Where is the Hope

It’s often been said that the church is the hope of the World. But, is the Church really the hope of the World? CS Lewis wrote, “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply, a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.”

I often reflect upon how Deer Flat is doing in relationship to making little Christs (disciples). To make disciples is to allow God to use our availability and obedience, making us part of a process in another person’s life in which he/she becomes someone who is growing in his/her faith and his/her love for the Lord. We make disciples by spending time and investing in their lives, modeling faith and love through how we live our own lives. Simply put, this means we are missional, living with purpose and intentionality. 

One of the greatest threats to the Church’s missional effectiveness is actually sexual sin. Pornography and other sexual sins paralyze believers. We get stuck. Our motivation evaporates because of distraction, shame, or any other number of intervening factors. These factors cause us to isolate, removing ourselves from close, authentic relationships that stimulate us to love and good deeds. We are called to go, but sexual sin causes us to stay put. For so many it’s not an unwillingness to be missional. Rather, it’s a feeling of disqualification or nullification based on their sexual sin. 

If it’s true that the Church has lost a large part of its effectiveness because of sexual brokenness, what are we doing to address this? Most pastors and church leaders will acknowledge that pornography and sexual brokenness are among the greatest threats to the church today, yet, only 7% of churches offer any solution whatsoever to people who struggle. The reason for this is, many churches are still learning that this doesn’t have to be a “taboo” topic and there are good answers to this tough challenge. 

Whether this topic hits home on a very personal level or not, you won’t want to miss this Sunday. We are going to address this further with an evidence-based understanding that sexual brokenness and the associated struggles are a church family issue, not just an individual problem. Our goal is to educate ourselves, communicate a grace message, create a safe “me too” culture, and offer real solutions for you and our world. 

I’m so grateful to be part of a church that says we will be the 7%, we will do what it takes to make little Christs, we will be the hope of the World.

For His Glory!

Pastor Ryan

PS – This Sunday we will be introducing a whole series of new classes that we will be offering this fall for any who are looking for support and freedom in sexual brokenness: pornography addiction, spouse support for sexually addicted, victims of abuse, and LGBTQ+

Pastor Ryan Stoops