For Men Only – Group Information
A. Group Background Information
The New Heights “For Men Only (FMO) Group” is an offshoot of the ministry started by East Hill Church in Gresham, Oregon. The overall purpose of the East Hill ministry is to “assist men in the courageous fight for healthy sexuality” . To be more specific, the ministry helps men that deal with sexual addiction issues. Several men that were involved in an East Hill’s FMO group also attended New Heights Church. In 2000, these men met with a pastor at New Heights to discuss the possibility of starting a similar ministry. After considerable discussion and prayer, the New Heights FMO Ministry was launched. Since that time, the ministry has grown and is helping men in this community in their battle with sexual addiction issues. God has brought leaders to the group who personally deal with these issues, so there is a level of understanding, compassion, and commitment to recovery that comes from their own struggles. We welcome you to our group and hope that the combination of God’s love, forgiveness, and desire for your heart, along with the resources and support of this group, results in breaking the bonds of addiction and developing habits and perspectives consistent with healthy sexuality.
B. New Heights FMO Mission Statement
The purpose of the New Heights FMO Ministry is to assist men in the life-long process towards healthy sexuality. We recognize that God is the source of this healing process. In conjunction with recovering from sexual addiction, each man will also strengthen his relationships with God, family, and friends. Furthermore, we expect that each man will use his recovery to mentor others in need.
C. Intake Process
All men interested in attending the New Heights FMO group are required to meet with a designated FMO contact and complete an intake process. The purpose of this intake is to assist the group leaders in learning more about the particular sexual desires and behaviors that problematic. It is extremely important that you be completely honest when completing this inventory, as the responses will be used to place you in an appropriate accountability group with other members that have similar issues. All forms are destroyed after use for placement, so that confidentiality is ensured. If for any reason you feel that the accountability group that you are placed with is not appropriate for your needs, please discuss the situation with one of the FMO leaders.
D. General Meeting Schedule
- 7:00 – 7:15 PM: Opening Comments and Announcements
- 7:20 – 8:00 PM: Teaching Groups
- 8:10 – 9:15 PM: Accountability Groups
E. Teaching Groups
There are currently three different teaching groups:
Choose Planned Recovery (CPR): This is an introductory 7-week class that provides a broad overview of sexual addiction issues and concepts relating to the recovery process. The curriculum is based on the following paradigm:
Spirit Soul Body
Heart/Core Thoughts Feelings Choices Behaviors Relationships
A handout packet is provided at the beginning of the class and you can start at any point and continue until you have completed all classes. Each week, the group discusses one of these topics. In the seventh week, the new members learn about relapse prevention plans and are provided with content guidelines to facilitate writing one. These plans should be shared with the new member’s accountability group and then revised and updated on a regular basis. If you would like to repeat the class one or more times before moving to Faithful and True, you are welcome to do so
Faithful and True: This class builds on the foundation obtained in CPR and is based on the workbook “Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World” by Mark Laaser. The workbook is divided into 12 units and explores a wide variety of related issues such as dimensions (physical, behavioral, relational personal and spiritual), families, tools for recovery, and the process of recovery. Homework is assigned and it is important that you complete it so you can be prepared to discuss your answers, share your insights, and visibly demonstrate your commitment to recovery. It takes approximately a year to complete this class and some men chose to repeat it again to gain further knowledge into aspects of their sexual addiction. You are also welcome to repeat this to gain additional insights before moving on.
Seven Pillars of Freedom: This class is based on the work book “Seven Pillars of Freedom” by Dr. Ted Roberts. This workbook is divided into 7 restoration units/pillars: Breaking through denial, Understanding the nature of sexual addiction, Surrender to the process, Limit damage from behavior, Establish sobriety, Battle in your mind, and Develop and implement a spiritual growth plan. The workbook is based on the work of Patrick Carnes and the experiences of Ted Roberts in his 20 years of working with Christian men who are struggling with sexual addiction in their lives. The first group is currently working through the book and anticipates it taking approximately a year to complete.
Electives (Currently not meeting due to the 7 Pillars class): The focus of this group is to equip and motivate men to move on in their commitment to open and authentic relationships and deeper self-discovery. This goal is accomplished by exploring a variety of topics using different formats such as bible study, DVD presentations, and review of selected books.
F. Accountability Groups
There are four accountability group levels, with each one focusing on a set of common sexual desires and behaviors. We firmly believe that sexual sin is sexual sin and that the various levels are not in any way to be interpreted as some behaviors are worse than others. It is simply a method of making the accountability groups more productive because the men in each group will be able to better relate to the challenges experienced by other members of their group.
The purpose of these groups is to hold men accountable for their choices, to encourage them to make choices that are consistent with their stated desire for sexual purity, to share strategies and common challenges, and to celebrate successes. Each group is facilitated by one or two leaders that ensure sharing is appropriate, that guidelines are followed, and that each person has adequate time to share.
Each group also maintains a phone list so that members can contact one another for encouragement, confession, and developing deeper personal relationships.
G. Group Guidelines
- This is a Christ centered ministry. We don’t look to human leadership alone to solve the problems of sexual addiction. Instead, we focus extraordinary healing power of Jesus Christ working through ordinary men.
- Regular attendance is crucial in order to make consistent progress. Make Thursday nights a priority and attempt to avoid any scheduling conflicts that would prevent you from attending.
- Be on time for the start of the meeting. Arrive a few minutes early to help set up, get your nametag, and talk with other members.
- Complete your homework and come prepared to discuss your insights and/or any questions.
- Confidentiality is crucially important. While you are welcome to share your insights or progress with other individuals, under no circumstances should any comments made by other members be shared outside of the group. This creates and maintains a safe place to be open and honest with each other.
- Be honest during the teaching and accountability groups. Many sexual addicts are exceptional liars and spin artists. If you are tempted to be less than forthcoming, just remember that this is a safe place to share your actions, feelings, and thoughts.
- Ask for permission before giving feedback. As guys, we often feel an inherent desire to solve problems and frequently feel that we know the way to do it. However, sometimes we just need to listen.
- Keep your sharing focused on issues dealing with your recovery and don’t drift on to other unrelated topics.
H. Counseling Resources
Many of our members will vouch for the benefits of working with a Christian counselor that has training and experience in dealing with sexual addiction issues. The decision on which counselor is best for you is a very personal decision and a list is included on the FMO monthly calendar. We encourage you to talk with other members to learn about their experiences with counselors to determine if their style sounds like a good fit for you. Counseling is relatively expensive and should be regarded as a financial investment in your recovery. Remember, you only get out of it what you put into it.
I. Book Resources
Here is just a sampling of some of the books that discuss aspects of sexual addiction. Other resources are included on the back of the FMO monthly calendar:
- Pure Desire (Ted Roberts)
- When Men Think Private Thoughts (Gordon MacDonald)
- Wild at Heart (John Eldridge)
- Men’s Secret Wars (Patrick Means)
- Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Healing Power of Jesus (Russell Willingham and Bob Davies)
- Don’t Call It Love: Recovering from Sexual Addiction (Patrick Carnes)
- Facing the Shadow (Patrick Carnes)
We strongly encourage supplementary reading on the topic to increase your knowledge and provide additional insights into sexual addiction and recovery.