Crafting an Effective Mentoring Program for Pastors Struggling with Internet Pornography in View of Psychology and Scripture
This study lays the framework for a restoration program for WELS pastors who struggle with internet pornography use. Statistics demonstrate an annual rise in pornography usage among clergy. Because of the personal shame involved, one-third of clergy never mention their struggles to another. Recent studies have noted sexual addiction is arguably the most difficult addiction to break, leaving many sex addicts feeling hopelessly snared in pornography’s trap. Recognizing the signs of an addictive person, together with understanding ritualization and rationalization patterns, lays the foundation for counseling on a personal basis. Coupling this knowledge with Scripture aids the mentor in determining the fallen pastor’s eligibility for the pastoral ministry. Understanding these various components affirms that restoration will not come easy. Personal beliefs must be realigned. Intimate, direct contact with a mentor fosters an open environment for confessing struggles and failures. Recognition of personal sin permits effective counseling to occur. A mentor enforces personal accountability in the form of personal devotions, assignments, and lifestyle changes. Mentorship stands as a personalized restoration program which specifically caters to a pastor’s personal struggles. Such an approach will not only help eradicate the addiction, but will restore the pastor to live a godly and upright life.