Sexual Sin, Porn, and the Church

Sexual sin and pornography is probably one of the most challenging issues we face as youth workers today. Here are some thoughts.

THE IMPACT OF SEXUAL SIN AND PORN: 

  • It is a sin that students have learned to hide more than any other sin…
  • It is a sin that pastors and youth workers have learned to hide more than any other sin…
  • It is sin that has massive implications for students as they grow into young adults…
  • It is a sin that the church has NOT talked openly enough about and has, (in my opinion), condemned this type of sin too much…  Students have often gone deeper “underground” with their struggles rather than seeing the church as their refuge and help…
  • It is a sin that is impacting in the trenches youth workers and their families…
  • It is a sin that I have personally seen three pastors lose their jobs and families to… One pastor friend took his own life after he lost his family and ministry… I still hurt from this huge loss…
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) is not something we can brush under the carpet. We must lovingly and carefully understand the issues and discover good theology. It is not enough to have a stance on the issue, we must see people as God’s children and meet them where they are… I am also learning that brothers and sisters in Christ have different theological stances on this issue and I must be understand my stance, but be sensitive to others…
SOME THOUGHTS ON WHAT WE NEED TO DO:  
  • It is something that we must address with our students on a regular basis in our teaching, conversations, retreats, and our own model to them… How are we doing in this? 
  • It is something that parents are dying for help with. We must educate, empower, and equip parents who are at home with these students so much more than us… What tools and resources are we giving our parents? 
  • We must create environments that encourage conversation and not condemnation… Ask your students openly if they feel they could share some of these deep issues? Ask them what you could do to create more openness?
  • We must help students learn accountability now, not later… How are we helping students to connect authentically? 
  • We must personally surround ourselves with mentors, friends, and accountability partners to stay strong. Who can ask you tough questions? Who knows your struggles? Are you on an island of  sexual sin and need to be rescued? 
  • We should seek help NOW if we are struggling and not wait until we crash… Who can you call today? Feel free to contact me on my contact page if you need some help beginning these steps? 
  • We have a responsibility to speak truth in love to our students and ensure they are getting a healthy perspective from God’s Word. Are we scared to speak truth to those students who desperately need it? 
These are just a few thoughts and I have so many more. However, here are some FANTASTIC ways to continue thinking on this subject: 
GROUP MAGAZINE LIVE: SEXUAL SIN PODCAST: Thurday July 21, 2o11 @ 9am MST
(See info on the graphic above). 
ARTICLES ON SEX AND SEXUAL SIN: (Click Here)
MORE THOUGHTS?
1. What would you add to this conversation?
2. On Thursday after the Group Magazine Live Podcast I plan to post some more thoughts on this. I am eager to learn from a panel of in the trenches youth workers who I respect…
UPDATE:
After watching the podcast, here are just a quick few thoughts about it:
  • The format of having a panel of experts was great! Being able to have people like Rick Lawrence interact and bounce questions off of Craig Gross was fantastic! The level of questions were both authentic and challenging.
  • There was a great deal of interaction online from viewers watching who were able to field questions that Scott Firestone was able to field to the panel! Again, some great questions and interactions.
  • Sexual sin is rampant in the church and people in ministry are not immune… In fact, in many ways the panel talked about how it is sometimes harder to talk about issues when you are in ministry. Craig Gross from xxxchurch.com shared that it is potentially not a good idea to go your direct mentor, but to find accountability and support through mentors and accountability partners.
  • There was a great deal of discussion about creating an authentic communinty where sexual purity and other challenging isses can be faced.
  • The GLBT discussion was handled well and Rick and Jeff shared a story about a group of youth workers at the last Simply Youth Ministry Conference who has grappled and struggled with this issue. It is clear that it is a “hot button” for many and there are many differing views on the GLBT subject. I think a takeaway for me was that we should deal with the issues head on, but with great sensitivity and care. I think it will be interesting to watch this debate continue in the church in years to come. Many of us in ministry still have a fuzzy understanding of the scriptural response to this issue.
  • Finally, a takeaway for me personally is the challenge to stay sexually pure and accountable in my ministry position. It is imperative that I have good boundaries, accountability, and support as I minister to students. It only takes a youth worker falling in this area to destroy the hopes and dreams of students. We never want students to say, “If they can’t get this right, how am I supposed to get it right…”

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