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Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What’s The Point Of Recovery?

the point of recoveryWhat’s the point of recovery? I ask this because I believe that many of us see recovery as the goal rather than a means to a goal. Let me explain.

For many, the reason they seek freedom from porn is because they just want to stop looking at it. Now while I agree that not looking at porn is a great goal, I think it’s a short sighted one.

For me, I think of porn addiction as something that stifles us. It keeps up from being the best spouse, the best parent, the best pastor, and the best leader we can be.  In other words, porn addiction keeps us from our best and more importantly from God’s best.

In our X3groups recovery program our ultimate goal is not to free men from porn addiction; it’s to enable them to find God’s best by breaking free from the thing that keeps them trapped and less effective. When someone enters an X3group we don’t see him or her as a future “recovered addict.” No, we look at them as a future leader with great potential.

If you struggle with porn ask yourself, “Can I do better?” After that take an honest inventory of your life (and ministry in some cases) and make an honest evaluation … Are you being the most effective person you can be living in God’s best for you, or are you settling for something far less?

As we come to the end of February, think about what recovery means and how it could completely change your life. Get serious about recovery because when you do it will change your life … just like it did for Cory.

“X3Groups has been an absolute game-changer for me in my quest for sexual purity.  I still remember how afraid I was of people finding out, constantly looking over my shoulder, and the stress of trying to manage my secrets.  To be able to jump into a safe space like this and willfully share the honest truth, knowing that it would be met with grace, understanding, and unconditional love… was huge.  For one hour a week, I didn’t have to pretend to be something I was not, and it was in that hour that I began to truly understand the deeper issues underneath my behavior and address the root problems. 

X3Groups helped me identify the specific things that trigger me to run towards porn, and they equipped me with the tools necessary to create a victorious environment wherever I go so that I can more consistently avoid being triggered in the future.  The group leader’s own struggle and recovery was inspiring to me – I knew that I was being led by someone who has been where I was. 

After a while, I was asked if I’d be interested in leading a group of my own in order to help other guys like me.  I was so excited about the opportunity to do for others what someone else did for me.  In fact, leading my own group is one of the best motivators to me to maintain my sobriety.  Every Thursday morning I look forward to logging on and connecting with the guys in my group.  I am so encouraged when people take steps towards the life they know inside they were created for!”

Sign up for an X3group today. Start on a new road to recovery with leaders like Cory there to help you along the way. Use discount code PORNFREE2014 at checkout to receive a 50% discount on your first month.

If you are interested in starting a local X3group in your area or church find our more about the X3groups Local Network here.

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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Mission: Why Porn?

Sometimes people wonder…why does XXXchurch exist? Why did we make pornography our ministry focus? Why did we choose to ruffle feathers and pull back the curtain on this industry? Why didn’t we focus on something a little more culturally tolerable, something that isn’t so much of a punch line?

Because people matter, that’s why.

The numbers alone are staggering. Consider:

  • 40 million adults visit pornographic websites on a daily basis
  • 25% of all employees who use the internet look at porn
  • 50% of divorces in America list porn use as a contributing factor
  • 11 million Americans battle sexual addiction
  • $3 billion is generated annually just by child pornography

And that’s just the beginning. The internet is full of numbers and statistics that we could quote all day long, but that would almost be a disservice to the PEOPLE behind those numbers.

Every woman who poses for the camera? That’s a person Jesus loves.

Every man who degrades himself on tape? That’s a person Jesus loves.

Every child who has their innocence robbed? That’s a person Jesus loves.

Every person chained to the addictive sin of pornography? That’s a person Jesus loves.

Whether they’re making it or using it, porn is full of people, of precious, valuable people. People who are so valued that Jesus gave up his life for them.

Because people matter to Jesus, and they matter to us.

That’s why.

 [For more information on how you can help the people in your church being affected by pornography visit X3groups.com/local]


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Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Secrets: But For The Grace of God

As a pastor, you get to hear a lot of secrets; but how often do you get to tell your own? I don’t know if you have ever told somebody a secret, but it feels really good. Whether it’s a secret about some new direction your life is taking, or about the surprise party you’re throwing for your best friend’s birthday, or the news about a baby on the way, getting it off your chest and into the air, into someone else’s brain, is a freeing sensation.

But there are plenty of secrets that don’t sound so great. Mistakes we’ve made that we don’t want anyone else to know. Habits we’re embarrassed about. A past we’ve hidden because we fear rejection. What about those secrets? Could it feel good to let those out?

But what might happen?

I recently sat down for breakfast with a mentor of mine that I hadn’t seen for about a year and a half. I had gone through some changes in my life, and I wanted to fill him in and ask for his counsel. To do so, however, I had to tell him about mistakes I had made, choices I had made that caused me to feel really ashamed of myself.

And in that moment, the thought of sharing those secrets was absolutely no fun. In my head, I walked through all kinds of scenarios, all of them involving this man that I looked up to so much being disappointed in me, telling me he expected better, telling me I should be ashamed.

But when I actually spilled the beans, and told him about it, he looked me in the eye and told me he understood, and that he was here for me, and that he was still proud of me. And you know what else he said? This:

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Whether we’re keeping secrets or hearing them, it’s true for all of us.

