In this episode Jonny and Jeff are joined by their friend Nathan Stob, the Director of Atlas Ministries in their town. Nathan counsels and helps men in their community with all kinds of life issues, including porn addiction. This is a serious discussion of the spiritual silent killer: porn. If you struggle with this, or if you need to help others who struggle, we know this episode will help and encourage you. Maybe you are literally drowning in porn addiction – this episode is for you!
Jeff and Nathan have been friends for about seven years, serving together in non-profit organizations in the same town. They get together for lunch frequently just to talk life and help each other stay on track. In this episode, along with Jonny, they talk about the very sensitive issue of pornography. This is a serious scourge on our society that we are all potentially affected by in one way or another.
Here are some links to places where you can get help. This sin is no respecter of persons or callings. If you are struggling with this, congratulations, you’re human! We know that this podcast episode will help you, and encourage you as you lead in your 200church!
Contacts for the three guys on the podcast:
Links to help you:
Whenever we partner with others, we get help and encouragement to get through our stuff, so, find another pastor, counselor, or close friend whom you trust – and confide in them. Bringing our sin into the light of day drains its power over us! Confess your sins to one another, James says, and you will be healed.
At the end of the podcast, Jeff makes a very heartfelt appeal to you, if you are struggling with pornography and have NO ONE to talk to – call Nathan, Jeff, or Jonny. These guys are all at different stages in life, so call the one closest to your stage. They care and will be glad to talk with you, pray with you, and help you to not journey through this alone.
Jeff is 50 with adult kids, Nathan is 37 with grade school kids, and Jonny is 27 with preschool kids. Email them, get in touch, and begin the process of coming clean! They love pastors of small churches, so remember, if you’re alone – not any more, you have someone to talk to. Once again, here are their email addresses:
This week we are dealing with an issue that brings us grief and pain. Too many 200church pastors, let alone church leaders and members, are embroiled in this every week, some every day. It is a subject that we approach reluctantly, but out of necessity. You want to wear gloves to type about it and take a brain bath after thinking about it. The issue is pornography addiction, and, porn addiction in the church.
Any pastor, male or female, who has spent any amount of time online, has at least accidently crossed paths with online pornography. It might be soft porn, but it’s porn. Too many have viewed site after site, and still others are all-out addicted to it. It is heartbreaking because of the pain, loss, and suffering it causes in too many lives.
This week we are going to talk about this topic, and we hope that it is encouraging to you if you 1) struggle in this area yourself. If you do, welcome to humanity! We hope we can help you find hope, or, 2) have a close friend or family members who struggles with porn. There is an entire industry committed to your potential, current, or ongoing addiction!
Here are some interesting statistics, and again, they are heartbreaking:
Only you can answer the question: “What part does porn play in your life?”
This week on the 200churches Podcast, episode 43, we are going to have a conversation with Nathan Stob, the Director of Atlas Ministries, about pornography and pastors. Nathan is involved in the Sexual Wholeness Task Force, a group of professionals in Sioux County, IA who are committed to working together to reduce the instances of addiction to online pornography in their county.
The Sexual Wholeness Task Force recently gathered community leaders in the areas of counseling, education, law enforcement, and church leadership. They shared their vision of making a difference and discussed the challenges of addressing this pervasive cultural problem in our communities.
We have asked Nathan to talk with us about the problems of porn, the secrets in our society, the dangers to pastors and their families, and the potential hope of overcoming the addiction. This is a really sad podcast for us, around a troubling subject. But it is absolutely necessary for us to talk about this if we are going to move forward in this area of our spiritual commitment.
**The above stats come from this site
I miss the voice of Paul Harvey on the radio, who would say, “Hello Americans, it’s Frrriiiiday.” That one voice went out over the airwaves for 70 years and literally created radio news and commentary. He was one of the most well-known radio men ever at the time of his death in February 2009. Voices are not influential only on radio, but also in the local church.
I’ve heard this “seven people” stat for many years, and recently I read a post by Dr. Jim Meyer that said this: “Regardless of church size, when push comes to shove, most pastors leave a church because of a group of 7-10 individuals.” Having been a pastor for more than 25 years, I can attest to the accuracy of this statistic.
When I am really feeling discouraged and worn out, I intentionally list the people that I feel are working against what I am trying to accomplish in my church. Only once was there more than seven people! It’s usually just a handful of people who are critical, and the vast majority of people are doing just fine. Of course, the smaller your church is, the fewer critical people you need to feel you are being attacked. Wouldn’t it be great if we paid as much attention to the happy and/or quiet people as we do to the complaining and/or critical ones?
Perspective, outlook, and attitude are all so important for us to control as we lead our 200church. Don’t allow yourself to fall under the influence of just a couple of naysayers. It’s important for you to stay focused on the big picture of what God is doing in your church through you.
So, how about you? Are you discouraged today because you feel like a lot of people are against you? Take out a paper and pen and list them. That’s right, scribble down their names. Got more than seven? I doubt it. Now, frame that kind of reality, and allow yourself to feel the affirmation of all of the people in your church who are thankful for you and thrilled you are their pastor. That’s it, now you’re feeling a little better!
Today a member was in my office and did something that was very uncharacteristic – she praised the Lord, our church, and my pastoral ministry! How unusual – people more often stop by to lodge a complaint or “concern.” This lady told me what my ministry in my 200church meant to her and to her family. How encouraging!
If you feel like the walls are closing in around you, get out of your office, take a run or a drive, or just a walk, and feel the sunshine and smell the outdoors. God is bigger than you, your ministry, or the complaints of naysayers. They may even be right, and we need to discern that so that we can learn, but we should not allow complainers to muffle the call of God in our lives to pastor and shepherd God's people.
It only takes 7 people to get you discouraged in your role as a pastor - don't let them! Stay confident, be hopeful, and expect God to work through you. Don't start counting those people until they number 8 - then you can get serious about finding the cause of the raucus!
Next week we talk about the scourge of pornography and its effects on our communities, and even pastors!
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