Reaching The Online Generation

An Initiative of CityTeam Ministries

Reaching Communities of Women in the Adult Industry with the Gospel

Posted on | February 12, 2009 |

Yesterday afternoon I glanced over to Twhirl on my laptop.  One of my filters pulled a tweet that caught my attention.  It said something to the effect of, “I dream about hurting my mother almost every night.”  It sounded serious, so I decided to follow the tweet back to its source. 

As it turns out, this particular tweet came from a young woman who runs her own adult website - pornography starring herself.  She’s connected by @replies to several young women with similar websites.  In addition to their twitter accounts, they communicate with each other and their clients through blogs.  Their blogs are journals describing how their livelihoods wrap around their lives.  Of course, these blogs connect to their twitter accounts and the sites they use to make their living.

The women in this small community are real people.  Their clients, who also communicate through twitter and on their blogs, are real as well.  I’ll never forget the tweet, “I woke myself up last night punching the nightstand.” or the one about them having to see their therapist.  Their reality breaks my heart.  As a follower of Christ, it’s my responsibility to introduce them to Jesus in an appropriate way and at the appropriate time. 

My wife and I talked about this community last night over dinner.  She gets my Covenant Eyes reports and is my primary accountability partner.  We talked about the ladies’ stories and struggled with what needed to happen to reach them.  Our discussion underscored the need for partnerships as part of any strategy to reach the online generation with the Gospel.  There are several reasons a partnership with an organization or qualified individuals would be important in this case.

I’m the wrong person to reach this community.

I’m male.  As I learned from a testimony from a born-again former porn star, most women in the adult industry have a deep hatred of men.  My gender would get in the way of the Gospel.

Interacting directly with this community would expose me to constant temptation.

Once again, I’m male.  I’m very happily married and I would like to say that makes me impervious to naked women dancing across a monitor, but I’m not stupid.  No matter how prayed-up and prayed-for I am, I can be tempted.  Given the right circumstances, I would fall into sin.

The community couldn’t ever trust me.

Even if I joined the community in a safer space like Twitter (as opposed to their blogs and sites), my reason for being a part of their community would be suspect.  It wouldn’t matter that I was happily married, have kids, and am in ministry - they’ve seen and heard it all before and were still exploited.

I will never be an insider with this community.

I never understand what they’ve been through and what they go through every day.  I don’t know what they need and I don’t know how to meet their needs.

The Strength of Partnership

Although I may not be able to minister to this group, partnering with the right people or organization would make sure this group is not overlooked.

We have experience starting multiplying small groups among the poor, homeless, and the addicted.  The process, which is Scripture-only, focuses on meeting people where they are and helping them discover Christ as they read His Word with their community.  They reach out to each other and they learn what it means to love Jesus without the barriers of religion and religious people who seem to have forgotten the grace that saved them.

We also bring an understanding of the internet and how to find, track, and engage online communities and how we can have these small group Bible studies online.

What we need are people who can engage the women and men in the adult industry, who understand their needs, who have a natural compassion for them.  We need people we can talk with to identify felt needs so that we can meet together in ways that create opportunities to start Discovery Bible Studies and disciple people into a relationship with Christ. 

We’re not interested in owning the ministry, just expanding the Kingdom into one of the darkest corners of the internet.

I found some groups who minister to the needs of people in the adult industry.  I emailed them but it was returned to me.  I completely understand why as I am sure these ministries are attacked spiritually and physically all the time.  Hopefully someone will read this post and put me in touch with someone I could have coffee with and explore what it means to work together.

The strength of partnership is this - together we can reach people in areas and in ways we couldn’t before.  Any strategy to reach the Online Generation would be incomplete without partnerships to break Satan’s pornographic grip on both sides of the monitor.

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Comments

8 Responses to “Reaching Communities of Women in the Adult Industry with the Gospel”

  1. Gabe Taviano
    February 12th, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    Thanks for opening up about this Paul! It’s great to hear how you keep yourself accountable like this. Have you considered connecting with XXXChurch about how they might be able to be the partner that God uses to reach out to this group on Twitter you have described?

  2. Paul
    February 13th, 2009 @ 8:36 am

    Hey Gabe,

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, I’ve considered XXXChurch, but I don’t know anyone up there. Do you have contacts?

    -Paul.

  3. Christina
    February 14th, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    I know a number of ministries, not sure which ones you tried connecting with yet. Would love to share more info, although I don’t have personal/direct names of contact. Just ministries I’ve found helpful.

    As a woman, I realize the way God can use me to minister. Still, it’s a difficult and heavy place to minister, even for a woman like myself.

  4. Paul
    February 14th, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

    Hey Christina,

    I’d love to hear more about who you’ve connected with and ministries that might be helpful. Feel free to contact me, Paul, via email: paul at pauldwatson dot com.

    Blessings,
    -Paul.

  5. Luke Gilkerson
    February 16th, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    If Covenant Eyes can be of assistance to you, let me know!

    877-479-1119 ext. 8044

  6. Paul
    February 19th, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    @Luke - Gave you a call and left a message. Looking forward to talking with you.

  7. Chris
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

    My Pastor showed me your link,I spoke to him and his wife on this very subject.God bless you for addressing this area.Accountability is important, but it isn’t just men that sex workers have a hard time relating with, intimacy that is healthy in general is very difficult, whether it is male or female.

  8. Paul
    February 24th, 2009 @ 5:53 am

    @Chris - I agree with you. I think pornography destroys intimacy on both sides of the monitor - for the men and women creating porn and for the men and women consuming porn.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    Who is God?' was one of the top three sentences googled in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist. According to Alexa, the top two religious websites are Muslim, with BibleGateway coming in at a close third. The Online Generation is spiritual. They are seeking. And the church is the last place they would go to find spiritual fulfillment. This site is dedicated to those walking with The Online Generation and living lives of obedience to all the commands of Jesus Christ.
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