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You may be surprised at this, but it’s no less true: we hear this all the time.
Yes. All the time.
We are inundated with pastors reaching out to us and seeking help for their porn addiction. This is a much more widespread phenomenon in the pastoral community than many regular churchgoers may realize; perhaps you’ve felt this to be the case for a while but just felt too afraid to ask around or to articulate it.
Maybe you’ve struggled with this for a long time? Or maybe it’s only been a recent problem. Maybe you were trying to help someone with the same issue and got sucked into the same trap. Whatever the case, realize that you aren’t alone and you are not some sort of special case.
Two of the things we always recommend to those who are seeking to let go of an addiction to porn are accountability and community. Obviously, as a pastor, that puts you in a difficult position. It’s sad to say, but pastors face a unique situation because of the nature of their work and the expectations that are thrown upon them. Finding good accountability and supportive community can be challenging and even seem impossible.
Sometimes you have to take extreme measures to get free. However, often this is not necessary. Freedom can be just a matter of taking some action steps. We want to help you in whatever way we can and walk you through some of these things so you can experience true recovery.
Now let’s get practical. Here are a couple of thoughts on how you can find the freedom you’re seeking:
1) Get accountable. Finding a good accountability partner is critical. In fact, it’s a need for everyone even if one doesn’t struggle with porn. Seeking out a good accountability partner is a process and not something one does on your behalf. It can be difficult and make you feel very vulnerable but it’s also an important part of the recovery process because it forces you to operate out of your weakness and become open with others about your struggles. Typically close friends or family members are great choices. Because most poor sexual decisions start online we offer X3watch, our FREE accountability software. We also have a premium version that offers instant alerts and filtering.
2) Get plugged into a supportive community. Pastors are often some of the most isolated people you will find. It’s hard to be a leader and also be vulnerable because many people don’t want to allow their leaders this grace. Maybe you can find a few other guys like you or maybe you need to join an online group. Whatever the case, it’s important you find some supportive community where you can just be you. Where you can stop being a pastor and start being just a guy who is dealing with real stuff. We have online groups for guys like you. Groups just for pastors. If you can’t find a community locally this may be a perfect fit.
The bottom line is this. You need to take a step. Living in shame and addiction isn’t an option. It will slowly eat you up and eventually destroy you. Get accountable. Get some community. Claim back the life you were meant to live.
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