Fighting Pornography is a Church Effort - Radical

Fighting Pornography is a Church Effort

If you love the church and want to see God’s glory made known among the nations, you might wonder what role God has for you to play in the Great Commission. God has uniquely equipped his disciples in different ways—whether that means going to the nations or equipping and sending members from your local church.

However, the current generation is being throttled by pornography. Despite the older, wiser generation desiring to see Great Commission work continue, the pipeline for missions is shrinking because sexual sin bars many of us from going to the nations. Here is my encouragement for churches seeking to help their members overcome sexual sin.

Pornography Keeps This Generation From Going Into Missions

Love motivates us to missions. Love for God motivates us to see his glory made known among the nations. Love for our neighbor makes us want to see them worship God and be free from sin. The Spirit cultivates this love and motivates us to obey the Great Commission. 

The pipeline for missions is shrinking because sexual sin bars many of us from going to the nations.

However, this generation is caught in a war of loves. They feel the call to mission. They want to see their brothers and sisters glorify God. They want to make their life count. But pornography drags these good desires into the trenches and buries them. Image by image, porn turns love into lust, passion into apathy, worship into addiction. The devil uses sexual sin to tempt those in the church to see other image-bearers as fuel for self-gratification and not brothers and sisters who need Jesus. 

Because of this, pornography has radically disqualified my generation from the mission field. Churches and sending agencies will not send the porn addict to frontline missions because they have already severely compromised their integrity. 

But there is hope in the gospel because Jesus never intended us to fight sin alone. 

Fighting Sin is a Church Effort

Satan has a strategy for dealing with sin that he whispers to every porn addict, “Stay alone, you can handle this without help, don’t tell anyone your shameful secrets.” Those who follow the devil’s playbook put their soul on a fast track to disaster. The solo campaign is precisely the opposite of how God intended us to put sin to death. 

Throughout the New Testament, we see authors link church community with fighting sin. Paul writes to the church in Galatia, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1–2). James tells his readers, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19–20).

While pornography is a pervasive, devastating sin in the church and the number one reason my generation is not pursuing missions, it does not need to stay this way. We are the body of Christ, and we are called to equip and encourage each other to overcome sexual immorality. Sexual integrity is a community project, and as the power of Christ sets us free from sin, we are released to the nations to tell them that Christ can free them too. 

The Older Generation Plays a Key Part

Brother or sister, this younger generation needs mentors, discipleship, and accountability. Your church likely has dozens of young people caught in sin and dozens of missionaries yet to be sent. 

The body of Christ is called to equip and encourage each other to overcome sexual immorality.

God has given you years of experience and hard-won wisdom. These are such valuable tools to walk alongside my generation. You may feel ill-equipped or overwhelmed, but we ask you to step out in faith and trust that God has equipped you to help the church. By discipling a would-be-missionary to help them break free from pornography, you are an integral part of God’s work among the nations. When, through the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit, you equip and encourage other disciples, you become a beautiful part of the work that Christ has called them to do.

There are many resources you can use to help someone enslaved to porn. A great place to start is the documentary Into The Light. This free resource walks through the process of bondage in sin to freedom in Christ and is an incredible discipleship tool. Seek out genuine relationships with younger members of your church that can lead to mentoring and opportunities to encourage them. Vulnerability and honesty about sexual sin take time, but if you are intentional in loving your church in this way, these relationships will be incredibly rewarding. 

The problem of pornography has never been worse. Your place in the church has never been more important. 

This article is part of a mini-series from Jacob Valk and John-Michael Bout on pornography and missions. To learn more, read their articles on #1 Reason Why Young People Aren’t Going on Missions and 10 Motivations to Fight Pornography.

Jacob Valk

Jacob Valk is the Director and Producer of the Into The Light documentary and hosts the podcast Chats Under The Sun. He holds a B.A. in Humanities from Brock University and is finishing an M.Div. at SBTS in Louisville, Kentucky.


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