FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Statement on Conversion Therapy – June 1, 2018
Journey South Africa is a discipleship ministry that is focused on helping people understand their identity in light of their Christian faith. As a discipleship ministry, we do not seek to change the sexual orientation of the people who participate in our programs.
Journey South Africa understands the painful legacy of conversion or reparative therapy for sexual minorities. This means that while we are firmly committed to a traditional Christian understanding of sexuality, we reject any program that promises change in sexual orientation or makes orientation change a goal. Additionally, Journey South Africa does not engage in any sort of public advocacy around issues of sexuality. Our focus is entirely on supporting people's personal faith in community and in assisting individuals and the church in joyfully pursuing Jesus and His plans for them.
A critical part of what Journey seeks to provide to our participants is a safe and supportive environment where they can connect their faith to their experiences and we always regret any situation where this has not turned out to be the case. We are confident that most of the people who have been involved with our ministry over the years have felt that their experience has been worthwhile and that they have encountered Jesus' love and care for them in a way that honours their personal dignity and respects their autonomy.
What exactly is Journey South Africa?
Journey South Africa is a faith-based, charitable organization whose mission is to help individuals experience Jesus in their relational and sexual struggles, and to equip them for a life-long journey of healing. We do this by creating safe places for individuals to receive spiritual support and prayer, offering intensive discipleship courses, training and equipping church leaders, and by partnering with churches and denominations.
What denomination are we?
Journey in South Africa is a Christian organization unaffiliated with any particular Christian denomination. Journey partners with various denominations and local churches, including Pentecostal, Reformed, Charismatic, Vineyard, Baptist, Apostolic, Anglican, Methodist.
Who comes to Journey?
Women and men participate in a Journey program to address a range of personal experiences—from sexual abuse to addiction, from anger problems to low self-esteem, from sexual identity to divorce. The vast majority of people who enroll in Journey want freedom from addiction and healing from abuse.
Are Journey programs a form of counselling?
While drawing on the insights of psychology and therapeutic practice, the Journey program is primarily a religious ministry addressing spirituality as it relates to relationships and sexuality. Journey is a grass-roots ministry facilitated by local churches and led by trained volunteers. Journey South Africa does not offer public or private mental health services, nor does it offer individual counselling, psychotherapy, group therapy, etc.
What kind of prayer does Journey South Africa practice?
Journey South Africa emphasizes listening prayer and the belief that God is presently speaking to and transforming His people. Journey programs create a safe, structured space for participants to experience listening prayer in small groups. It is our experience that God regularly uses prayer to speak words of emotional healing and spiritual renewal into the hearts of people.
What kind of “healing” does Journey promote?
Journey South Africa aims to facilitate spiritual healing in the lives of participants. We define spiritual healing as, “coming to know God as Father, Jesus as our brother, and the Holy Spirit as our comforter—as the Triune God transforms us by ministering to our areas of need, wounding, and pain.” Spiritual healing involves replacing distorted images of oneself and of God with truthful images, cultivating emotional and voluntary openness towards God, and regaining personal empowerment through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Spiritual healing is foremost about our restored capacity to know and live in relationship with God. This does not guarantee total restoration or freedom from all the effects of wounding or sin in our lives. It does, however, mean we can face our struggles and life challenges from a new place of strength, assurance and hope.
Does Journey South Africa serve individuals who identify as LGBTQ?
Since being founded in South Africa 20 years ago, Journey South Africa has been a ministry for Christians of all backgrounds facing various relational and sexual experiences, including unwanted self-identified same-sex attraction. On average, the percentage of Journey South Africa program participants who say they have unwanted self-identified same-sex attraction is approximately 5%. The majority of participants acknowledge their experiences to be with pornography addiction, marital problems or abuse in their past.
Does Journey South Africa try to change participants' sexual orientation?
Journey South Africa neither promises nor has the goal of changing same-sex sexual orientation/attraction. Read more about Journey South Africa's position on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.
What is Journey's view on sexuality?
Journey South Africa's perspectives on sexuality and relationships are rooted in the Christian tradition and turns first to the Christian Scriptures for beliefs, values and ethics. Journey South Africa follows an orthodox Christian understanding of sexuality, including God's plan for sexual relations between a man and a woman within marriage.
As a charity, does Journey receive public money or government funding?
Journey South Africa does not receive any public money or government funding. Journey South Africa is funded solely through program fees and the contributions of like-minded individuals and churches that share our mission.