Luke posted this over on the Breaking Free blog... Make sure tio take the survey at the bottom of this post...
Our brothers at XXXchurch have taken their ministry to the next step. For years Craig Gross, co-founder of XXXchurch, has told people that they are not a literal church, that they are just an online community. But this month, all of that changes.
Introducing: The Strip Church in Las Vegas.
The ministry of XXXchurch has been on the cutting-edge (and many say too edgy) of helping a world saturated with pornography. This is a ministry not only to those struggling with the temptation to watch porn, but also to the adult industry itself.
- XXXchurch has attended more than 20 porn shows around the world
- Their website has become a huge storehouse of information and testimonies for those who have been affected by porn
- Through programs like Porn Sunday, Porn and Pancakes, and Porn and Pastries, XXXchurch has taken their message to hundreds of churches
- Craig Gross has toured college campuses around the country with famed porn actor and director Ron Jeremy, debating about the effects of porn
XXXchurch has also been accused of crossing the line by several Christian leaders. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has said,
“I have no doubt that Jesus loves porn stars, and the Bible is perfectly clear in its grace-filled message that Christ came to save sinners. Jesus ate with notorious sinners and engaged in conversation with them. Yet, the presence of a Christian ministry within the confines of the Erotica Expo is a step beyond the example of Jesus, I would argue. There is a difference between talking to a prostitute about the Gospel and entering a brothel—much less buying a booth.”
Visit his blog to hear his full commentary.
The Strip Church Plan
“Bringing the Desert It’s Drink”—that’s the tagline of The Strip Church.
So what’s the plan? Every week many conventions and trade shows take place in Las Vegas, from porn stars to plumbers, and accountants to automotive workers. The Strip Church will set up a booth at each one of these conventions in their show rooms and invite people there to a church service happening close to the convention. At these services attendees will be encouraged make the right choices while in Vegas and learn more about Jesus. After these attendees return home, The Strip Church will give them a call and help them find a church in their area.
In order to pull off these outreaches, The Strip Church is asking for volunteers to take short term mission trips to Vegas, and (of course) for financial donations.
Why a Church in Sin City?
According to Strip Church:
- Nearly 40 million people visit Las Vegas every year
- 10,000 prostitutes work in the city
- Over 189,000 hotel rooms are on the Las Vegas Strip
- Tourism in Las Vegas takes in $41 billion annually
- The sex industry in Las Vegas rakes in over 6 billion dollars a year
- Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States
- 140 pages of the Las Vegas yellow pages is devoted to Escort Services and “private entertainment”
- Las Vegas is the epicenter of North American sex trafficking and prostitution
Gross’ vision is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who came not for the healthy but for the sick, not for the righteous but the sinners. He and his small team have packed their bags and moved their families and made Las Vegas their home.
Gross believes the church needs to do a better job telling people about Jesus. Gross doesn’t blame “the dark for being dark” spiritually, or for Vegas being Vegas. He instead blames “the light for not shining on the darkness.”
What do you think?
What do you think about this outreach to Vegas?