On September 26, 2019, twenty-five pastors and church staff gathered in the Amherst, Wis. community center to discuss a topic that many people try to avoid: sex. The event, billed as a workshop to strengthen the Church’s response to the sexual crisis of our age, was jointly sponsored by The Brushfires Foundation and Wisconsin Family Council.
We divided the morning into four working sessions combining a short presentation with group discussion and supporting handouts. Pastors were asked to share their current concerns and discussed effective responses to such challenging issues as same-sex attraction, transgenderism, pornography use, sexually active youth, and more.
The feedback we received from post-event surveys was extremely positive. Here are some of the pastors’ comments:
“Really good thoughts, ideas, encouragement—without being overly prescriptive in approach.”
“Really appreciated the discussion time.”
“Great job. Thank you for serving us.”
“Loved it! Pleasantly surprised at the approach. Thank you!!”
“This was a great intro to discussing sexuality. Would be great to see more resources/events.”
We also asked the pastors how well we met the workshops five stated goals. These are listed below along with the percentage of pastors responding “very” or “extremely” well:
- Learn more about the sexual brokenness facing individuals and families both within and outside the Church today (86%);
- Leave with more effective language and strategies to address the shifting landscape of sexuality in our culture (95%);
- Learn how to effectively and appropriately communicate a biblical view of human sexuality in their congregations (86%);
- Begin to normalize conversations in their churches about God’s design for sexuality (100%); and
- Understand how to leverage the work they are already doing by moving toward a holistic approach to sexual wholeness (86%).
Perhaps most telling about the impact of the workshop were the actions pastors indicated they were likely to take after the event. The actions we asked about are below, along with the percentage of pastors who said they would take them.
91% planned to take some dedicated time to review what I learned
91% planned to pray about how the Lord would lead me to engage
86% planned to recommend this workshop to other pastors
86% planned to begin using some of these suggestions
82% planned to talk with leaders at my church about these issues
73% planned to work to teach and preach more about these issues
These responses are all the more encouraging since the September workshop was a pilot event. We are busy planning follow-up workshops and hope to bring these to other communities. If you would like to invite us to your church or community, please click the Connect button at the top of this page.