desires. How much more amplified are the consequences to society when culture rejects God's authority over creation and sexuality. God's Design for Sexuality in a Changing Culture is a sturdy resource that will equip churches to be ambassadors of truth, grace, and freedom in a culture that's awash in sexual confusion."
Andrew T. Walker, Director of Policy Studies, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, author of God and the Transgender Debate
"Messages regarding human sexuality abound in every area of today's culture. This video series provides an invaluable tool for discipleship in the local church. Each lesson examines a different aspect of this pervasive cultural issue in the light of biblical truth. Church leaders who desire to help God's people address the issue of sexuality with gospel integrity will find this video series a necessary part of their discipleship ministry."
Stephen T. Estock, Coordinator, PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries
"Nobody does it better than Harvest USA, This long overdue resource is an illustration of that. It will become one of the major resources to to guide the church now and into the future. Sometimes, in matters of sexuality, it feels like the church has 'pitched it's tent in the middle of a landslide.' Here's help—solid, realistic, authentic, and biblical."
Steve Brown, Founder of Key Life Network, Inc.; author
"As a counselor, I am grateful to send countless individuals to Harvest USA for help. Harvest's biblical approach is insightful and clarifying. It sustains the weight of a person's sorrow and has the power to break the enslavement of sexual sin. God's Design for Sexuality now comes to us. Although this resource targets Sunday schools and small groups, my hope is that it would reach into counseling offices and Christian homes alike. I guarantee that it will be on hand in both of mine."
Aaron Sironi, Biblical Counselor and Faculty, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
"God's Design for Sexuality in a Changing Culture is an accessible tool that builds up the Church to think biblically about sexuality. The video platform and discussion guide provide a natural pathway for engaging in meaningful discussion around this critical topic."
Karen Hodge, Coordinator for Women's Ministry, Presbyterian Church in America
"Being conversationally comfortable with the subjects of sex and sexual identity is difficult for many Christians. But in our modern culture, it is a vital part of discipleship and cultural engagement. As Martin Luther said, 'If you preach the gospel in all aspects with the exception of the issues that deal specifically with your time, you are not preaching the gospel at all.' Harvest USA has put together an excellent curriculum to equip you to understand these subjects well so we can engage your culture effectively."
Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church, Durham, NC; author of Do Ask, Do Tell, Let's Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends
"In this present moment when we are experiencing a cultural free-fall from God's Word, both in public life and in many sectors of the church, this resource provides a much-needed voice to declare God's unchanging purposes and design for the exercise of the sexual gifts he has given to us as those created in his image. The format lends itself to classes, small groups, and Biblical counseling instruction; and the content is presented in such a way as to encourage thoughtful reflection, meditation, and profitable discussion. God's Design for Sexuality is an important resource as we seek to be faithful in our ministry and callings."
Tom Sullivan, Pastor of Seven Springs Presbyterian Church, Glade Spring, VA; ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor; adjunct faculty, Graham Bible College
"Today's culture is saturated with confusing messages about sexuality. The church cannot afford to be silent. God's Design for Sexuality is an excellent resource for parents, ministry leaders and those desiring to help our brothers and sisters in Christ struggling with sexual addictions or identity confusion. We're confident this resource will spur on the conversations that need to be had in the church today."
Ben Reaoch, Pastor of Three Rivers Grace Church and author of Women, Slaves and the Gender Debate; and Stacy Reaoch, mother of four and author of Wilderness Wanderings: Finding Contentment in the Desert Times of Life
"The work of Harvest has grown far beyond its roots in Philadelphia and has expanded both the scope and extent of its ministry over the years. As a working pastor in center city, I have welcomed and benefited from the sane and healthy counsel I've received from the Harvest USA workers. They exhibit Christlike compassion for strugglers and Christian conviction of the truth revealed in Scripture. In a world that has lost its moorings, Harvest USA is a voice of sanity and a voice of hope for those who despair for their future. May the Lord continue to support and expand their labors for Him."
Liam Goligher, Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
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We used this series in a typical Sunday school style class. We had between 60-80 in attendance on any given Sunday. With large groups you have to get creative on how to facilitate discussion, but it can be done. And our church members found the content to be extremely relevant and helpful in doing what the course intends to do: to equip them to live out and love others according to God's design. I highly recommend this resource for Sunday school or small groups. The lessons on parenting children (lessons 12 and 13) should be shown to every Christian parent in this generation. If you are looking for ways to incorporate biblical counseling into the life of your church, this curriculum may help you start that conversation and show its relevance.
Culture shock. These two words describe how the church has by-and-large responded to the changing culture when it comes to sexuality. Yet, the biblical response to a changing culture is not to remain in culture shock but to be countercultural. In the words of 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The question naturally follows, “How do Christians glorify God by living countercultural lives as they steward their sexuality faithfully?” God’s Design for Sexuality in a Changing Culture, a new 15-Session Video Curriculum by Harvest USA, provides the answer. In 15 video sessions averaging around 30 minutes each in length, various biblical counselors and Christian leaders teach on the need to talk about sexuality in the church and confront the culture’s lies on sexuality, addressing topics like gender, transgenderism, homosexuality, premarital sex, and pornography with biblical conviction and Christlike compassion. The sessions emphasize the goodness of God’s design, the brokenness of sin on our sexuality, and how to get to the heart of these matters through the Tree Metaphor (which is explained in this curriculum). These teaching sessions do not merely present the biblical position but also equip believers with pastoral hearts, caring for those who are hurting and struggling with their sexuality. Due to the nature of the subject of sexuality, the video curriculum is designed for groups to go through together. Most sessions end with questions to consider and for groups to discuss. Because of the style of these teaching sessions, which are lecture-driven, the ideal fit for viewing this curriculum is for Sunday Schools. While this resource would benefit small groups, the formal method of teaching lends better to the Sunday School context. With the strength of the video series laying in the curriculum’s content, the order of the series’ lessons could be improved. Sessions 7 and 8 take a look at Scripture to see what the Bible says about sexuality in both the Old and New Testaments and, for that reason, would possibly be better placed earlier in the series. Session 15’s talk on a biblical view of gender and transgender faces the same critique. Sessions 12 and 13 hone in on helping parents protect and raise their children in a faithful way and would have been better placed as possibly the last two sessions in the series. At the same time, having video clips that show a portion of what session 11 did with the couple interviewed could have better cemented the content taught in these sessions. These minor critiques, though, do not hinder the value this video curriculum offers to adult Sunday School classes. If you are a church leader who wants to see the people in your congregation stand firm in biblical conviction and Christlike compassion on the issue of sexuality or are a parent who wants to be equipped to navigate these cultural tides from a Christian worldview with their teens, then I would encourage you to consider checking out and inquiring about this series as your next adult Sunday School curriculum.