Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Scott.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Hello, I’m Tony Scott, founder of “Grace For Gays”. It’s no secret that there’s still a bit of conflict between the church and LGBTQ+ community. For THE LGBTQ+ community, there’s a lot of church trauma and mistrust. In the faith community, an opportunity to minister and show Jesus’ love to real people, treated as outcasts by the church, in an effort to fulfill the great commission of sharing the gospel. I created “Grace For Gays” out of a desire to create a new path forward in hopes of bringing some reconciliation, understanding and healing between these two important communities. So many brave souls have shared horror stories with me. From LGBTQ+ youth being kicked out of their church youth groups, to families being asked to leave a church because they have a gay child. We as Christians have to do a much better job representing the love of Christ.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Part of the challenges I’ve faced is that I understand both communities very well. My early years in ministry was as a leader at the world’s largest gay and lesbian church, which was more progressive ministry. From there I transitioned into an opportunity of a lifetime to work at a major evangelical mega-church, where the perspective was more traditional, putting gay me back in a closet. I’ve been blessed to have experienced both extremes and I’m able to see the middle ground that can bring about a new path forward. We have more in common than we disagree on. So many great books have been written on this subject, but they generally end in arguments and debates over scriptures. But if we truly understand the fundamental framework of grace and salvation, there would be no need to argue scripture because grace settles any argument about anyone’s right to pursue a relationship with God. It’s about the people and their relationship with God, not doctrine.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Ironically, my work is in marketing and faith-based communications. I own a marketing and communications firm. I’ve worked with several movie studios in Hollywood to support them in reaching faith-based and urban consumers. Finding the right message that resonates while avoiding nuances that can alienate. I’ve provided marketing strategy and social media work in 3 of the top 5 faith-based movies of all time that have collectively grossed more than $300 mil at the box office. I joke with colleagues that I have the gift of speaking “Christianese”.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Good communication is essential in every facet of life. But sometimes, people just want to be heard. The ability to listen is the other side of communication that gets lost. Own your voice, but be a good listener as well to lift someone else up.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success to me is figuring out that thing you were born to do and positioning yourself to do it. Nothing feels more fulfilling in life than doing the thing you were created to do.
What’s next for you?
Grace For Gays started as a movement, but I just finished writing my book titled “Grace For Gays: A New Path Forward”. And to keep the conversations flowing, I plan to publish a series of books focused on creating a more inclusive church body where people from any walk of life can feel comfortable. Last count, I have outlines for 10 more books. So, I definitely plan to be busy cranking them out.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
People can connect with me at www.graceforgays.com or on social at Instagram (@graceforgays); Facebook (fb.com/graceforgays) or Twitter (@mrtonyscott)