Q: I was wondering what exactly you mean by change?
A: It is not the position of Set Free, its director, or any of its members to condemn anyone for his or her beliefs or homosexual identity. We are here as an option for those who personally believe the Bible is and desire to follow what they believe is God's direction for their life. We further want to help individuals understand the genesis of their thoughts and feelings, escaping the modern mantra of "this is just who I am." We believe that truth will set you free, and with understanding the truth of the origin of homosexuality, and especially God's word, comes freedom.
Q: What does change involve?
A: It is very important to have realistic expectations about the journey out of homosexuality. Sometimes people think that if they pray enough or wish hard enough, their homosexuality will just disappear. This is an unrealistic expectation. Changes in the area of sexual orientation happen as a result of a process that usually involves some hard personal work.
God certainly does His work, and by His Spirit accomplishes things that we cannot do ourselves, but we need to prepare the space in our lives and cooperate with what God wants to do.
How long the process of change from homosexuality to heterosexuality takes depends on a number of factors. These include:
1. The root issues that are involved. The more difficult or complex the underlying factors involved in a person's same-gender attraction, the longer the process of change may take. For example, the process may take longer for a person who has experienced severe sexual abuse in childhood than for someone who has experienced mild sexual abuse.
2. How much support a person has. The more helpful things a person puts in place, the better progress he or she can expect to make. For example, a woman who only attends the support group will most likely make slower progress than another woman who is also in individual counseling, involved in a church fellowship, and has friends with whom she can share what is happening in her life.
3. One's ability and willingness to face difficult personal issues.
It is not unusual for the process of change to take 2-5 years. This is no reason to despair. If God is part of the process, He will walk with you, protect you, direct your path, and shine His light into the darkness. Remember the ultimate goal in life is not heterosexuality versus homosexuality, but following God and giving one's life to Him.
Q: How do you keep temptation out of the group? All of us are there for the same reason and I worry about the temptation.
A: Temptation is an internal battle that everyone deals with on some level. Our ministry is unique though in that it deals primarily with individuals who do not understand boundaries. It is with this in mind that we have our policies in place to help define those boundaries. Group is not a place to come and find friends, but to get help. This is a big reason why the group is not open to the public without first going through a counseling appointment. It is our responsibility to the group, you, and the ministry leadership, that our groups are a safe place.
Q: What is the ratio of youth that may be gay?
A: While statistics are skewed and the issue is more of perception than culture (a typical suburban teen environment vs. larger urban cities that are more gay populated), we can approximately say that 1% are lesbian and 2% male homosexual.
Q: What is your denomination/church affiliation?
A: Set Free is a non-denominational Christian ministry. We are supported by many churches and are therefore not affiliated with any denomination or independent church. All of our volunteers and directors represent varying denominations, such as Assemblies of God, Presbyterian, Catholic, Southern Baptist. and non-denominational.
Q: Do I need to be a Christian to receive help at Set Free?
A: No, we are here to serve anyone seeking assistance as long as they understand that we are a Christian based ministry and offer help guided by those principles.
Q: What do you charge for counseling and support groups?
A: As a non-profit ministry with non-licensed counselors, we ask for a suggested donation for our one-on-one sessions. We do not turn anyone away.
Suggested donation for one-on-one accountability sessions for individuals, couples, or families (including lengthy email, letter, or telephone exchanges) is $60.00 per hour. Suggested donation for support groups is 2% of gross household income.
Our most important goal is to establish a helpful relationship with the individual to support them towards wholeness in Christ. However, we have found that not asking for a donation for our time actually hinders the individual in their healing process.
Q: I'm worried about being recognized in one of your support groups.
A: We have a policy of participation that we use to manage our groups that covers this directly. Persons are just as concerned of their identities that come to the group as you are I assure you. This, unfortunately for all most everyone, is a ministry deep in shame initially and no one is going to say they know you because they are going to then have to explain how.