Alarm bells are ringing. Statistics show us that we are now in code red. Pornography and sexual addiction are sweeping like a tsunami wave of destruction through the family and church.
Now is the best opportunity ever to respond in an honest, open and practical way to overcome this epidemic, draining the life out of so many followers of Jesus.
This is in fact an area where there is enormous need in Australia. So many men are isolated and very few seem to get real in a church context about their struggles and what is going on inside of them. Maybe they don’t feel safe because a lot of churches are in many way feminized as well. This is an open door to start reaching men and women in a way that disciples them at a deep level. You simply need to be trained and know what you are talking about beyond telling people to ‘stop it.’
The reason recovery is so effective as a discipleship tool to overcome sexual addiction, is because it works through relationship and trust. And smaller churches can work together on this to be effective.
It’s an open door for missions as well. Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore have huge issues with pornography addiction. China, Japan and South Korea are the biggest consumers of American pornography. Missionaries have awesome opportunities to offer counselling for those in despair and wanting to get free.
Just a few statistics shouting at us from the rooftop to take our heads out of the sand:
Pure Desire Ministries International Stats: These statistics come from seminars conducted at over 3000 Churches in the USA using the Sexual Addiction screening test adapted from Dr Patrick Carnes.
- 60 to 70% of adult men in a church are battling with sexual / porn addiction
- 50 to 55% of the Pastors
Covenant eyes general stats from the USA show the following:
79 percent of men eighteen to thirty years old—and 67 percent of men thirty-one to forty-nine years old—say they view pornography at least once a month. 76 percent of women between eighteen and thirty viewed pornography once a month and 25 percent of married women say they watch porn at least once a month. A study jointly commissioned by Covenant Eyes, Josh McDowell Ministry, and the Barna Group found that 50 percent of teenagers and approximately 75 percent of young adults come across pornography at least monthly. 71% of teens hide their online behaviour from their parents. http://www.covenanteyes.com/e-books
This excludes sexting, online sex and general sexual behaviours. When it comes to holiness and in fact sexual wholeness, churches in Australia are not in such a good place. We have a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Ask yourself as a Pastor or church leader: How many young people and young adults in my church that are dating each other are also sleeping at each other’s homes? Are going on holiday together? Are living with each other? How are the men really doing and is there a safe place to open up about struggles without being shamed or jumped on with scripture?
It does seem so challenging at times, and yet if we can take on this challenge in the context of ongoing recovery ministries and sound preaching on what God says about our sexuality, our gender, our identities – instead of just reacting by telling people “to stop it and try harder” – we could see real transformation taking place in the core of people’s souls.
If you have a desire to minister in this area in your church please feel free to contact me via phone or email. Go to “contact” for those details.