There’s no doubt that over the past two decades of ministry, XXXchurch has become known for its unorthodox tactics. Whether it be questionable inflatables, mascots like Pete the Porno Puppet, provocative blog posts, strip club outreach, or mission trips to porn and sex shows, we’ve always sought out new and “creative” ways to bring attention to an old problem (namely porn and sex addiction).
And when it came to speaking at church venues, we didn’t change that script when offering memorable events such as Porn and Pancakes.
These days it’s not uncommon to run into a church offering their version of Porn and Pancakes “borrowing” the same name. Still, back when we first introduced the idea of combining such terms as porn with pancakes in connection with a church event, that concept certainly raised some eyebrows.
And it was supposed to.
We wanted to evoke interest.
We wanted to evoke curiosity.
We wanted to evoke a response.
Porn and Pancakes eventually became a staple of XXXchurch. In fact, there was a time when we hosted 2-4 events per month. But once COVID gripped the world, all that changed.
Consequently, when we relaunched XXXchurch under the umbrella of Live Free Ministries in 2021, the idea of going back to any live events was a distant thought. However, this year as we started to see things settling down and becoming more normal, the idea of jumping back into offering events for churches once again became a topic for consideration.
Should we now bring back Porn and Pancakes?
After all, churches still needed help with tackling the topic of sex and porn.
People still needed help and hope.
But was this classic XXXchurch event the way to go?
I’ve been to several Porn and Pancakes and I’ve always enjoyed them. Usually, the turnouts were great, but there were several things about those events that didn’t fit our new vision and direction.
1st, the message was pretty typical.
- Porn is a problem..
- If you watch porn, you should seek help and accountability.
- Here we are if you need us.
And while all that is true in many ways, it’s kind of a predictable message. The truth is, today we need more than just to “recognize” the problem, talk about the need for restoration, and offer some resources.
We’ve seen enough of this and it doesn’t work.
2nd, the one-and-done approach to talking about porn in the church is not a good strategy.
Our hope with these events was to help leaders better handle the issues of porn and sex addiction in their churches on an ongoing basis. But what often happened was many pastors and leaders treated these events as a checkbox to be marked off before moving on to the next thing. Yes, porn and sexual brokenness are challenges the church faces daily, but rather than recognizing that, many pastors just adopted this one-and-done mentality about their event, thinking it was enough..
Again, this strategy doesn’t work.
Lastly, the turnouts were great, but the meaningful engagement was minimal.
There’s a strange phenomenon that’s far too common, especially regarding church events. It’s this tendency to momentarily buy into the excitement and emotions stirred up by a guest speaker, rally, or musical number only to revert to old patterns and behaviors very shortly thereafter.
When I attended these occasions, I noticed a lot of applause, smiles, handshaking and the like. Our speakers would get up, do their deal, and the audience would generally buy-in, expressing their appreciation and approval through laughter and applause.
We would let guys know that after the service our staff would be available to meet with anyone who had questions or wanted help as a group after the service. And usually, 10-15 guys would show up. The problem was that 10-15 men was a very small sampling of the several hundred or more in attendance.
Given these considerations, our conclusion was no.
We would not resurrect Porn and Pancakes.
So then what?
How could we offer an experience to individuals and churches that,
- Was pandemic proof?
- Affordable regardless of the size of the group or church?
- Focused on what we saw as the real problem… namely our unwillingness to talk about these things in the first place?
- Led to ongoing conversations?
- Offered an opportunity for meaningful engagement outside of a handful of people?
And that’s when we came up with the idea for Shameless.
Shameless: Normalizing the Sex and Porn Conversation is a live-streamed 3-hour workshop for individuals and churches who want to learn how to have healthy and life-giving conversations about sex, sexuality, porn and masturbation without the awkwardness, embarrassment, and of course shame, that often accompanies those subjects.
Shameless will be a bit different from the old Porn and Pancakes model by offering individuals the following:
- (4) video teaching segments
- Breakout discussions via online chat
- Participant worksheets
And for those signing up as a group:
- (4) video teaching segments
- Breakout discussions group times
- Leader guide
- Participant worksheets
- Physical copies of When Shame Gets Real for all participants
- Extended cut bonus video content
The goal of this workshop is simple.
We want to not only recognize the “elephant” in the room but knock it down and normalize it so that men, women, and parents finally feel the freedom needed to approach these topics openly and honestly within their churches, friendships, marriages, and families.
- No more suppressing your questions and concerns.
- No more pretending you have it all together when in reality, no one does.
- No more being afraid to admit you need help in these areas of your life.
- No more treating sex, porn, and masturbation like dirty words or taboo matters.
- No more handling frustration around your sex life as matters only reserved for a therapist’s office.
- No more being afraid to engage your kids in these conversations.
Our first Shameless online workshop experience will be held Saturday, September 17th.
Stay tuned; we will certainly let you know more the closer we get.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about this event and/or want to be kept in the loop, complete the form below.