Starting a Sex Addiction Recovery Ministry in Your Church
The heartbeat of our mission at Prodigals International is to come alongside and empower churches to start sexual addiction recovery ministries. Our prayer is that your church will become a safe place where impacted brothers and sisters – and their families- will find healing and restoration from the pain caused by this addiction.
The escalating statistics are shouting that the tidal wave of pain will only get bigger in the years ahead. We can’t afford to wait. We need your help to establish more outposts of healing throughout the Christian community.
What you need to know to get started
- Pastoral Support
- Without the endorsement and active support of a senior-level pastor, recovery ministries rarely flourish. Historically, men and women remain in bondage to this ‘secret sin’ is because we’ve been hesitant to address it from the pulpit. According to the 2016 Barna study The Porn Phenomenon, “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 beneath the surface of their own church. Only 7% of their churches has a ministry program for those struggling with porn.”
- Prodigals International has found that when the senior pastor takes the issue of sexual addiction out of the plain brown wrapper and lets people know that help is available, the recovery ministry flourishes.
- Dedicated Recovery Group
- Recovering sex addicts need their own group to feel safe enough to be authentic in their pain. The shame factor is simply too great to address the subject unless all others in the group are willing to own the same problem. However, you can incorporate Homecoming Recovery Groups into existing Celebrate Recovery or other Christ-centered 12-step Groups. They key is to break out into addiction-specific groups for the personal sharing portion of the meeting.
- Separate Groups for Men and Women
- Because of the high risk of shame preventing anyone from seeking out a sex addiction recovery group, it is imperative that men and women have separate groups, with separate gender-related mentor leaders. While sex addicts ultimately need to learn to relate in healthy ways to the opposite sex, early recovery is not the time to do it. Also, the presence of the opposite sex in a group can provoke a strong negative reaction from the spouses of addicts, undermining their support for the addict’s recovery.
- Spouse Support Groups
- You will double the impact of your recovery ministry if you are able to also start a group for spouses of sex addicts (typically wives). Our Partners in Process Groups provide a place for healing that comes from the support of other women who are
- going through the same trial. Learn more about Partners in Process HERE. (link to PIP page)
- Leadership is Crucial
- A significant part of the success of our Homecoming Groups are due to the fact they are mentor-led. They are sexual sober men who have worked the program, addressed their issues and are in a place of strength to mentor someone new to the recovery process.
- Prodigals International would be honored to partner with you to help establish a new Homecoming Group in your church. A group is ready to be launched when you have two or more individuals who:
- Are recovering sex addicts
- Have achieved at least 12 months of ‘sexual sobriety’
- Have been mentored by a recovered sex addict
- Have demonstrated spiritual maturity
- Please contact us to explore how we can partner with you to get a group launched.
- Recovery Groups are Dependent on Anonymity and Confidentiality
- Experience tells us there will be many who come to an SA Recovery Group from outside the church; either members of other congregations or those with no church affiliation. They come full of anxiety and shame, worried that someone from their ‘respectable life’ will recognize them. Therefore, the principles of anonymity and confidentiality are an essential foundation for the recovery process to work.
- As such, it would be inappropriate for a member of the pastoral staff to sit in on the meetings in order to “observe” the meetings first hand, unless he/she is attending on his/her own benefit as a recovering sex addict. The only exception to this confidentiality rule is when information shared involves previously unreported child or elder abuse, or instances when someone’s life in in danger.