Passing on this email I received with some staggering statistics and hope.
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Countless people are bound by the struggle of sexual addiction with no visible way out. God is answering the cry of men and women who have tried unsuccessfully to build a life of sexual purity. He is using Pure Desire (PD) to educate and mobilize church leaders to facilitate hope and freedom from sexual addiction, through the development of healing ministries. At Pure Desire our vision is to partner with Jesus in healing the Christian church of sex addiction through the creation, publication, and distribution of healing resources; delivery of pastoral care and education to thousands across denominational borders; and development of a global network of Pure Desire group facilitators.
I am convinced that if the church does not address and get free from the bondage of sex addiction, it will not experience true revival.
In 2007 when Diane and I responded to God’s prompting to educate and equip the church to address and conquer the problem of sex addiction and I stepped away from my role as Senior Pastor at East Hill Church, there was no way to know that Pure Desire would grow to be what it is today. Though the reluctance of the church to admit and address the issue has been a primary roadblock, God is leading the charge and we are having an impact on the problem of sex addiction and the family systems issues that accompany addictive behavior.
In addition, PD has developed an opt-in program, which is a comprehensive approach to educate, evaluate, and restore church leaders. The POW Program was designed as a proactive approach to pastoral care through partnerships with church denominations, districts, and para-church organizations to avoid catastrophic events related to sexual moral failure. Through this program, pastors and church leaders experience support, healing, and restoration.
PD has also made significant inroads for the care and treatment of those with sexual addiction in the church. Approximately 95% of the clients who complete the PD outpatient clinical treatment program (a one-year program) experience recovery from sex addiction and restoration in multiple areas of their lives. I can tell you hundreds of stories—you can read some of them here—of men and women whose lives have been redeemed by Jesus through the ministry of Pure Desire. In the last four years, we have seen exceptional growth.
Still, there is much work to be done:
58% of evangelical pastors are struggling with sex and/or porn addiction.
50% of all Christian men and 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography.
30% of pastors report they have had an affair or a sexual encounter with a parishioner.
68-70% of Christian men are unable to stop unwanted sexual behavior.
25-30% of Christian women struggle with sexual dependency issues.
When the Lord directed Diane and I into full-time ministry with Pure Desire, it never occurred to me that God’s goodness could be displayed in my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The daily process of physical therapy has not only allowed me to manage the effects of Parkinson’s without physical limitations, but has also blessed me with a constant reminder of my dependence on Christ. My condition has given me the gift of awareness: I must trust God with everything—at all times—and I’m not alone in this battle. I am seeing God work in ways I never could have imagined. God has provided Pure Desire with an amazing staff, executive team, and Board of Directors. I trust them completely as we work to assure the long-term sustainability, growth, and healing influence of Pure Desire.
One mark of a leader is the foresight to think about what’s next before they have to. There’s a saying in the US Marine Corps that is used during battle: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re dead.” The same can be said about planning for succession. I want to be an effective leader: to plan ahead for the time when I can no longer lead as the primary visionary and prayerfully prepare for that day.
Transition is a process, not an event. At Pure Desire, we are planning for succession now. I want to lead in a way that will build long-term health and growth for the ministry of Pure Desire. The PD Board of Directors is working to develop a transition model with that goal in mind. But, I need your help. You are receiving this letter because you, or someone you love, have been personally impacted by the ministry of Pure Desire. You understand, first hand, the harmful impact of sexual addiction and are willing to engage in the fight for healthy sexuality in the home and in the church. You are an essential part of the ongoing ministry of Pure Desire.
Would you help me leave a lasting legacy by making a major donation to Pure Desire today? Will you partner with me to expand the Executive Team? This will provide strong leadership during this time of succession? NOW is the time that your partnership and support will make the greatest impact.
Some of you may be able to give $25, $125, or $225. Some may be able to give $500, $1,000, or more. In a culture that’s gone crazy sexually, the church must have solid, relevant truth that offers real hope. God is using Pure Desire to provide His church with hope, healing, and restoration. TODAY, please use this link to Pure Desire’s donate page, and help me leave a powerful legacy.
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (ESV)
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Sources for statistics:
Rick Warren – http://www.pastors.com ministry toolkit 2006 Summer edition
ChristiaNet, Inc., “ChristiaNet finds that evangelicals are addicted to porn.” MarketWired, Aug. 7, 2006.
http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/christianet-poll-finds-that-evangelicals-are-addicted-toporn-703951.htm (accessed February 29, 2016).
2007 (research 1989-2006) R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Francis A. Shaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development
Ongoing study collected by Pure Desire Ministries Intl. 2009 to present. Participants of study completing SAST – R V2.0 © 2008, P. J. Carnes, Sexual Addiction Screening Test – Revised.
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