Sexual dysfunction is rampant in our culture and a new study suggests the Church has not been spared.
Four out of five pastors have counseled church members or their own staff about marital infidelity last year, and more than 70 percent were approached by those dealing with pornography according to a report by The Brushfires Foundation.
The newly-released study, "Sexuality and the Church in America I," was written by Brushfires founder Daniel Weiss in collaboratation with the Barna Group. That well-known polling organization surveyed 410 pastors across the country in late 2017 to learn about sexual issues in their own churches.
"I think we were impressed by how many problems pastors are encountering over the course of a year," Weiss tells OneNewsNow. "Really, we had no way of knowing that in the past and this research is groundbreaking in that regard."
In all the study looked at 18 different sexual dysfunctions ranging from same-sex attraction and pornography addiction to sexting and sexual abuse.
The average pastor contends with eight of these issues in a year but the majority of pastors feel unprepared or unqualified to offer help.
"We don't expect that they're going to be experts on all of these issues," he observes, "and it just shows the need for us to bring these topics more out into the open in our churches."
Weiss says his study shows the need for churches to start talking about these difficult issues and to bring in resources to help with the healing.
"We'd like to propose a better way forward where the church approaches these issues in kind of a sexual discipleship manner," he says, "where it's not just about those who are struggling but about the entire community learning more about these issues and coming together to support those that are struggling."
The Church can also be a huge help to those outside its walls who have nowhere else to go for real answers, he adds.