Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is the difference between the Church ToolKit and the Personal ToolKit and why does the Church ToolKit cost so much more?
A. Short answer: the Church ToolKit contains a lot more content than the Personal ToolKit.
Long answer: the Church ToolKit is designed to equip your entire church by first educating and preparing your church leaders (pastors, elders, deacons, lay leaders, etc.) and then provide solutions so that you can purposefully and confidently approach the subject.
The Church ToolKit includes:
• 3 DVDs of video content
• 1 CD packed full of resources
• Leaderâ€™s Resource Guide
• FBH Devotional Journal
• Covenant Eyes Accountability Software trial CD
The Personal ToolKit is really for an individual or couple who is struggling with sexual temptation, trying to keep from falling into it, or addicted and needs help getting out. It contains great content accented with powerful personal stories, but it doesnâ€™t contain as much educational content as the Church ToolKit.
The Personal ToolKit includes:
• 1 DVD with video content
• FBH Devotional Journal
• Covenant Eyes Accountability Software trial CD
Q. What is the difference between Freedom Begins Here and a 12-step program like Celebrate Recovery?
A. Freedom Begins Here is not a traditional "recovery" program. The heart of Freedom Begins Here is to stand in the gap between sexual addiction recovery programs and the handful of books that haphazardly address the subject. This problem is so big and we have to stop thinking that the only people affected by it are those who attend a recovery group on Wednesday night. Thatâ€™s why we say "Itâ€™s no longer about them. Itâ€™s about us." And telling people that a book is available in the bookstore is not going to solve it either. Our burden is to provide resources that will spark a movement in the Christian church to start talking openly about this crisis that is eating away at 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women.
Q. Can I use the Church ToolKit in a small group setting?
A. The Church ToolKit can be used in a group setting although that is not the main intent. The main intent for the Church ToolKit is to first educate and equip leaders in the church (pastors, elders, deacons, lay leaders, etc.) and then provide solutions so that your church can purposefully and confidently approach the subject.
But, we understand that churches are always looking for material that can be adapted and used in small groups. We took this into consideration as we were developing it. Because the Church ToolKit uses video to communicate the message, you can choose from many different video segments to show.
Letâ€™s say you wanted to talk about accountability in your small group. You could put in the DVD and play the segment where Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham talk about the importance of having accountability in your life. Then you could have a discussion using the video as a conversation starter.
The 30-Day Devotional Journal is also great for small groups. You could use the 30 days of devotional content for a 4-week study or any other format you want. Each day of the Devotional Journal contains a topic for the day, a verse, a couple of pages of content, reflection questions and a suggested prayer. The reflection questions work very well as group discussion questions.
If you have other questions please send us an email at email@example.com.
Q. Where did you get your statistics?
A. Many of you have asked us to explain the statistics we use when we talk about the crisis of pornography. We get more questions about the 20/50 Crisis statistics than any other. So here is the explanationâ€¦
The study: In June of 2006, the world's most visited Christian portal, ChristiaNet.com, conducted a survey asking site visitors eleven questions about their personal sexual conduct. There were one thousand responses to the poll. The poll results indicate that 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust, 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year, and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.
To those who participated in the survey by ChristiaNet.com, "addicted to pornography" means they feel like, by their own willpower, cannot stop looking at it and porn has become the biggest obstacle impeding their relationship with God.
Q. How do you define pornography?
A. This is a tough one. The classifications of pornography change all the time but the definition is fairly clear. Webster defines pornography as "the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement." Self explanatory, yes? The word itself comes from the Greek word pornographos, which literally means writing (graphein) about prostitutes (porne).
How we classify the different kinds porn is a different subject altogether. "Soft core" porn today would have been considered "hard core" thirty years ago. Nowadays we donâ€™t even wince at a Victoriaâ€™s Secret catalog when it comes in the mail, yet not that long ago these catalogs would have made even you and your high school friends blush with embarrassed arousal. Unfortunately, those catalogs have become a gateway into harder porn for a lot of people. The same goes for the Internet. You donâ€™t have to deliberately type in a porn website URL, it conveniently comes to you in spam emails, solicitations on MySpace and all kinds of saucy videos on YouTube. And once you get sucked into Internet porn, it is very difficult to get back out. In fact, before the advent of the Internet, it used to take months, even years to develop a true addiction to pornography. Thanks to the inner-connected series of tubes Ted Stevens calls the "Internets," it now takes just a couple of weeks to become fully blown addicted to porn.
Q. What does "addicted to pornography" mean exactly?
A. According to the experts, namely Dr. Mark Laaser and Dr. Patrick Carnes, sex addiction fits the classic, four-component model of what comprises an addiction:
1. Compulsivity - the loss of control over a behavior. An addict continues in the behavior or relationship despite repeated attempts to stop.
2. Continuation despite negative consequences
3. Preoccupation or obsession
4. Tolerance - more of the same behavior or an escalation of progressive behaviors is required to get the same "high".
A simple way to quickly determine your level of struggle is to take the 25-question Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST). The SAST was developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes to help people determine the presence and level of sexual addiction. Many people have found it helpful in assessing their level of emotional pain, sexual lusts and misconduct. We have included the SAST in both the Personal ToolKit and Church ToolKit.
Q. Is this material gospel-centered? I see the language of addiction on your website and wonder whatâ€™s the model of sanctification. Do you take a therapeutic approach or a heart-centered one?
A.First of all, we are not professional counselors or full-time clergyman. Some of us are ordained ministers, but we serve as producers with a heart for communicating the message of freedom in Christ through the medium of DVD and print. Gary Communications, our parent company, is made up of Christian men and women who are committed to this work as unto the Lord. All of us see Freedom Begins Here as our special calling.
Secondly, our approach to fighting pornography and sexual sin is not easily categorized as simply "therapeutic" or "heart-centered." We are much more holistic in our approach, seeking to start a conversation in a way that is dignified, truthful, merciful, and radical -- all at the same time. Our relationship with Christian counselor Dr. Mark Laaser provides a credible therapeutic angle, while our relationship with Dr. Gary Smalley and his pastor Ted Cunningham provides a pastoral heart approach. And tying it all together is the biblical concept of being our brother's keeper -- accountability for those that struggle as well as those that are healthy.
One things is clear -- FBH is not just another 12 step program or recovery group.
As far as the theology of sanctification -- we have attempted to remain non-sectarian so that Freedom Begins Here would be useable in a wider variety of church settings. Quoting from our Leaders Resource Guide:
"â€¦we have provided some broad recommendations for how you might use this information in your church or ministry. It is important that you and your leadership team decide how to adapt the information to fit your specific ministry approach. Freedom Begins Here is not affiliated with any specific denomination and we understand that you might find our approach to be lacking in some areas and too explicit in others. Because every church faces the problem of pornography and sexual addiction, we want the information to be as universally beneficial as possible so that any Christian church in any denomination can help their people experience true freedom in Christ. Please keep this in mind as you begin to think about how to implement this in your church."
We hope this helps to clarify where we are coming from.