God is my Director

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Archive for November 29th, 2006

Amazing thing at Eastbourne (1 of 2)

Posted by Martin on November 29, 2006

Youthwork the Conference 2006I mentioned last week that, after I’d had time to inwardly digest a little, I would post something about my experiences as a speaker. There were two really significant things that happened, and I’d love to share them with you. Here’s the first – the second is coming soon.

I was presenting a seminar that was generally about the impact of sex in youth culture, but I’d always wanted to end it with a more focused time looking at the issue of pornography. More than that though – I also felt it was important to tackle head on the thorny subject of pornography addiction among Christian leaders, and specifically youth leaders. I’d done this at Southport, and though it had gone well, I hadn’t provided a middle-ground in terms of a response mechanism. My stats suggested that half the room would struggle with this issue, so I knew that there would be many looking to make some kind of first-step response. However, I only gave the audience two methods of response – they could either write down a helpful web address and visit it later OR they could brave coming to the front for prayer, which, considering the subject matter, would require a brave person indeed.

So I’m sitting there at Eastbourne, knowing that it hadn’t quite worked out the previous weekend, and searching for a middle ground. I’m just about to get up to speak, and then this idea hits me.

I presented the first two response mechanisms, as before, but then added a third. ‘In a moment,’ I said, ‘I’d like everyone to stand. Only you will know why you’re standing however. You may be standing as a response to God, saying “I want you to help me with this problem, because I can’t get past it on my own”, or you may be standing because you want to show solidarity for your brothers and sisters who struggle in this area. Only you will know which it is.’

Everybody stood, and we had the most incredible moment of Christian community. I would honestly say it was the most ‘kingdom’ moment I’ve ever experienced. Some people were giving this big issue to God, some people were just supporting them. But we all stood together. You could practically see Jesus right there in the room.

It lasted little more than a minute, as I prayed a brief prayer and blessing. Then it was the end of the session. I was surprised to find, even after that, a number of people looking to recieve personal prayer at the front, and I had some tremendous conversation.

The story doesn’t end there though – the next day, someone handed me a note, which someone else had handed to them. I don’t want to betray this person’s trust, but the note said that she was a victim of abuse from a person who had suffered from a serious pornography addiction. She thanked us for tacking this issue head on, and for offering people an opportunity to begin to deal with it. Her prayer was that it might stop someone from getting to the point which her abuser got to, and found enormous comfort in that thought. Quite honestly, it moved me to tears to read her words.

[Just in case it helps anyone – here are the links which I suggested for those people who were looking for help with an internet pornography addiction]

www.blazinggrace.org – statistics and help – a whole ministry to support those struggling with pornography addiction – including podcasts!

Integrity filtering: this is software which will allow you to block sexual content online.And if you’re really serious…

www.covenanteyes.com – Accountability software – also a free version, with more limited features, is available at www.xxxchurch.com

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