Building a Better Church by Tackling the Tough Issues

I just completed a simple survey from an online filter and blocking software company, Covenant Eyes which we use to protect our laptop. You can see the question and up to date (as of this blog publishing) results below.

“Pornography is the greatest cancer in the church today.” — Chuck Swindoll

Porn is a huge problem in the world today, and unfortunately, the church is no exception. One survey found that 3 out of 5 Christian men and 1 out of 7 Christian women say they look at porn at least once a month. It’s a secret shame for many Christians…and many churches don’t know where to begin to help people find freedom.

But what about your church? How are they doing? Take this quick poll to let us know!

What’s the biggest roadblock churches face in the fight against Internet pornography?

1.Porn is a taboo subject in a diverse church (e.g. with men, women, elderly, children, etc.).
23%
2.Pastors don’t know what it would look like to tackle the problem beyond mentioning it in a sermon.
21%
3.The church doesn’t feel like a safe place to open up about this (least of all for pastors to open up if they are struggling).
26%
4.Church leaders don’t have access to or feel equipped to be good counselors or coaches.
7%
5.They don’t have a good system or small group in place to support strugglers or their spouses.
build-church-476659964
 
Two things immediately jump out at me.
First, question three and its implications on the/your church. The church isn’t seen as safe for people to be real, and that is especially true for leaders. This is an issue that has directly affected myself and many others, and the problem is systemic in nature. There are multiple factors which support the continued suppression of authenticity, healing, and growth in our churches.
  • Stigma of the porn issue in the world
  • The personal shame of the individual
  • Uncomfortable to talk about
  • The “cutting out the cancer” philosophy the church has many times adopted
  • The fact that many pastors already struggle with porn and don’t have anyone they can trust with their secret
  • The majority of men and a percentage of women are struggling with it
I would contend that if we made the most significant issues our priority, every other issue that is prevalent in the church would be much easier to address.

When the church effectively tackles this problem; wow, I am just envisioning our people free of this plague and walking in truth and loving in a pure and holy way. The many marriages that are struggling for supposedly unknown reasons being healed and restored to Gods original plan and purpose. The leaders in ministry provided with the resources to be helped without fear of being ostracized.

Secondly, question four seems to contradict the earlier results. Most people believe that their pastors and leaders are equipped to help their people. This makes me wonder about what people are really and truly thinking in our churches. Who are we looking to for the help we all need? We think our leaders are able, but if they are struggling then what is the inevitable outcome?

These are questions we must face with courage.

Our churches will be stronger when we tackle the growing problem of pornography openly, careful not to heap shame on the people who already struggle. Statistics reveal that the majority of those in your congregations each week are fighting this enemy on a continual basis, and yet our frail attempts to combat a ruthless foe are a link in the weekly email updates to some watered down, anemic band-aid solution to a fight to the death issue; or a passing mention of it in a context that gives no real hope or tangible resources to win!

Fight Porn In Your Church

The above link is a resource that is being made available to address this issue. It is a soon to be released free ebook with help we can all use.  There are several other ebooks also available here. God bless and fight on!!!

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