What can concerned pastors do about sexually broken people in their congregations? More and more pastors and elders are burdened with spiritual and psychological issues that can seem overwhelming. With the rise of sexual dysfunction, pornography addiction, cases of adultery, and the prevalence of homosexual and bisexual tendencies, often pastors are left wondering where to start when ministering to their congregations.
If you are a leader in ministry, I highly recommend listening to the talk given by John and Penny Freeman, from the 2008 MercyNet Conference (click on the link below). John Freeman is the president of Harvest USA, a ministry dedicated to equipping the church to transform the lives of those affected by sexual sin.
In this talk John and Penny address a number of hot topics, offering both theological and practical insights:
- Sexual brokenness not only robs Christians of their purity but also robs churches of true joy. The Freemans will talk about the roots and hidden costs of sexual addiction.
- The surrounding culture frequently interprets and shapes our theology more than the Bible. The Freemans address the sensitive subject of homosexuality and ways to approach the subject in the church with compassion and truth.
- Often, as we deal with seriously sexually broken people (sexual addicts, survivors of abuse, etc.), our lack of knowledge may make us hesitant in addressing the crux of the problem; lack of knowledge may make us heavy-handed. The Freemans talk about how to effectively practice honesty and compassion in helping those who are struggling.
- Frequently those who are the most sexually broken hide themselves in the busyness of ministry activity and church work; the Freemans talk about creating a church environment that invites these people to confess their sins.
- The Freemans talk about what it means to create a “healing community” of believers in which “brokenness is normalized,” where people feel free to talk about their messy pasts, where we learn the art of real listening, and where we embrace the “fragile identity” of those who have been rescued by Jesus Christ.