Here are some numbers to keep in mind as your feet hit the floor in the morning. About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Broken down by gender those numbers are approximately 1 in 6 girls and 1 in 25 boys who will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and typically by someone they know. What’s most shocking is that these numbers are based on reported cases only, the real number is much higher because many people, like me, never reported the abuse. It’s not until years later when we’re no longer able to hide what happened that the stories begin to be told. So, when I recently read about the sexual abuse of 700 children over a twenty-year period in Southern Baptist Churches, I really wasn’t shocked, and I wish I had been. Some may feel the need to begin a defense of the SBC by saying this is a small percentage out of the 46,000 churches associated with the SBC and I would simply say, “there is no defense.” As a pastor, and as a victim, I realize we really need to do more to protect the most helpless and innocent in our care.
In the last two days I’ve read and listen to several stories of parents whose children were abused by those in leadership, and I’m a bit numb. These are stories of children who have been changed forever because of the abuse they experienced. Many of these kids grew up self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, some attempted suicide while others were successful. Let me just say I can identify, and these are some of the reasons I began Christ-Centered Solutions near the end of last year. I want to help. I believe there are many still living in the shadows of shame who want to seek help but are afraid to step out and take the risk. To be frank with you, I’m terrified of even putting this blog online. I’m terrified of sharing the fullness of my own story in a few weeks when it will be available on DVD, and part of the reason why is because I know once it’s out there’s no taking it back. I also know that confronting the darkness and sharing with others is the only way to take the power of the secrets away. Isn’t that what we do when we surrender to Christ? We come out of the darkness and into His light, laying our shame and guilt at the foot of His cross. There is power and life in Christ Jesus.
There are many other Christians and non-Christians we need to help also. Christian couples aren’t immune from martial issues and many are seeking sound biblical counsel, this includes young couples in need of premarital counseling. There’s also another group I’m really concerned for and that’s other pastors. There’s a growing problem of ministry burnout among this group, but what’s even more disturbing is the increase of suicides among pastors. Rarely does a week pass that I don’t read of a pastor, who seemingly has his act together, and shocks the Christian world when they hear he has taken his life. There is much work to be done in our churches to help both ministers and laity.
Listen, I need your help, Christ-Centered Solutions needs your help. For CCS to grow as a ministry and help others we need the financial support of Christians who believe it’s our duty to counsel and minister to other believers in need. In our first four months of operation we’ve provided 143 hours of Biblical counseling and almost all has been at a reduced or free rate, and just so you know, I’m not receiving any compensation for the care provided, yet we do have costs. Some of our funds have aided several families in need of food, housing, and clothing because there was nowhere else to turn at the time. Other costs are simply associated with starting a new ministry. We have legal and processing cost, website, supplies, ministry projects like the “My Story” video, printing teachable materials, and other costs.
I’m praying some folks like you will consider becoming a monthly supporter of this Biblical counseling and training ministry. Can you possibly afford $100 a month? How about $50, or any amount per month to help CCS help others? If you can’t, I understand, but please consider maybe a one-time gift to help get us on solid ground. You need to know that CCS is incorporated and registered with the State of South Carolina as a charitable organization. We are also in the process with our lawyers to present, and hopefully, to obtain our nonprofit status with the IRS. Once we are given nonprofit status then all funds which have been donated for up to 27 months can be retroactively deducted on your tax returns. Please visit Christ-Centered Solutions web page and help support this ministry. Once on the website simply click the “Giving Tab” and fill in your information. You’ll have an opportunity once on the giving page to choose a one time or monthly option when giving. Let me also inform you to ignore the “Login Here” button at the top of the page unless you’ve given before and would like to change something on your account.
Before I go, let me ask two more things of you. 1) Please share this ministry with your pastor or church leaders so I might have the opportunity to tell them more about how Christ-Centered Solutions can help them and their congregations, and 2) please commit to pray for me and this ministry.