Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Dr. Doug Weiss has helped save thousands from sex addictions in the last 20 years. Today, he is passionate about empowering churches in strengthening and restoring marriages.f-Strang-HealingMarriages

Dr. Doug Weiss is all about healing. He has devoted his life to healing the sexually broken. Through his work as a counselor and clinical psychologist as well as his many books, public speaking and numerous media appearances, Dr. Weiss  has been able to help rescue thousands from sex addictions and other problems. He claims an 85 percent success rate.

Yet in healing sex addiction, he’s really healing marriages. And in healing marriages, he’s putting lives back together and affecting the very fabric of our society at a time when it seems everything is trying to tear it apart.

So it was natural that I invite Dr. Weiss to be guest editor of this issue of Ministry Today. This year we have dealt with some of the important issues facing the church—such as integrity, prayer, giving, evangelism, church growth and leadership itself. None is more important than marriage. For the leader, unless you have this area of your life together, you are ineffective in all other areas.

In fact, if the church doesn’t show leadership, who will? But if the epidemic of broken marriages in the church doesn’t stop, how can we speak to the cultural issues surrounding marriage?

In this day of gay activism in which people are trying to redefine marriage to include gay and lesbian couples, Dr. Weiss is challenging our very concept of what Christian marriage is. I heard his teaching “The miracle of marriage” a year ago for the first time. He says the concept of “one man, one woman” is incomplete. Marriage was really God’s last creation on earth. And He created marriage as a trinity—between Himself, and the husband and wife. This is a revolutionary concept we must begin to take hold of. To me, it’s the most important message of the issue.

Dr. Weiss also tells some of his own story—coming out of sexual brokenness, to where he has been sexually sober  more than 24 years. He’s best known for his counseling of sex addicts. His Heart to Heart Counseling Center is somewhere you can call on for people in your church or even if you are struggling yourself.

Dr. Weiss has seen up close the shipwreck that can happen when a leader doesn’t get help. He was a member of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., when pastor Ted Haggard was exposed by a male prostitute for being involved with drugs and inappropriate behavior. The pity is Haggard could have gotten help had he reached out to deal with things from his past that he had pushed down. But they came bubbling to the surface, resulting in a national scandal and untold heartache.

After the scandal broke, Dr. Weiss instituted something for his clients in his clinic. He requires all his counselors—and himself—to take a polygraph test once a year to prove they have not looked at porn, masturbated or had sex outside of marriage. It just keeps everyone honest.

We need that sort of accountability in the church and in our own lives. Read the articles in this issue and learn. And if you need help, get it yourself.

On a personal basis, I have gotten to know Dr. Weiss well during the past 10 years as we are both in a small accountability group with Christian leaders of large organizations. We meet three times a year. It’s “iron sharpening iron,” and Dr. Weiss has become one of the most liked and respected members of our small group with his wisdom, insights and creative thinking. Over those years, I’ve gotten to know his wife, Lisa; daughter, Hadassah, 17; and son, Jubal, 15. They are a model family. I have seen that Dr. Weiss practices what he preaches in terms of how he lives his life, raises his kids and treats his wife.

This issue is full of good material by nationally respected leaders such as Gary Smalley, Dr. Tim Clinton, pastor Jimmy Evans, and Larry and Jonathan Stockstill—who were Ministry Today guest editors last year on the issue of “integrity.” So there is plenty here to minister to you in your own brokenness, and to help heal those whom God has entrusted into your care as a leader. 

So read it, share it with others and use the concepts. There’s even material here that will help you in sermon preparation.

But most of all, reach out and get help if your marriage is struggling or if you are dealing with shameful issues that will bring you down sooner or later if you don’t get help.

Steve Strang has published six books by Dr. Doug Weiss: 30-Day Marriage Makeover; Get A Grip: Take Control of the Things That Are Controlling You; The 7 Love Agreements; Intimacy: A 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationships; Sex, God And Men; and The Final Freedom.

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