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How Churches Can Be a Safe Place For Sexual Strugglers

September 29, 2009

Today’s guest blogger, Cynthia Mann is Director of Counseling at The Summit Church in Raleigh / Durham, NC .  She also oversees the Celebrate Recovery ministry and works with individuals and couples with all types of addictions, including pornography.  


Q:  What things can a church do to create a safe environment to talk about sexual struggles and sexual addiction?

Faithfully preach Scripture…Scripture abounds with passages that address sex.  Sex is a part of life, we see it celebrated (Song of Solomon), we see warnings against sexual sin (think proverbs and parts of the epistles), but most importantly, we see real biblical characters often falling into sexual sin (one of the most powerful and hope-giving of which is David).  The story is not just about their sin, but about their restoration and redemption before a just, loving father. 


Be a place where it is safe to be a sinner.  In other words, not a place where a mask of perfection is required.  One of the ministries of our church, Celebrate Recovery often uses the phrase, “We’re all one of those people.”  In other words, one of those imperfect, struggling sinners in need of redemption.  Once we become comfortable with the fact that we are sinners, we are able to address specific sins such as sexual sin.


Create specific and personal opportunities for a discussion of sexual sin.  Small groups are an ideal setting for this.  This is certainly easier in gender specific groups, but can be done in coed groups.  It is sometimes best and more appropriate to split up into men and women so that each group can be comfortably frank in their conversation and confession, but there are times when couples can be of great ministry to other couples by sharing their story in a mixed group. 


On tomorrow’s blog, Cynthia answers the question: “What are the right and wrong things a church can do to help a person with sexual sin?”


Q:  What would you add?
Q:  How is the environment at your church?

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One Comment
  1. September 30, 2009 12:59 pm

    Great post! If you liked this, you would probably love the conversation I had with John Freeman of Harvest USA –

    Thanks, Cynthia, for the work you do!

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