Does anyone else ever get tired of seeing pastors or churches blow up in sex or pornography scandals? I don’t say this to bash those who have fallen. In fact, my heart goes out to them. I say this because as a Christian and pastor, I find it discouraging.
Not because I think Christians shouldn’t ever screw up.
Not because these situations make us the butt end of a joke.
Not even because we look like hypocrites.
I get discouraged because, quite honestly, these situations could have often been avoided if pastors and leaders took a more serious stance on pornography issues in their own churches.
It’s like they invite problems by their inaction and indecision.
So, with that in mind, I thought I would lay out an 8-point plan to make sure porn becomes a major issue in your church. Listen, if you want to see your church ravaged by a sex or porn scandal, then follow this plan and you are well on your way.
1. Don’t ever talk about it.
Don’t mention it. Don’t discuss it in your small groups. Basically act like it just isn’t happening. This helps people feel more at ease while avoiding the uncomfortable side effects of conviction.
2. If you do talk about it, be generic.
When you do have to refer to pornography or sex addiction use the general terms “addictions” or maybe “strongholds” if you want to sound super spiritual. Never specify the type of addiction!
This should always be avoided at all costs, otherwise, someone may feel singled out and motivated to do something about his or her issues. It is much easier to deflect if you keep the conversation broad and non-specific.
3. Never preach on the topic!
This is a big one. Preaching about sexual sin (particularly pornography) will only cause your congregation great distress. If you do feel the need to preach on more controversial topics tackle something like stewardship or prosperous living – that’s cutting edge.
Keep it upbeat and don’t dwell on the reality of broken lives and marriages. Nobody likes a “Debbie downer” sermon.
4. Don’t offer any resources dealing with these issues.
Let’s face it; if you don’t offer solutions, then people can keep ignoring the problem. Stick with Bibles, Hillsong CDs, and DVD packs of your last sermon series. You are much better off keeping with the basics.
5. Keep people isolated.
Don’t offer a recovery or support program for people dealing with sex or porn addiction. Porn addiction is a lonely road. Better to let those people suffer in silence rather than giving them some real support.
6. Throw the widest net possible.
If you are going to start some sort of accountability or support group then keep it very general. Trust me, a person who’s spending his life savings on escorts and strippers will feel far more comfortable talking about it with people who have never experienced the same problems. May I even suggest keeping it co-ed so everybody can join in on the fun!
7. Don’t insist that your leaders follow any sort of accountability practices.
Leaders are in short supply, so why stretch yourselves any further by discovering that a key member of your team is deep in sexual addiction, requiring them to temporarily step down and get some help. Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough about their problems when it goes public in the news.
8. Delay, delay, delay.
Lastly, if someone in your church or even outside your church approaches you about tackling sexual sin more aggressively smoothly sidestep the issue with statements like: “It’s not the right season” or “That’s a good point but right now we are focused on strengthening our Sunday school program.” (Let’s be honest – the only person who would argue with that second one must hate kids.)
If they are really persistent and won’t go away, you can always resort to labeling them a critic or naysayer and question their loyalty to God’s house. You know, make it about their dissatisfaction and not your lack of action.
So there you go. Eight can’t-miss ways to make sure porn or sex becomes a real issue in your church.
It’s actually pretty easy.
The key is DO NOTHING.
Carl Thomas is an ordained pastor, Nationally Certified Neuro Health Coach, online workshop instructor, former COO of XXXchurch.com, and creator of the Live Free Community App. Carl’s passion for helping individuals find freedom, peace, and purpose is only matched by his love for his family, Philadelphia sports teams, and his white Jeep Wrangler. You can learn more about Carl and watch his testimony video HERE.