A week and a half ago, I had the great honor of representing XXXChurch.com as a speaker on their #PornKills Tour, along with the ministry's founder, Craig Gross, and spoken word poet / speaker, Jefferson Bethke. The three of us, along with Scott the Mechanic, Dave The Hairy Shoulder Guy and Matthew the SICKproductions Dude, and Craig's brother, Mike, spent five days driving a 1960's hearse from rainy Seattle, Washington to Sunny SoCal, stopping off at churches and schools along the way to perform, teach, share, and answer people's questions about pornography and Jesus.
We started the tour off right, in Capitol Hill, at Caffe Vita - if you ever find yourself in Seattle, you have to make it to Vita, and Vivace. Both places are relatively close to one another, and I proposed to my wife at the latter. So we drank Vita, ate at this place across the street, and got ice cream at Molly Moons. There is a photoblogger in the city named David Lawrence who wanted to get together and chat / shoot for a while before the first event started that night, so I hung around the Hill with him while Craig and his brother went to pre-record a sermon at a church out toward Bellevue. I believe David is going to be releasing a creative video interview in the next couple of weeks, but until then, you can follow his Tumblr here.
I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my story, alongside Craig, at a multi-site church in the area called Eastlake, where we prerecorded a couple of sermons on pornography, as well as familial brokenness. Craig and the Gross family have been through quite a lot over the last few months, and it was great for me, that day and throughout the tour, to get to know him better, meet his children, and enjoy his company. I am very thankful for the work Jesus has done in and through the Gross family.
I don't really want to give a recap of the entire tour, because you'll be seeing plenty of that soon enough, and I don't want to spoil in writing what you'll have the chance to experience visually. The plan is to roll out nearly three hours' worth of available content from the tour within the next month - including the complete Porn Kills Program - that will be available for purchase and utilization in your own churches, home group, and individual contexts. In addition, XXXChurch will be releasing quite a bit of free, behind-the-scenes content on their own site that should be fun to watch - at least, you'll be able to make fun of whatever antics are revealed there.
I want to say it was a great honor, having the opportunity to use the talents that God has given me for tour that I pray was to his glory. I remember the first event that I did on behalf of XXXChurch in 2010. I was on tour with In The Midst Of Lions, in Lutz, Florida, and I was terrified. The band dropped me off at this enormous church and all I could think was, "After tonight, XXXChurch is never going to ask me to do anything for them again!" Haha. One of my pastors says, "You're pretty articulate for a poet." And what he means by that is I'm not. I thought that certainly, in all of my fumbling for words, I would say something to misrepresent XXXChurch - or worse, something to misrepresent God and his Word. Frankly, I don't remember whether that happened or not, but even if this were all to end tomorrow, I am able to look on in awe and wonder that God has "redeemed the years the locusts have stolen from me, the years that I let them feed" and turned my past sins of pornography abuse and human objectification into a testimony of Jesus' mercy and the breaking of chains that might be of hope to others wrestling not only against flesh and blood, but the principalities and the powers of the air.
I remember a book my grandparents used to have on their shelf when I was a child. In big, bold letters, the title read: "SATAN IS ALIVE AND WELL ON PLANET EARTH." I don't remember the author, but I thought about that title a few times on our tour, while Craig reminded audiences and reminded me that the devil is a thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy us.
I have felt destroyed. I have also felt the hand of a man who was destroyed turn even death into life. May we not wait until all has fallen to pieces to trust in him.