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Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Three Reminders About The Gutter

[Editor’s Note: Today’s post is an excerpt from the book “The Gutter: Where Life Is Meant to Be Lived” by Craig Gross.]

Many times I have discovered that I banish people to the gutter when they don’t believe like me, act like me, speak like me, or look like me, but it is in the gutter that Jesus defined his model for the most effective ministry. When I miss Jesus’ example to the gutter, it’s only because I have forgotten the pain I felt when I was in the gutter of my own life. We forget the gutter is the one thing that we all have in common – it’s the great equalizer where everyone becomes equal. Why? Because we are people who have all experienced problems and pain only a gutter can produce. To go to the gutter is to be changed by the gutter. Those that are most opposed to the gutter are the ones who have been there the least.

Jesus spoke of the gutter in Matthew 25:45 when he said “That which we do to the least of them, you have done unto me.” The gutter is the place where the least of them live. For the religious, the gutter can be the place where people don’t believe what we believe, or where people do dirty things. In other words, the gutter is where the sinners are.

When I accepted Christ as my savior, I was lifted out of the gutter, but I was not made better than those that remained. If I’m going to be honest and real with myself, I must remember that my own failures are no different than those that are called the worst sinners, because in God’s eyes, sin is sin. In reality, I am the worst sinner I know. My expressions of love for Jesus can make me feel like I am better than those in the gutter, but I must remember that whatever I do to them, I’m doing to him.

Got that? Good. Now let’s talk about the… following principles:

1. The Difference Between “Them” and You Is A Small One.
That small difference is your discovery of Jesus and how that discovery wound up making a huge difference in your life. Those in the gutter are in need of a Savior; you and I can be the ones that bring him to them.

2. The Only Mistake In The Gutter Is Not Going.
Okay, before you get the wrong idea – I’m not saying you can go into the gutter and start to live the lifestyle of that gutter. I’m saying that as long as you go on Christ’s terms and with Christ’s attitude, it’s impossible to make a mistake. Look, I can be a lazy guy, and my procrastination has kept me away far too many times. It seems like I’m always finding ways to stay in the comfortable climate of Christian circles that make reaching the lost impossible, but that is in direct contrast to Jesus’ ideas about Christian living. Jesus encouraged us to enlarge our circles and get in the gutter. We only screw up when we stay away.

3. Identify A Need That Can Be Met.
Serving and meeting a need was the greatest way that Jesus connected with people. We too can meet needs in the gutter, making our efforts more effective. Meeting a physical need before asserting a spiritual need is a great tool. Whether it is a pair of socks and sneakers, a cold cup of water, five loaves of bread or two fish, Jesus laid the plan for success in the gutter. Pastors and church leaders, Christians young and old, every person willing to get in the gutter can help fulfill their part of the Great Commission.

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

An Open Market

[Editor’s note: today’s post is an excerpt from Craig Gross’s new book, Open. You can read more about the book at GetOpen.com]

Being open takes some work on your behalf, and that work starts with some serious honesty. Can I tell you a story? This is a story that takes place in London, England, a few hundred years ago, which is mind-boggling to some of us Americans, since our country wasn’t even a country yet at the time of this story. Anyway, this was long before digital scales or even those round, hanging scales you see at the supermarket in the produce section, with the big red needle that helpfully tells you exactly how many pounds of kiwis you have. Back at the time of our story, scales were balance-style, like the kind you see Lady Justice holding out from her blindfolded face in statues in front of courthouses around the world.

Those types of scales operated based on a set of weights—you’d put the “one pound” weight on one side, then load up the other side with cabbages or mutton or what-have-you until the scales balanced. Voila: one pound of mutton.

Except it wasn’t always exactly a pound, because those types of scales were extraordinarily easy to manipulate. Take a weight labeled “one pound,” shave a couple of ounces off the bottom, and now you’re handing out fourteen ounces of mutton at the one-pound price. More profits for you, and you only have to gyp your customers and be a little dishonest.

In the midst of this parade of cheating and wheeling and dealing, a couple of London grocers got together and decided to be honest with each other. They agreed that it was best for their customers and for their reputations if they had honest scales—aside from the fact that it was the right thing to do—so they hatched a plan. They would regularly check each other’s scales. Once a week, one grocer went to the other and made sure all his weights balanced out, and then the first grocer got his weights assessed by the second one.

Guess what happened? Customers found out what was going on, word began to spread around town that you could trust these two grocers to have honest scales, so their businesses began to thrive. And you know how business works—if something is paying off for one guy, all the other guys in the same business start trying it out (just look at how many iPhone copies are out there now, even though touch-screen technology existed long before the iPhone made it popular). Other London grocers decided to join in the fun and began having their scales assessed, and all these grocers eventually banded together to form a sort of loose trade association that was called, and I’m not making this up here, the Most Worshipful Company of Livery Merchants.

Well, soon enough, other nongrocer merchants began hearing about this swell idea and decided to use it among themselves, and then the people in charge of the government got wind of it and thought it sounded like a good deal, and if you work in the modern-day UK National Measurement Office, then you have a couple of medieval grocers to thank for your job.

See what a little honesty can do?

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