I want to welcome you back. Today we're going to talk about the role of the minister in regard  to sex related topics. So if you're a minister, a life coach and minister who is interested in this  area of specialization, you're a therapist, or counselor who would like to learn about the  ministry side of this subject. I want to invite you to explore how to minister in this area of  existence. When I graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1987, I can say that I was not prepared  for ministry in this area. And yet, when I planted my first church in 1988, I found that this  subject came up again and again, subjects such as how to minister to those who have gone  through sexual affairs, subjects such as how to minister to those who are sexually abused  subjects, such as how to minister to those who were injured by pornography. Today that's  even more prevalent because of the internet and how common it is and easy to access. I was  surprised how to see that I had to minister to people who had sexless marriages, minister to  people who are struggling through sexual immorality, and on and on. So this subject has not  gone away in three decades. Four decades. Since I started that first church is still with us. And with us it is so let's talk about the role of the minister in this area. The first thing to talk about  is the role of God in sexual health. Christians, ministers believe that God is the best source,  the Bible is the best source of insight into every area of life, including our sexual identity, and  sexual practice. Studying the Bible welcomes God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit into human  experience and teaches us how to flourish. II Timothy 3:16-17, God has breathed life into all  scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true, is useful for correcting our mistakes, is  useful for making our lives Whole Again, it is useful for training us to do what is right. By using scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing. We invite God  into the discussion as ministers, we invite God we know his word the Bible is useful to bring  wholeness in this area. So let's talk specifically about the minister and methodology in sex  related topics. First, God is invited into the bedroom and your our sexual identities. Your  sexual your sexuality, and practice of sexual intimacy. In the Christian marriage worldview is  good. God brings insights through the Bible, and discoveries and the discoveries of others  who study the Bible in God's word. Genesis 2:24-25. That is why a man will leave his father  and mother and be joined with his wife, the two of them will become one. The man and his  wife were both naked and they didn't feel any shame. So God is invited to speak to his  creation humans like us about sexual intimacy. God created male and female. God called it  good, but Adam and Eve together, Moses said For this reason, Moses reflects that marriage  and sexual intimacy is a pre fall state. This is in Genesis 2. So as a minister, we come with  that's our grand narrative.Now number two, sexuality was created good. However, our  sexuality is now fallen in sin, since sexuality of hard wired in us, we need to deal with our  fallen desires without getting negative on sexuality. I Peter 2:11. Dear friends, I urge you as  aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sexual desires, which war against your soul  lives such good lives among the pagans, that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they  may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. A minister understand that  sex is fallen. When Adam and Eve found a sin, it was a fault that affected their desire for  pleasure for sexuality. It changed everything is it created in us a war even within our soul. And as wonderful as having sexual pleasure is, it's also potentially damaging to who we are and  damaging of others. It has been a weapon, it has been a source of war, it has been a source  of abuse. But it's also been when doing a God's way, a source of happiness and flourishing for believers. A Christian minister gets that it's a fallen state of existence. Often in the writings of  the social sciences, they believe that the sin is not a factor they term things in different ways, deviance and dysfunction. In sometimes Christians, we use that. But deep down we know that sin is something that we need to be saved from redeemed from, and in a discipleship or  sanctifying way, even areas of sexual hurt and harm are something that the salvation, the  power of God through Jesus Christ, those issues can be addressed through his presence and  power in healing in our life and ministers bring people to God even in this area. Number three  healing conversations welcome God and the Bible's counsel. past trauma is explored to  discover the way of forgiveness, healing, new ways of thinking and experience. The role of  personal responsibility is central. The client must want the Christian in biblical way. And you  can read on James 3:13-17. And it talks about this who is wise and are standing among you let him show up. I have a good life by deeds then humility that comes from wisdom. But if you 

harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition, your heart do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such wisdom does not come from heaven. It is earthly and spiritual of the devil. For where  you find envy and selfish ambition, you will find disorder and every evil practice, but wisdom  that comes from heaven is, first of all purer than peace, loving, considerate, submissive, full  of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere. A Christian minister is into bringing the best  healing, avoiding bitterness, walking in the way of forgiveness, taking responsibility for where  we have done wrong, there's actually a morality to sexuality. And a Christian minister  acknowledges we need it. When someone is caught in bitterness, the conversations are how  to find the way of forgiveness. In Ministry if I look at decades, though, I've seen those who  remained in bitterness. And what I've observed is a deep, dark path. They want justice, but  they never receive mercy, and never give mercy. Even I have seen some of the most amazing  miracles. I think of people who have been abused relentlessly and they've gone to therapists  and counselors for decades. And then that moment when they just received the Lord's  healing, where they were able to forgive, and were. In that moment, God healed them and  then sex for them in their marriage became released into new plateaus of joy, because the  way of ministry is ultimately the way of reconciliation. Everybody is broken. The abuser is  broken and the abused is broken. Now, am I saying that abuse doesn't matter? Yes, abuse  matters. Am I saying that there should not be boundaries? Yes, there should be boundaries.  Am I saying that this is some easy way it's not easy. I just know that as ministers. We invite  God into our chaos and there's a lot of chaos. But when he is invited in, it is a game changer.  