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Your Church is Opening Up About Struggles with Porn. Now What?

Last Updated: October 28, 2020

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

The youth pastor decides he’s finally going to “get real” about sexual temptation with his youth group. He plans a dynamic presentation for his kids about the dangers of porn and pre-marital sex. He steps before the crowd of eager listeners, equipped with raw stories, humor, Scripture, and and invitation to talk to him afterward if anyone wants to talk about these important issues.

What he isn’t prepared for is the moment when three quarters of the youth group come forward asking for help. With such an overwhelming response, what can he do now?

Christian counselor, Heather Lundy, talks with me about this problem in the church.

Culture of Confession: Only Half the Picture

There’s a lot of talk today in the church about creating a confessional culture, providing an atmosphere where no sin is too taboo, no problem too great, no transgression too deplorable that is can’t be confessed before others. We want our churches to be hospitals for the sexually broken, but that first means we must “disinfect” our churches of needless shame so people feel free to be transparent and “real.”

As critical as this step is—and it is absolutely critical—after you build a disinfected hospital, you need to staff it with competent doctors. A culture of confession is only the first half of what churches need. Once people start openly discussing the real junk of their lives, who’s there to make sense of the junk?

Safe Place. Safe Process.

James Reeves, senior pastor of Celebration Fellowship in Fort Worth, states, “The church has to be a safe place for people to tell their secrets and has to have a safe process for people to experience emotional and spiritual healing.” This means having a strategy of discipleship, counseling, mentoring, and accountability.

Read more about this safe process: “Fight Porn in Your Church: What Works and Why it Matters.”

  • Comments on: Your Church is Opening Up About Struggles with Porn. Now What?
    1. Jen on

      i was glad to find this video and am planning to subscribe for this service, but I was very disturbed that when I clicked to watch this video in full on youtube, there was all manners of porn videos on the side to click on. do you have any control over that? would that be blocked out by the cov.eyes service? curious and concerned. i don’t want to share the video with others because of the side content.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        YouTube controls all of that. If you embed the video on your own website (like we did) you can choose to not see related videos in the embedded video player. Of course, people could still click on the video title, taking them to YouTube itself.

        As for rating YouTube, generally speaking the site is rated T for Teen, unless a specific video is rated higher. You can set your Filter to either block all Teen sites (and above), or you can set your Filter to always block the YouTube.com domain.

    2. Marilyn on

      Thank you for this article and booklet “Fight Porn in Your Church”. I have read it several times now as I look for a church to help our family heal. And I have ordered Dr. Reeves workbook “Life Change for Couples” and book “Refuge”. Even though Dr. Reeves was quoted several times, he is not listed on the Resources page. I wonder if that was just an oversight, as the Freedom Groups City On a Hill (previously Celebration Fellowship) sound like they are instrumental on the path to becoming a true believer/follower in Christ.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Good thought, Marilyn. In my private conversations with Dr. Reeves his specific resources didn’t really come up, but that was several years ago now. Perhaps the document needs to be updated.

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