When someone mentions missions, there are usually a few thoughts that come to mind:
- Raising funds
- Long plane rides
- Songs in other languages
- Funny food
Perhaps that is a shallow misrepresentation of how some people view missions. For many, though, it is a sad reality. Missions is nothing more than travel—with a little Jesus.
But if we see sexual brokenness as the mission field of the 21st century, then our involvement must take on a new approach. From fundraisers to local missions trips with groups like IJM, to leadership training, to counseling, the abilities to plug in to this fight are many.
Here are five ways to be “in the field” without long plane rides and fried crickets.
1. Serve at your local crisis pregnancy center
If you want to find sexually broken women, look no further. I served as a crisis pregnancy counselor for two years. The stories I heard and the women I met completely revolutionized how I approach the topic of abortion. It is easy to hide behind signs, sign petitions and go on marches. If you really want to be on the front lines, though, give of your time to sit across from these women and share the love of Christ with them. They are the scared and sexually broken in our midst- victims of gang violence, rape, and incest. Let the fight have a face. Let it have a story.
If the thought of counseling these women is unsettling, then see how else you can plug in. These centers are ministries and often have many needs. The center where I served had men who came in and sat in our waiting room just to keep the female counselors and clients safe.
2. Protect your home
A fire can only grow if it continues to have fuel. If it runs out of stuff to burn, it dies. The fire of pornography rages on, feeding off young minds. Those young minds then may grow into men and women who perform pornography or contribute to human trafficking.
The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11. What are you doing to protect your family? Restrict their internet access. Move the computer to a family room. Install software like Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability; the family plan pricing makes it easy to protect your family for just cents a day.
Protect them also by educating them. Educate them about what is an is not appropriate online. Share with them God’s plan for sex and help them know what to do if they see something wrong at school, at church, or at camp. Teach your teenagers about the harmful affects of pornography and about the reality of things like human trafficking.
3. Accountability in your church
One of the most crucial missing elements in ministry to the sexually broken is accountability. Talk with your church leaders about starting up a Bible study/accountability group for sexually broken in your church. If you are a man, offer to help with the men. If you are a woman, offer to help the women. I highly recommend using the resources from Harvest USA: Sexual Sanity for Men and Sexual Sanity for Women.
4. Advocate in your community
Ignorance is bliss. In America we have this very “American” way of viewing things: “If it does not affect me, it does not matter.” We have it backwards. The reality is that the plight of the victims of human trafficking around the world does matter. Therefore, it should affect you. The devastation of pornography to men, to women, to children, to marriages does matter so it should affect you. We cannot sit back and be silent. We must be a voice, an advocate.
5. Share your story
This one always scares people. Here is what I am not telling you to do. I am not telling you to ask to go up to church on a Sunday morning and share your struggle of sexual sin with the entire congregation. I am not telling you to launch a website, or record a YouTube video where you tell the world what you have done. Obviously, I am not opposed to either of those.
However, our stories have the most significant impact when they are shared personally with the people who need them. Do you have a story of sexual brokenness? Maybe you committed adultery, struggled with pornography, performed in pornography. Maybe you are a survivor of someone else’s choices- rape, sexual abuse, pornography use, affairs, etc. Whatever your story, be willing to let God use it. One day there may be that one person who just wants to know they are not alone. There is healing found in honesty.
Photo credit: laracores