Higher Ground Men's Conference

22
Jul

Until we become agents of grace, addictions will thrive beneath a culture of secrecy

17-HG-WebBanner-400x400As a part of Higher Ground’s ongoing mission to encourage and equip men of all ages to win the battle for integrity, we’re encouraging our community to listen to Paula Hall’s recent TedTalk (15-minutes) about the reality of sex addiction in our culture and what we can do about it, even if we don’t suffer from it ourselves. Hall is a leading psychotherapist in the United Kingdom, and recognized as the UK’s leading expert on sex and pornography addiction.

“Sex addiction thrives in secrecy and shame and until we as society can begin to talk about it openly and without judgment the problem is going to continue to grow,” said Hall. To people of faith, Hall’s words are an acute reminder that churches must continue to evolve into communities of grace, encouraging men and women to come out of the shame game – out of the secrecy of addiction – and instead “spiral up” into God’s healing grace for true recovery and life change.

According to the 2016 Barna study “The Porn Phenomenon,” there is a twin reality – “the ubiquity of porn today and the unwillingness or inability of local Christian communities to talk about it—has precipitated a crisis the Church can no longer afford to ignore.”

Yet there are huge disconnects to this needed conversation. According to the Barna study, 70% of all Christian senior pastors believe that porn is a much bigger issue today than it was just 20 years ago, but only 35% of those same pastors surveyed believe it’s a major problem floating just beneath the surface of their own church.  Only 7 percent of their churches has a ministry program for those struggling with porn.

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Graph from 2016 Barna study “The Porn Phenomenon”

Also, as 70% or more of practicing Christians surveyed said that a pastor found using porn should be fired or otherwise sent on a leave of absence, is it any wonder struggling pastors might be inclined to hide their addiction at all costs?

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Steve Parsons, Men’s Ministry Pastor, Westminster Chapel

As an encouragement to developing our own ability to receive and give God’s grace, below we’ve provided the audio of one Higher Ground’s most highly-attended and highly-rated breakout sessions from the past two years: Spiraling Up: Opening the Door For Grace, Instead of Sin Management, to Change Us, by Westminster Chapel Men’s Ministry Pastor Steve Parsons. In this inspiring session, Steve breaks down the false truth of trying to heal by our own strength.

“Because of the culture we have been raised in, we try to fix (things) by our own strength… All I have to do is get the right solution, then I’ll gut it out and muscle through it and then I’ll have success. And, if it doesn’t work, I’ll carry shame. And, in my shame, I certainly am not going to tell anyone about it.

“I would pose to you that God never intended for you to be successful apart from Him.”

Listen to: Spiraling Up

17-HG-Logo-for-Social-MediaThe 2017 Higher Ground Men’s Conference is Saturday, February 25th at Westminster Chapel, Bellevue, WA.

Attendees can choose from more than 20 in-depth breakout sessions facilitated by leading psychologists, pastors and thought leaders on topics of sexual brokenness and recovery, fatherhood and parenting, spiritual authenticity, biblical manhood, and being agents of social justice in regard to poverty and the sex trade. Special tracts available for teens and young adult men.

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