Talking to your pastor about starting a conquer series group can feel intimidating, so here are five things to consider before talking to your pastor about starting a group for your church.
1. Start with why! Tell your story of how a commitment to sexual purity helped grow your faith, marriage and accountability around pornography and a healthy lifestyle.
2. Tell them you want to start a Conquer Series group for the men of your church. Be clear that you want to be under their guidance and accountability. Sexual health can be a hot button issue in the local church so be sure to take notes on any concerns your pastor might have. Remember, if your pastoral leadership asks clarifying questions it's not a no, but a sign of interest. See it from their perspective: You may likely be the first person to ever approach them about starting a sexual health group for men!
3. Let your pastor know what Conquer series is. Say something like “Let me play you a short clip that tells you what the Conquers series is about” and then play the introduction video on the front page of the conquer series website. It will give Your pastor a good idea of what the Conquer Series is about. To see the video, click here.
4. Tell your pastor when and where you want to start your group, but be open to when they would envision starting the group. Having a start date shows them you are serious about doing this but being flexible to their schedule shows a willingness to collaborate. Be a team player with your church leadership helping them succeed in men breaking free from sexual secrets!
5. How much does it cost? Getting a digital subscription for $50 a month is a great way to go because you get a digital study guide, journal and other great features. Men in your group can have ownership by helping to pay for your subscription right from the Conquer Series app to help offset the monthly charge for your church. Plus you can cancel your subscription anytime, no questions asked. Pretty Slick.
If you want more help or have any other questions as you take on this challenge please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Forgotten. Impatient. Entitled. Feeling like my time is being wasted at a job that is not ministry. Wanting to eat not just one brownie but also the whole row! I want to masturbate to medicate the pain and lack of control in my life. All of this and more I confess regularly to Christ and brothers in my Conquer Series group.
I want all these things more than a life dedicated to the disciplined path of following Jesus. How vile and idolatrous! You would think after the past four years of prison, treatment, and reentry I would trust God more than my own fleshly desires, but no, the battle continues. If I were God I wouldn’t bother with me.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? (Romans 7:24)
Thank you, Lord for your grace. My desires are not pure and I need your grace badly. Turning my back on sin is not simple, as it requires repentance.
Admitting to moral failure and selfishness is painful; like admitting these things will cause my death kind of pain. I remember at one point of confession I literally wanted to rip out my veins and crawl out of my skin. It’s no wonder we want to hide sin away in secret when confronting our sin can be traumatic.
It can and will drive a person into deep shame and suicide. But there is hope!
Aren’t Christians supposed to be impervious to depression and sinful thoughts? By no means! As I read from a list of theological giants I see each one of them talks about their own battle with “concupiscence” which is a very old word for “strong sexual desire.” We are not alone. Don’t listen to Churchianity that says we need to get our act together before going to church, rather lets understand that the same people who put the liturgy together and wrote the hymns are vile sinners who have humbly admitted their sin and have pressed on in life surrendering daily to Christ.
I am not alone.
You are not alone!
There is hope when we repent and press into a community of faith. If you struggle with “concupiscence” why not join the Sexual Integrity 101 online group with Break Free and find a home where you are safe to repent and start a whole new direction in life!
So earlier this week I shared a nugget about how the truth hurts. But there is more to that story if we are willing to include it in our story for growth and change. Being confronted by truth from the Holy Spirit, or others speaking into our lives can be for the good; life changing. As I shared in my testimony I had two dear friends of mine confront me about how I was engaging in sin regarding my addiction to gay pornography, masturbation and fantasy life. It was true. I didn’t like that it was true, but nonetheless it was true. I am thankful to God for softening my heart to really hear the truth and accept it that day. Just a few days earlier I was argumentative with them in an attempt to explain away my addiction that It was out of my control. (Lie). Confronted and convicted by truth. Now what? Truth checks. Do you and I have control over our actions and thoughts? Yes. Over the years I have come to realize more and more the lies I have believed about myself. Those lies can come from others, Satan, or even myself and my emotions.
Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This verse has been critical for me in remembering the importance of truth checks. Isn’t it interesting that the very first direction for our thoughts is at truth?! Truth checks take some time for self-reflection. Since same-sex attraction is heavily impacted by thoughts of identity and worth that is often where I have to ask some questions. Some questions I have had to ask myself include; is my masculinity determined by my ability to fix a car, lift so many pounds, look like that, or whatever else it may be? Sometimes I can recognize the truth quickly and am rescued right away from the destruction of lies. Sometimes I struggle to believe the truth and and go back and forth in my mind about truth and lies; rescuing can be a process. My prayer is this, as your story is being written day by day – what is guiding your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Is it true?
As I close I anticipate the next blog entry focusing on key Biblical truths that have been helpful to me in my story; being rescued from the lies of identity and same sex attraction.
Stan Newton is the author of the blog Rescued Identity and a great friend of Break Free. He has a passion for helping those who struggle with same sex attraction through his own struggle. Hear more about his story here.