Churches can foster community with LGBTQ people without sacrificing convictions
I started The Messy Grace Group to help your church/ministry
My name is Caleb Kaltenbach. I was raised in the LGBTQ community by my parents (2 lesbians and a gay man).
I became a Christian in high school and arrived at two core beliefs that I still hold today: God designed sexual intimacy to be expressed in marriage between a man and a woman AND a theological conviction is never a catalyst to devalue anyone.
Before starting The Messy Grace Group, I served as a pastor for 19 years (associate & senior) and currently am Research Pastor at Shepherd Church in Los Angeles.
I also wrote Messy Grace, God of Tomorrow, and my 3rd book, Messy Truth that releases August 10, 2021 from Waterbrook Multnomah. Besides speaking, writing, and consulting, I've been a guest with The New York Times, Fox and Friends, The Glenn Beck Show, The Eric Metaxas Show, Christianity Today, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, Church Leaders Podcast, The 700 Club, Moody Radio Show, Q Podcast, Dallas Seminary Podcast, & more. I'm a graduate of Ozark Christian College, Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and received my doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary.
People find & follow Jesus better in community, not alone.
I've worked with churches (from church plants to churches with attendances of 30,000), denominations, ministries, colleges, and seminaries. I believe your church/ministry can develop systems to honor your beliefs and love LGBTQ individuals. Whether it's teaching, conflict management, problem solving, working with families, staff, volunteers, or more, I want to help. With Christ-centered values, empathy, and authenticity, we can lead in the tension of grace and truth!
“Caleb is the perfect leader for times like this. He's a great thinker, a compelling communicator, and the best I've seen at teaching this generation to love everyone without sacrificing their convictions.”
~Ray Johnston, Senior Pastor, Bayside Church & author of The Hope Quotient
"Caleb’s ability to help us adhere to both biblical truth and grace towards the LGTBQ community has been a blessing to the body of Christ!! His ministry has enriched my life and others greatly!"
~Bryan Carter, Senior Pastor, Concord Church
"In a time when we’re pressured to choose between convictions and compassion, my friend Caleb urges us to stand for both. His experiences, beliefs, ministry, and empathy make him a needed voice in today’s culture.”
~Carey Nieuwhof, Author, Didn't See it Coming
"Caleb is a trusted person of character who connects with all types of people. He has a profound ability to see things from fresh angles, presents his ideas in compelling ways, and his love for others is contagious."
~Jud Wilhite, Senior Pastor, Central Church & author of Uncaged
"Caleb helped our church leaders think through how to better understand and love LGBTQ people.I definitely recommend him!"
~David Dummitt, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
"Caleb helps churches understand how to minister to anyone while maintaining a biblical view of sex and marriage. I'm grateful for The Messy Grace Group.”
~Scott Sauls, Author, Senior Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church
“Caleb has a unique perspective about grace and truth that every church needs to hear. The time he invested in our team was so helpful!"
~Brandon Beard, Executive Pastor, Compass Christian Church
"Caleb helps others understand biblical truth in such a powerful way and yet does so with grace and humility. His message is much needed today."
~Shayla Joelle Koen, Youth Pastor, Hope Community Church
“Caleb does a wonderful job of modeling for people how to live and lead in grace and truth.”
~Rich Birch, author of Church Growth Flywheel & host of the unSeminary Podcast.
"Caleb has a unique perspective on culture and faith. He has forged a foothold in both worlds that enables him to embrace reality without abandoning hope."
~Lane Jones, Executive Director of Multisite Ministry, North Point Ministries
"After Caleb spoke at my church, the social media world was abuzz with this being one of the best sermons they had ever heard. He has a heart for people and it shows in his attitude."
~Mark Lee, Lead Pastor, Vantage Point Church
"There honestly isn’t a more important voice for the church (worldwide) today than Caleb Kaltenbach! His unique insight and expertise into the LGBTQ reality is much needed."
~Michael Hinton, Executive Director of Multi-Site, Real Life Church Ministries
"Caleb has a powerful message to share and can definitely help your church love people without sacrificing convictions."
~Jaclyn Miles, Speaker
“Caleb has an amazing ability to present truth in a gracious and disarming way. I highly recommend that you bring him to your church.”
~Bob Franquiz, Senior Pastor, Calvary Fellowship Miami
"Caleb Kaltenbach is not your usual pastor. And I thank God for that. His story is approachable, authentic, and an important contribution to the conversation of Christianity and sexuality."
~Gene Appel, Senior Pastor, Eastside Christian Church
"I don't know anybody who has a better grounded theology, ability to communicate, loves students, a pastoral heart, and wisdom on navigating these difficult conversations."
~Sean McDowell, Author & Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
Click here for more endorsements
Coaching & Training
We consult on issues dealing with the relationship between LGBTQ individuals and the church. We've worked with and trained boards, staff teams, family ministry staff teams, and volunteers. Also, we've led small group leader trainings, leadership events, and more. Contact us for a list of topics, trainings, and audiences.
