This post is the fourth and final in a four-part series on “Preparing Leaders for Battling Porn in the Church” and is adapted from an internal message that was sent out to all of our Gospel Community (GC) Leaders (men only) a week prior to me preaching on “Lust and the Christian Life.”
Because of all of the above, I want you to be prepared. Here’s how.
- Pray – Pray for me and protection for me as I seek preach God’s Word in this area. It’s literally going to be impossible for me to cover every little thing that needs to be covered in a single sermon, so pray that the Holy Spirit will take my measly attempt to hit this issue and flame it into a fire. Pray for yourself and fellow GC Leaders. Pray for the men of 2 Pillars – for freedom over this area of sin.
- Confess your sin – You cannot realistically be prepared to help anyone else until you’ve done business yourself with God. Confess this to others. Again, if you struggle with this, I want to talk with you – before your GC meets next week.
- Read – I’ve attached two articles (three links since one is split into two parts) I want each of you to read which will help you gospel yourself, and also gospel others. These articles lay a biblical foundation for counseling regarding lust, porn, and masturbation. Read “When the Problem is Sexual” first, then the two-part “Breaking Pornography Addiction” article after that. These are short, you can probably get through them all in 30 minutes. I encourage you to try to do so before Sunday morning.
As of now, we are planning to print and hand out to every single man a copy of Driscoll’s Porn Again Christian booklet on Sunday morning. I’ve attached that here (the fourth link) in case you want to get an early start on it. Warning: while the sermon content is rated PG-13, this little e-book is closer to an R rating (due to the graphic nature of some of the language used). The book’s subtitle is, “A Frank Discussion on Pornography and Masturbation.” It is just that. Frank. It is written by a man for men and therefore contains more of a locker room feel and tone than a book meant for a mixed readership. While that may turn some off, I have found it extremely helpful and more practical and specific than any other resource you’ll find on the topic.
Finally, Tim Challies has written a great little book called Sexual Detox which is probably the best on the subject. I entreat you to get a copy and digest it for the sake of your soul and the souls of those you’re leading. It has questions at the end of each short chapter and makes an excellent resource that you can use to walk through these issues with other men who are struggling.
All of these resources will be compiled and pointed to in the Sermon Resource Guide this week so that you can easily point others to them as well.
Praying that we would stand together against this, men. Praying that we would stand by each other in this as well.
Grace, peace, and cheers,
This post is the third in a four-part series on “Preparing Leaders for Battling Porn in the Church” and is adapted from an internal message that was sent out to all of our Gospel Community (GC) Leaders (men only) a week prior to me preaching on “Lust and the Christian Life.”
5. Prepare yourself. On Sunday morning one of the biggest things I’m praying for is that as a church we would take the lid off this can of worms that no one really wants to talk about. When the lid stays on and the topic remains taboo, Satan wins. He loves that churches don’t talk about these things on a regular basis. He loves that men are too scared to admit sin in this area. We want to be a church that takes the lid off of this, spreads the worms out on the table, and begin dealing with them. All of this means, you need to be prepared. My expectation is that after Sunday, you’re going to be faced with multiple men in your GC who are looking for help in this area.
I have spoken with men that span the gammit on this issue. I know there are men who are trapped in this sin who have never talked about it to anyone. I have personally spoken with men in our church who confess this as sin and are struggling to make any progress. I have spoken to men who have confessed it and are making progress against it, getting open with others, seeking accountability and heart change. I have also spoken with men who are married struggling with this, struggling with children who are struggling with this, and one man who came up to me after a sermon once and flat out told me “I’m addicted and I cannot stop and it’s killing my marriage and I need help.”
These men are in your GCs. I know them by name. Some of them you know by name. You need to prepare yourself.
To be continued…
This post is the second in a four-part series on “Preparing Leaders for Battling Porn in the Church” and is adapted from an internal message that was sent out to all of our Gospel Community (GC) Leaders (men only) a week prior to me preaching on “Lust and the Christian Life.”
3. If this is an issue for you, I want to talk about it with you. Again, I know you’re not immune, I know you’re not sinless, but if this is an issue for you, we (me and you) need to talk. Send me a message and say you want to talk about this.
4. If you are battling lust, porn, and/or masturbation, you will not be automatically disqualified as a GC Leader. You need to hear that because I don’t want you to hide out because you’re afraid of being found out or afraid of losing your role. With that said, habitual sin must be addressed. As a leader, Hebrews 13:7 points to the fact that others are imitating you. That ought to scare the ba-jeebers out of you. Other men are actually looking at your life and saying, “I want to be that kind of a man.” If you are trapped in habitual sin, we may need to have you step down as a GC Leader for a season to address your sin. The reason is simple, we need men leading GCs who, if given to sin in this area, are making progress – men who are being progressively sanctified and waging war in this area. You are leading others which means you need to be seriously concerned about the state of your own heart. If you’re stuck, I love you too much for you to remain stuck. You don’t have to put on a fake spirituality for the sake of your role. How “habitual” is defined is gray. That’s why we need to meet and talk.
To be continued…
This post is the first in a four-part series on “Preparing Leaders for Battling Porn in the Church.” This series is a slightly modified and adapted version of an internal message that was sent out to all of our Gospel Community (GC) Leaders (men only) a week prior to me preaching on “Lust and the Christian Life” in our current sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. You can catch the audio of that sermon HERE if you are interested. The internal message to our leaders is being re-posted here with a desire to serve the greater Church in battling against the problem of lust, pornography, and masturbation in the local church.
GC Leader Men,
As I continue to prayerfully prepare for this week’s sermon on lust, I am continually being challenged. The issue of lust, porn, and masturbation is a huge one. If I had a dime for every man in 2 Pillars that I’ve talked to about these issues, I’d have a couple of bucks… and we’re not that big of a church… and most men aren’t talking about it.
As I have prayed and sought wisdom from God, he has placed on my heart a few things that I feel need to be shared specifically with you men as you are placed in a role to lead other men.
1. I know you’re not immune. You need to hear that and I want you to hear that before Sunday morning. I know you are not immune from the temptations that come regarding lust, porn, and masturbation. You are not perfect. I don’t expect you to be perfect. I’m not perfect or immune either. Nearly all of you have heard me talk about my own struggles – especially during my college years. Those images, that damage, those consequences for my sin – they do not simply or instantly go away. I am still dealing with the effects of all of that. By God’s grace, he has progressively (and painfully) sanctified me a ton in this area – but I’m still not perfect. I’m not immune. And neither are you.
2. Lust is a sin, viewing pornography is a sin, and masturbating is almost always a sin. I will establish all of this on Sunday morning but I want there to be no room for lack of clarity here. Most everyone will agree with the first two (even if they still lust and view porn). The last one (masturbating) seems to be the one that people will try to create all kinds of janky and creative paths around to excuse their sin. Masturbating is almost always sin. I carefully say “almost always” because I suppose you can make some argument that within the union of marriage there is freedom of expression of sexual desires given that both partners are present and comfortable with the act. You need to know this because we need to call sin, “sin.” If you don’t agree with this point (and if I don’t convince you on Sunday morning), we need to talk. Send me a message and let’s set up a time. This is an important issue for us to agree on because you are a leader of other men under the umbrella of 2 Pillars Church. We must be united on this.
To be continued….