Category Archives: Resources

What Works for Me…Pastoral Tip

by Pastor Dave Livermore, President of the Gulf States Conference

You’re up late, your kids have been in bed since 8:00 PM, an hour ago your wife said good night to you and went upstairs to go to sleep. You’ve been reading your Bible searching for a text to speak to you. Nothing really jumps out at this time. Your mind wanders. You fight it by turning on the TV, by now its quite late nothing really interests you. You turn on your computer, and you know exactly what interests you at this time of night. Your Bible is still sitting right next to you, but something else is driving you. You go online, your breathing is quickening, you listen carefully to make sure you don’t hear anyone from your family stirring. You type into Google: XXX or Porn. Millions of hits come up, you fall hard, you go deep into your private addiction. Your Bible, is still sitting next to you.

One survey says that fifty percent of us pastors visited a porn site in the last month. We wonder why the Gospel is impotent, our preaching boring, our spiritual life anemic. We have allowed the evil one to get his hands on us and it’s a slow spiritual suicide. There is hope though, into the darkness comes a website that speaks boldly against this cancer. If you got the problem, get help. Because sooner than later, this will cost you your ministry and maybe your marriage. www.purefreedom.com

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What Works for Me…Pastoral Tip

by Pastor Aaron Payne, Chaplain at Columbia Adventist Academy

After sitting down and talking for a while about the youth’s problem I will bring our conversation around to overcoming the addiction. Usually if a young person has come to talk to me it is because they truly want to break free from this habit. I will ask them to do 4 things.

1. Recognize what times and situation they are tempted the most and avoid those times and places. Ex. Don’t stay up late on the internet.

2. When they are tempted have a Bible verse to quote and claim in the face of the temptation. A few verses I have suggested are Is.41:10,13, or Phil. 4:13. I teach them how to claim a promise since many are unfamiliar with doing this.

3. Find an accountability partner. Of course this person needs to be a person who has a strong walk with Jesus, is trustworthy, and does not share the same problem.

4. Ask them to commit to reading a book called “Every Young Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn, assuming I am dealing with a young man. There is also a book out there for young ladies, “Every Young Woman’s Battle“.

Only after they have taken these steps will I be willing to anoint them, asking for healing and victory. I find that if I anoint them first they may not follow through with the first four steps.

Finally I will communicate to the parents (with permission from the young person) and ask them to change their internet server to integrity online, which is a pre-filtered server. There should also be multiple planned follow ups.

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Changed Lives – Sexual Addiction and Marriage

by Marella Rudebaugh, Administrative Assistant in Ministerial, Creation Ministries, Native Ministries, and Evangelism for the North Pacific Union Conference

My husband, Mark, was seven years old when he was molested, but not by the type of person the world has come to expect. Not by a priest or a coach or a father or an uncle….by his seven year old friend. Mark’s friend came to his house for a sleep over and they camped alone in a tent in his back yard. It was then that his friend suggested experimenting. That one experience led to several more with the same boy over the months which led to a lifelong sexual addiction.

When Mark reached the age of 13, he discovered pornography in a magazine at a friend’s house and realized that a sexual experience between a man and a woman (he hadn’t been taught what sex really was) looked much more appealing and his addiction to pornography and self pleasuring began.

Fast forward 12 years and he meets me, his future wife, who had a part in leading him, once again, to Christ. We were married and then he was rebaptized a few years later, all the while hiding his addiction from me. He wanted to lead a life for Christ, but didn’t know how to break the cycle. He didn’t know where to turn for help. The church body doesn’t really talk about this type of problem and there’s so much disgust and shaming involved that makes it very difficult to even broach the subject with anyone. When his problem was finally discovered, he was very remorseful and ashamed. He saw the hurt it caused in me and I began to feel as if I wasn’t good enough to keep his attention.

Over the next 10 years, the cycles became pretty consistent. Mark would make an effort to change, then I would find some reason to doubt (perhaps an image on his phone or a behavior) and the same conversation would ensue; deeply hurt, I would cry and ask him why he couldn’t just stop. He would apologize and promise to do better. On and on this went.

Then something changed. We both became fed up with the cycle and I found an inexpensive internet filter ($55 per year or $44 with coupon discount code QUST20) and put it on every device we had, with me being the only one with the passwords. This helped for a while. He suddenly lost access to pornography. Problem solved! Well, no. He still had problems with his fantasy world of imagination and self pleasuring. I started looking up resources (sadly there did not seem to be much out there if you were on a limited budget) and discovered the Recovered Man and Pornfree Radio. This website became a tremendous help to both of us. We both started listening to the podcasts by Matt Dobschuetz which allowed me to better understand what he was going through and why he couldn’t just stop. It also gave Mark practical tips on how to make changes. It helped him to know that he wasn’t the only one struggling with sinful behavior, I had a problem with being critical. We began to check in with each other every Friday to discuss the struggles each of us had the previous week.

It wasn’t until Mark opened up and became very honest with me that God really started changing him. He started reading his Bible everyday and praying that God would allow him to focus his attention and energy on me, rather than his fantasy world.