We provide coaching for leaders who want to grow in their understanding of those who relate as LGBTQ.
Strategy & Planning
Perhaps you need to craft policies for your board or staff team. It might be that you need help developing systems that help anyone engage, serve, get involved, etc. Perhaps you have an upcoming event or focused weekend that engages in the LGBTQ+ conversation and need some assistance in thinking through a plan. Whatever your needs, we'll come alongside you and your team to develop strategies and plans that will maximize your love and grow your influence with LGBTQ individuals inside and outside of your church or ministry.
How can you have a difficult conversation that doesn't destroy those involved? Unfortunately, maybe a tough circumstance has become chaotic and has gotten out of hand. It could be that you're dealing with the aftermath of a tough season that didn't go well for your organization and need someone to help with the healing process. If any of this sounds describes your organization, please contact us so we can journey with you. We'll strive to resolve conflict, facilitate reconciliation, process forgiveness, etc. We're also willing to help families in your church.
Speaking, Seminars & Classes
The conversation and issues surrounding the relationship between individuals who identify LGBTQ+ and the church are only becoming more complex. As such, maybe you want to address this in your weekend services, leadership conference, ministry event, church, retreat, etc. If so, we're available to speak on and address the conversation with grace, truth, empathy, and without alienating anyone. We've had the privilege of speaking at a variety of churches, events, and conferences. Contact us and we can discuss topics, dates, audience, and which communicator would be best for your needs.
Full Church or Ministry Evaluation
Do you want your church or ministry to be full of grace and truth? Do people feel like they can belong in your place? Want to avoid the "bait and switch" that some LGBTQ+ people feel? We can provide a full evaluation of how your ministry can improve on showing grace and truth. After 1-3 days of interacting with your staff, leadership teams, volunteers, viewing your environments, and reading through your applications/forms, we'll write a SWOT type analysis and suggested plan that will help give you the best advantage to create belonging without sacrificing your beliefs and values.
Contact us to discuss pricing. We'll do our best to work with you and help your church or ministry.
How have you specifically helped churches?
Here are a few examples of how we've helped churches:
Leadership board (elder team) training and governance policy development
Develop assimilation systems that allow anyone to engage the church while honoring values
Helping to heal broken relationships
Staff meetings, guidance on empathy, and training on difficult conversations
Personal coaching on LGBTQ & ministry
Crafting and initiating small group processes
Sermons/teachings on difficult societal issues
Do you coach leaders?
Absolutely! Maybe you need coaching on how to resolve a complex scenario. Perhaps it's time to lead your board or staff to understand grace/truth. Whether you're a senior pastor, executive pastor, CEO, associate pastor, or ministry leader, we can develop a specific coaching plan for your needs. Whether it's Caleb or another leader, we will find a coach to journey alongside of you.
Do you help Christian schools, colleges, and seminaries?
Yes!! With each passing month, Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries are having to pursue conflict resolution, increase their empathy, and navigate through other circumstances related to LGBTQ. students. If we have the honor of working with you, we promise confidentiality, empathy, and a commitment to truth.
What is your belief on sexuality?
We understand that many have their own opinions on sex, sexuality, relationships, and so on. We acknowledge that a person's sexuality is between them and God. Our organization believes:
God created sexual intimacy and affection to be expressed between a man and a woman in marriage.
Each person has immense value because God created them and Jesus died for them.
Those who relate or identify as LGBTQ should be able to engage a church even if they don't agree or don't believe, because Jesus is easier to find and/or follow in community rather than isolation.
Do you work with kids, students & families?
We LOVE working with students and families!!! It's so important to create a safe environment where students, parents, and leaders can discuss emotions, thoughts, fears, and ideas. Kids and students thrive when the church partners with the family to help them understand and live out godly values.
We've led parent talks, conflict resolution with families, student small group leader training, student retreats, and more. Also, we've facilitated training with preschool and elementary age volunteers when it comes to LGBTQ parents.
What resources do you offer?
Look for a resources page coming soon... we will also be offering online resources including courses and more content.
Do you offer both short-term and long-term consulting?
We've invested in churches and ministries for one day, many days, and anywhere from 2-6 months (which would include in-person visits, Skype, Zoom calls, etc.). Whether we can assist you in one day or over a few months, we're ready to help. Contact us and let's discuss the possibilities!
How much do your services cost?
Each church and Christian organization has a unique context with different needs. Contact us, let's talk, and we'd be happy to discuss pricing with you.
My friend Caleb not only has a heart for God and people, but he’s passionate about helping churches to understand how to love people well..
~Efrem Smith, Author, Co-Lead Pastor, Midtown Covenant Church, Sacramento
"Caleb fluently speaks both the language and the emotion of both sides of the issue. And he desperately wants to help us stop picking sides and learn to love like Jesus. He is a great leader, writer, and friend."
~Dr. Tim Harlow, Senior Pastor, Parkview Christian Church and author of What Made Jesus Mad?
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