As we continue to share our passion for fighting pornography within the Church, a specific area of need has come to our attention. Many Christian adults become addicted to pornography, but what about kids in the Church? How is the Church reaching minors and their families, both to fight addiction or simply prevent it from entering the home in the first place?
To address this, we have written a new ebook. We already have content written for parents and their kids, so this new resource is written to help pastors and church leaders. It reviews the basic stats about child porn use, but it also offers wisdom on reaching the family unit through church-wide initiatives, policies, and messaging.
The following is an excerpt from this new ebook: Protecting Minors and Their Families.
Jessica was 14 and on dial-up when she started using pornography.[i] Crystal was 10 when she found her brother’s porn magazine.[ii] Both were good girls—model church leaders, in fact—and yet they found themselves deep in addiction that lasted well into adulthood.
Their stories are the rule, not the exception, even among church kids. A 2016 study by the Barna Group found that, among practicing Christians age 13-24, 41% of boys and 13% of girls look at porn regularly.[iii] If your youth group is comprised of 10 boys and 10 girls, that means it’s statistically likely that four of the boys and one girl seek out porn at least occasionally. Even more of them will come across it accidentally. And the rates are even higher for unchurched teens.
It is particularly important to remember that these are minors. These are people of a vulnerable age with developing brains. In the eyes of the law, you have particular legal responsibilities and precautions to take while working with them. As such, this Guidebook will primarily use the term “minors” to describe anyone under the age of 18 who you work with directly—an unusual term for Covenant Eyes to use in our writing, but an important one to remind you of legal responsibilities.
These statistics and legal requirements show that it is vital for your church to be prepared to help the families in your ministry. Some of your work will be preventative: prepared families can reduce the risk of pornography becoming an issue. Some of it will be in recovery, helping repentant (and unrepentant) minors find healing.
It will not be an easy road to become a church where porn users find safety and healing. That’s why Covenant Eyes has created a series of Ministry Leader Guidebooks covering a breadth of topics on pornography, including helping female porn users and counseling wives who have discovered that their husband uses porn. Similarly, this book is designed to provide a high-level overview of the impacts of porn on developing minds and offer action steps to educate your families and train your leaders.
[i] Harris, Jessica, Beggar’s Daughter (self-pub., 2016), p. 39.
[ii] Renaud-Day, Crystal and Eldred, Lisa, New Fruit (Covenant Eyes, Owosso, MI, 2020), p. 7.
[iii] The Barna Group, The Porn Phenomenon (The Barna Group, Ventura, CA, 2016), p. 33.
Ever since I came to know Christ and started taking my relationship with the Lord serious he helped me see the damage this sin was doing in my life. However, I am saddened by the silence coming from the church around the issue of pornography. This sin is probably one of the least addressed sin in pulpits. I don’t mean to minimize other sins or addictions, but the accessibility of this sin makes it one of the hardest to quit, if not number 1.
The damage children have to go through seeing this stuff at a young age is so disturbing. The question is not if your child has seen this stuff or if your child is even the type to look at that stuff, the real question is HOW will your child react when he encounters this, and HOW will you take action to talk to him/her once this happens. It comes to a point you have to talk to your child about this before they spend their entire teenage/adolescent age looking at pornography. In every church we need bible study or gatherings for men and women, that talk about addressing our culture, how to deal with exposure to pornography, and how to walk in freedom from this sin .
I appreciate this website for encouraging accountability as it has helped me and my friends win against the fight of pornography. However, personal relationship with Jesus is really the key, but accountability helps reduce the burden, and helps you stay encouraged.