On Friday night, I spoke to a group of men who are leaders in 180 Ministries. Some work with me at Vineyard Columbus. Others from several churches in the Columbus area, Online Support Team leaders. We were meeting at a camp in Ohio.
Each leader has been asked to bring with them someone they believe can be a future leader in their small groups or Online Support Teams. Some will be in person while others joined us virtually.
I was asked to share my vision for 180 Ministries for 2022. I am thankful that at 4:00 am Friday morning while lying in bed, I believe I received what I believe to be a vision from the Lord. Two words that came to me that is both visionary and missionary.
Think with me for a moment about the pain and suffering that has come from the real pandemic…addiction to porn. Here are the latest statistics I found on the Covenant Eyes website.
28,258 users are watching pornography every second.
$3,075.64 is spent on porn every second on the Internet. And the vast majority on the internet is free…
88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression.
1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography.
We are told that statistics have revealed that 60% of all Christian men are addicted to porn and a growing number of women are becoming addicted as well.
I do not know how reliable those stats are…but here is my statistic that I believe applies to everyone in the civilized world.
100% of all Men and Women must learn to deal with sexual temptation.
Jesus told His disciples that the fields are ripe for harvesting. The context was to motivate His disciples to take the good news of the gospel of God’s love and grace to everyone. He literally says that in Matthew 28 and Acts 1:8. He told them…and us…to go into all the world and make disciples and teaching them what Jesus had taught them.
Now there are churches and organizations that are very good at keeping this command to make disciples. Some focus primarily on sharing the Gospel and helping the lost become found…the blind to see…and those dead in their sins to become alive in Christ.
However, Jesus did not just tell us to reach the lost and get them “saved” and move on to the next lost sheep. That would be like a mother who just gave birth to her child and then leaving the baby on someone’s doorstep, a fire station, or a hospital.
No, the plan is that those who give birth care for that child and provide it with all it needs.
So, the vision that God has given me is two words. When it comes to the task of not only saving the lost but helping those who are saved become disciples…teaching them all that Jesus has taught us. And I would suggest to you that would include helping and teaching those who have become addicted to porn and sex. Yet they are treated as outcasts and exiled from the church because sexual sin seems to be the worst sin any Christian can commit. Here are the two words the Lord woke me up with…
There are millions of Christians living in shame and have experienced the pain of disclosure to their spouse. Marriages have been blown up. Families have been destroyed and these people are seriously hurting.
The fields are white for harvesting…but they are also darkened by sexual sin. It is a stark reality but a reality of shame that any Christian could become addicted to porn…which seems strange since the majority of Christians are using and/or addicted to porn. However, the reaction is to sweep this scandalous news of deep shame under the carpet and pretend it does not exist.
Just this past week we heard the news of about 330,000 children were sexually abused by the French clergy in the Catholic Church over the past 70 years. That is 4714 children a year being sexually abused by their priests.
And in 2019 the Houston Chronicle reported that over the past 20 years there were 700+ victims of sexual abuse by pastors within the Southern Baptist church with 250 pastors and church leaders had actually been charged with sex crimes over the past 20 years. The results of the study were not released by the SBC leadership only adding fuel to the fire.
We have a mission and I have a vision. Never Enough seems to fit since this problem continues to grow. The sexual addict Never has Enough porn to keep them stopping. Addictive behavior always wants more and more and more until your life is destroyed and you are doing things you never thought you would ever do.
And so, we need to understand that this gives us an opportunity to help these men and women who are being consumed by their out-of-control desires for sex and porn. We must find ways to reach more of these lone sheep before they become dead sheep. Since our enemy is like a lion prowling around seeking whom he might destroy…we must find a way to help them.