Number three, the role of the officiant is emphasize confession sincere vows prayers are  welcome. The minister opens each session with prayer. The minister helps give expression to  confession and making amends. The minister helps people express vows of faithfulness and  new direction. The minister helps develop the practice of prayer to invite God to bring  healing. Each session closes with prayer. James 5:16, Therefore, confess your sins to each  other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is  powerful and effective. The prayer by Minister a minister is powerful and effective. Early in my ministry, I might have opened quickly with a little prayer. But as years went on, I saw that  when someone invites God into the very problem, and as a minister, I would say, Okay, so  we're going to talk about your sexless marriage today. Okay. And then we talked about at the  end, have a prayer, where the couple is praying together with you, Lord, we want to have a  flourishing sex life in our marriage. Oh, help us. And then the couple says that together, we  asked you for insights, we ask You for that spark, we asked you for the habits that will create  that. And then they pray and say amen. I'll tell you, that is a game changer. It could be any of  the subjects that we're talking about here. Help me to forgive, that abuser. Helped me Lord,  and to see that God shows up. Again, don't misinterpret I'm not minimizing the hurt and the  sin. I just know that the way of the future is a way of forgiveness and, and seeing what God's  doing, and not staying in that role of the victim forever. You know, as sinners, God actually  asked us to pray Our Father who art in heaven, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth  as it is in heaven. I mean, God invites us to go to his throne. So the role of the officiant is a  important role. I love that passage from James. Therefore, confess your sins to each other,  that you may be healed, pray for each other, that you may be healed the prayer of a  righteous man is powerful. Number five, acknowledge your own brokenness as a minister. God gives broken people as redemptive voice gives a redemptive voice because he has saved us  in sanctified us. II Corinthians 4:7, but we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show the author past in power is from God, and not from us. As ministers, we don't have to be the experts. As  ministers, we don't have to pretend that we ourselves have got it all together. Instead, we can share our own testimonies. One of the reasons ministers should have good boundaries is  because we acknowledge our own brokenness. Male Minister, I believe should not meet with a female parishioner or a ministry client alone. Even a life coach minister, a male life coach  Minister should not especially in this area, talk about sex issues alone with a woman. You may call me old fashioned, but it's out of respect. It's not that I'm way in the past about gender  and stuff like that. No, it's respectful of our own brokenness. We don't want the devil to have  an opportunity to malign the word, and we don't want hurts someone's you know how much  you would hurt someone is if while you're ministering somehow you start a sexual affair, you 

may actually hurt that person for for a long time and in some cases they may reject the faith  because of your behavior. Number six healthy boundaries are observed in short term ministry  is preferred. I talked about healthy boundaries just before in that last point. But short term  ministry is preferred. gentleness and humility are ministry postures, avoid the answer person  share many courses web links. So the other resource teach discernment Galatians six verse  one brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself that so that you are you may also be tempted carry each other's burdens  in this way you fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he has something with nothing, he  deceives himself, each should test his own actions. So we talked about ministry boundaries  before. But I want to talk in this point too, about short term ministry encounters. I believe a  minister is not a therapist. There is a role for therapy long term discussion. And I'm not going  to question the advances made in the social sciences to help people but from the role of a  minister. It's it's more I believe, a short term thing where we listen, we talk now in the life  case, coach and minister, it could be a longer relationship because there's a positive agenda  and a plan. But in general, the concept that we are therapists is not us. We are ministers,  were here to point to the Word of God. And usually it's a very short time encountered. One  thing I think we can do is share websites, share mini courses, or as mini courses that Christian leaders Institute. Through this class. You'll go and see some, you'll go through those some of  the mini courses that you could recommend, I believe there are websites, there are web links, there might be a let's say you're dealing with a doing counseling, or new marriage counseling, pre marriage counseling, and the couple's very nervous. And you know, you've given them  maybe some books on the subject, but they're still extremely nervous, well, send them a link,  send them a link, of a great story that can really bless them. It's that type of stuff that  ministers can do. I actually believe the long term relationships in this area are dangerous. And we should stay generally away from this area. Because again, it's an area where the devil can  get such a foothold. Number seven a commitment to study this subject to grow personally  and to help others grow and join you in sharing the good news in this area. Jude 3 dear  friends, although I'm very eager to write you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write  and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. In this area, as the minister, it's just an area to keep growing. If you're a counselor, you know that you  have continually continued education. If you're a minister, and you want to minister in this  area, and this area comes up often keep studying, there's a lot of stuff in this area. And then  the next sections of the reading, you're gonna see how social sciences interprets all of these  things. And social sciences has their ministry, they call it treatment in these areas. And we  would disagree if somebody wants to look at what the Bible says there are different answers.  Now, one thing about our role, we are not going to be judgmental about how people are  taking these different answers right now. But if they're interested in Jesus Christ, we're going  to share Jesus Christ, He will change their hearts. He will put a different spirit in them. One  thing I've seen at Christian leaders Institute is the transformation that's come through the  power of the Holy Spirit, in areas and even in these areas. I believe that God has a voice in  the sexual intimacy related areas, and I believe as ministers, you may have a role used by  God to bring wholeness and healing in the lives of so many people who will seek to glorify  God will seek to enjoy the pleasures that God gives. And you as a minister will be blessed and enjoy your role in bringing transformation pointing to Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 8:05 AM