Pornography and Media Addiction: The New Epidemic

Pornography is a new epidemic in the church.  James Dobson of Focus on the Family calls in the new Crack Cocaine.  57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation.  A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event. 51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation and 37% say it is a current struggle. Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.  Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.

It is also having a devastating effect on families.  47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home. The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces. 34% of female readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll and 1 out of every 6 women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography. 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior.  Churches must respond both by providing support to those with an addiction and in implementing a church-wide strategy.  Below is a list of steps of how to do this.

Steps for Helping Someone in Pornography or Media Addiction

Safe Families recommends the following steps for pastors and ministry leaders when helping someone recover from a pornography or online addiction. You can find resources for each of these steps by clicking on the links below.

  1. Immediate Emergency Response

  2. Church-based Accountability Partner

  3. Media Sobriety Covenant

  4. Online Safety & Media Sobriety Manual

  5. Family Support

  6. Peer Support Group(s)

  7. Professional Counseling

Steps for Church Strategy

We recommend using the following strategy to address the issue of online safety and media sobriety churchwide.

  1. Staff and Leadership Team Meeting

  2. Men's Group Meeting

  3. Church-based Accountability Groups

  4. Churchwide Online Safety Initiative

  5. Sermons and Special Events