I have been in Phoenix for about 3 days at the AMFM conference. God opened a door as Eric Garcia, director of AMFM, asked Dr. Patty Warford and I to develop a team to help them and other churches address abuse. We both spoke this week and found many other teams who shared with us how glad they were that this component (domestic and sexual violence) was being addressed. The webpage will be up soon on the AMFM website and hopefully this will be a great start of a wonderful ministry relationship. God is good.
I heard main speakers, team leaders, and workshops share their work. Porn, divorce, reconciliation, adultery, pre-marital sex, healthy marriages—all topics which were discussed. These folks live these ministries and work hard to help families and marriages become healthy. Over and over again I heard how Pastors/preachers aren’t talking enough about these issues—especially the sexual ones. The complaint and plea was that churches, families, couples need to hear this stuff from the pulpit. I have seen what these folks do—it is truly the work of God.
My mind went back to my last church. It was an evening when I sat in a room with most of the elders and received my yearly performance review. I heard from them how I was talking about abuse, pornography, sexual issues in the Roman Empire, and homosexuality too much. I had spent the year preaching through Acts and talked a lot about life in the ancient world, today, and the mission of the church. They were critical. One elder suggested I was having an issue because I talked about sex so much. A couple of them were offended by some of the sermons. I was told the sermons were becoming negative.
This was the first I had ever heard this. I believed them.
When I confessed this to the church about 75% sent emails, letters, and personal visits to tell me this was not true. But—I felt maybe the elders knew better.
I’m glad we left. God had better plans for us.
Since we planted Agape preaching about this has helped us grow and reach people.
I’m glad God led me to a group of Christians who want to face reality. I have a spirtual family with AMFM who will work with us to help people in their walk with God. I look forward to serving with them and being encouraged to preach the Word!