By me making the effort to understand what he was going through and him being very honest with his struggles, we began to feel closer to each other than we ever felt possible. The weekly talks have drawn us together. My attempts to understand made him want to be better, want to do more things for me, which led me to want to better meet his needs. Time with me became much more meaningful than his fantasy, which made him not want to enter that world anymore.

Mark is still tempted, but the pull is not as strong as it once was and the moment he feels that temptation, he calls me. He’s experienced sobriety from his sexual addiction for about a year now and although that doesn’t seem like very long, after 36 years of extremely harmful sexual habits, we’re both praising God for the progress God has made in him.

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What Works for Me…Pastoral Tip

by Pastor Matthew Gamble who served for 18 years as an Adventist Pastor

Satan has a great way of sneaking this stuff into our lives at an early age to get us hooked in hopes to warp our sense of intimacy, love, and sex. For me pornography/lust came in at the age of 7. With the material now so easily accessible on the internet truly Satan is going to succeed in getting more people trapped in his world wide web. Or is he?

In helping people with this addiction, I have found several resources to be invaluable. I will list them below:

1. XXX Church is a Christian based ministry that is seeking to help people with addiction to pornography. They provide free software that can be downloaded onto your computer that will provide accountability for you while you surf the internet. If any questionable sights are viewed, the addresses will be sent to your accountability partners.

2. Prodigals International offers training and materials to help local churches establish effective ministries to sexual addicts and their spouses. The director is a good friend of mine and has recently linked up with researchers from Loma Linda University as well as the General Conference to see how these materials can be applied in Adventist churches nationwide.

3. Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.

4. Read the books, “Every Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn and “Not Even a Hint” by Joshua Harris.

Above all else I encourage people to recognize that we are more than conquerors through Christ. As we accept His gift of victory on a daily basis and learn to trust Him over self, we WILL have the victory.

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Go Porn Free in 2019!

by Matt Dobschuetz, Founder of The Recovered Man and Pornfree Radio

If you are anything like I was, you are desperate to get out from under the shame that goes along with a porn habit. I think back to when I first needed help there were not many good resources. I want to encourage you on your journey. Whether your goal is improving your marriage, your business, or just making you a better dad- getting rid of the porn will free you to make it happen.

Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you in your recovery:

1. Porn Free This Year
Watch my free video training to jump start your recovery this year. Includes downloadable worksheet. – Click Here

2. Try Your Porn Free Playbook Video Course
The framework of everything I talk about on Pornfree Radio is based on your recovery plan. Find out how to build a rock solid plan for your life. Get access to my 5-day video course and more. – Click Here

3. Join a REV Group
I created REV groups for men who need more connection and accountability to activate their plan. REV groups meet weekly through secure video conference. To apply – Click Here

4. Work with Me One-on-One
If you’d like to work directly with me on your plan or your next steps in recovery… email me at matt@recoveredman.com and put “One-on-One” in the subject line… tell me a little about your situation and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!

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Resources – The Mysterious Note

The Mysterious Note is about a family from Chicago who is caught up in a self-serving lifestyle. This film, produced by the NAD Stewardship Department and One Mustard Seed, seeks to teach parents and children what it means to be a good steward. The film will be available for churches to use Oct. 22-Feb. 22, 2019, as part of an evangelistic and/or fundraising campaign. READ MORE

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Resources – Planning Center Online

Planning Center Online is an online worship service platform that allows worship leaders, audio visual teams, song leaders, and pastors to coordinate the worship services they lead together. Read more

 

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Resources – How to Lead a Church Board

By Keith Bowman
Source: Adventist Learning Community

The purpose of this course is to help you transition your church board from committee to an effective ministry community focused on mission. By the end of this course you will understand the marks of community in your church board, know how to form a ministry description and group norms with them, know how to build community, trust, and teamwork, how to manage the agenda, and the meeting itself in a way that furthers vision and mission. You will identify competencies of a board chair, and learn how to chair a board meeting with greater success.

To learn more click Here

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Resources – Bible Prophecy Central

I recently spoke to Ken LeBrun, our pastor at the Kettle Falls Church in WA. He introduced me to Bible Prophecy Central, an internet resource that can help us publicize Adventist evangelistic meetings. Here is a 4-minute video explaining this new tool: https://youtu.be/xJ7pldzcjEs

Basically it is an online database of Adventist evangelistic meetings that will be publicized across the country. We want to encourage all pastors, evangelists, and churches to post all their public meetings on this site so they will show up when people search for meetings in their area.

As you can readily see, the effectiveness of this tool depends on those meetings actually getting posted. And for the most part, that must be done by the pastor, the evangelist, or the local church.  I would like every pastor to be encouraged to sign up to post their meetings on this site.

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Resources – Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate

By Halvard B. Thomsen
Source: NAD Ministerial

Do you know what motivates your congregation to give to your church’s programs? If you are reluctant to talk about money with your congregation or individual members, do you know why? Do you know how to appeal for financial support for ministry in your Church? Do you know how to create a culture of giving within your congregation? Read More

 

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