Let’s Talk About Sex!

Let’s Talk About Sex!

Every pastor I know has a story to tell of somebody they know and/or knew in the ministry who has fallen foul of sexual infidelity or some sort of deep seated, habitual sexual sin. I have been a pastor for 13 years and I can tell you from personal experience that I am counselling more men than ever before on pornography issues. Many of us in ministry will read that last sentence with a wry shake of the head and think, wrongly, ‘that will never happen to me.’

Every church planter, scrap that, every Christian man must, in these days, take this subject so seriously and have a battle plan on the go if he is to (1) stand against temptation and (2) be able to offer consistent, biblical advice with integrity. So, how do we guard ourselves against the menace of pornography and sexual infidelity? Here are a few pointers:

1. Don’t underplay how deceitful we are. Our hearts are, as the Bible warns us, ‘deceitfully wicked.’ We are masters at self denial and self delusion. We need to fess up to that at the outset. What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 10v12? ‘Take heed he who thinks he stands, lest he should fall.’ We are weak, we are sinful, we are facing constant temptation and we must be on our guard against an enemy constantly on ‘the prowl.’

2. Have a plan to safeguard yourself. Proverbs 16:17 reminds us: ‘The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.’ Personally, I never counsel a member of the opposite sex, ever. End of! Disagree with that if you like. I don’t care. It is my number 1 golden rule. I never give women lifts on my own. I never have women in my home when I am on my own and I never have women in my office at work on my own without the door open and my team mates aware of the meeting. Why? Because I am some  sort of Lynx wearing babe magnet? No. Because I know myself and I am only ever one slip up away from ruining my witness, my life, my marriage and my ministry.

3. Have accountability in the area. This is a big one in our day and age. We must have people in our lives who are asking us the hard questions, particularly if we do have issues. Who do you have in your life who is asking you the hard questions in this area?

4. Never forget that we are at war! There is a spiritual battle constantly raging all around us. The enemy never has a day off. We don’t have the luxury of taking a breather in the battle.

5. Never forget we have Jesus! 1 John 4:4 holds out the promise that ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’.

Of course, there is so much more to write on this topic. These are merely some pointers. What our country needs more than ever are less young planters with grandiose plans and more young planting men with godly integrity. Our holiness is more important to the Lord than anything else. Below are some helpful resources.

Covenant Eyes is a website I encourage men to use if they have issues with porn on their computers. They have also produced a really helpful (and free) E-Book here on internet pornography. Download it here.

The Resurgence website has a free E-book (downloadable as a pdf) and lots of articles on everything from masturbation to prostitution. You can find their material here.

9 Comments

    Chris

    Thanks Mez, useful thoughts as ever. The resources should prove helpful, as I am relatively regularly asked by the young men at our youth group ‘how far is too far?’ ‘is masturbation wrong?’… Take care fella

    Laura Anne

    There’s actually a conference today in Glasgow that’s looking into how we minister to church leaders and people within church struggling with pornography addiction. You might want to check out ‘Dirty Girl Ministries’ – set up by a lovely woman called Crystal Renaud – it’s not only men that struggle with pornography.

      mezmcconnell

      Thanks…this is primarily a blog for male church planters in housing schemes…I speak to those particular issues so I obviously can’t include everything..thanks for reading a.d taking the time to comment though

        Laura Anne

        Hi. Sorry realise my comment might have been misleading as the conference was for church leaders by CARE and Living Waters and you might have thought it was a conference being run by Dirty Girl Ministries. Here’s some of the details I was sent about it through my work.

        “The intention of the False Intimacy day conference on 24th November is to help and equip church leaders and others involved in pastoral care to be able to respond effectively to someone who discloses their dependence on internet pornography.

        False Intimacy is being run by CARE for Scotland in collaboration with Living Waters, an organisation dedicated to offering hope, help and grace in the area of sexual and personal relations.

        Full details at http://www.care.org.uk/falseintimacy

        Dirty Girl Ministries is something separate, that I mentioned just because I thought that as a church leader who is aware of these issues going on amongst the men, that it might be useful to know about because you may come across women struggling with similar issues. (I know you would not counsel them yourself, but I’m more imagining a scenario where women in your church may wish to know resources to help other women? Does that make sense?)

        Thank you for taking the time on your blog to talk about these issues. It’s really refreshing to see. I sometimes feel like I’m facing a constant battle to encourage church leaders to talk about these issues and be equipped to safeguard themselves, and support/counsel others in healing from addiction & safeguarding themselves as well.

        My friend (a male church planter/pastor) when going on speaking engagements takes a friend/spouse with him OR stays with a family rather than in a hotel as a way of safeguarding himself and his marriage. I also know that some of my friends ensure that their spouses know all their online passwords for transparency.

    […] McConnell, but I’ve appreciated his writing since I stumbled on his blog a few months back.  Yesterday he wrote about moral purity, particularly for men.  I strongly encourage you to read it, and […]

    Paul

    We live in a super saturated sex society. We are constantly bombarded with words and images of nudity and erotica through every means of communication. Its a wonder anyone survives unscathed.
    Yet, our Lord expects us to be pure, and has grace sufficient for every temptation.

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