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A Model of Success
By Steve Gallagher
Dave Mozdin was just another guy attending the weekly sexual purity support group meeting at his church (Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago) in July, 2002. When the man who started the group suddenly left, church leaders considered shutting it down. Impressed with Dave’s faithfulness to the group and his own testimony of victory, they asked him if he would be willing to take the group over for the rest of the summer while they decided what to do with it.
Inspired by his namesake’s words of repentance found in Psalm 51 (“Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you.”), Dave agreed to take on the assignment. Those six weeks came and went. He never looked back.
Something else happened during those early days. “One of the elders at Harvest, approached me with a copy of At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry,” he recounts. “He asked me to look it over to see if it could be used with my guys. I randomly picked chapter 3, read it and did the workbook exercises. I knew right away it would work well in our group. We have reviewed other materials since then but have yet to find anything comparable to the way Sexual Idolatry addresses the problem of sin from a biblical standpoint and offers a clear path to freedom.”
As Dave continued to mature in his own walk with God and his level of confidence grew, the group became increasingly more effective. As more men began implementing into their lives the truths they were receiving, the fruit started becoming evident.
“Some of the men would walk off after only one or two meetings,” Dave shares. “But there were also those who had the rich soil in their hearts, who allowed the Word to take hold. These guys recognized their need for repentance. They had the attitude that they were willing to do whatever was necessary. They really got the victory!”
Robert was one such man. He had struggled with habitual sexual sin for over 35 years. Even when he got married and was determined to overcome his sin, he still struggled on, living in perpetual defeat. “By the time he joined our group, he was ready to do whatever it took,” Dave recalls. “He was broken, willing and teachable. Sure enough, before long he had his own testimony of victory. He has been leading his own group for three years now.”
Yes, as word got out in the greater Chicago area about the success Dave’s group was having, more men began attending the meetings. Eventually, groups were started in other areas of the city as well.
But Dave encountered another problem: many of the guys had gone through At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry twice and needed new material. “It was at this point the Lord led me to come up with a follow-up group. I decided to use Steve Gallagher’s book, Living in Victory. Pure Life didn’t have a workbook for it so I wrote my own!”
Then the Lord did something nobody could have predicted. In the summer of 2007, He burdened a woman who is also a member of Harvest Bible Chapel to reach out to women who struggle with sexual sin. Cindy Calabrese contacted Pure Life Ministries to find out if we had anything available for females. By “coincidence” Steve and Kathy Gallagher had just completed their book for struggling women entitled, Create in Me a Pure Heart.
Cindy began the group with eighteen women and a year later, eleven remain. “The successes and victories are nothing less than miraculous,” she shares. “As I look back to when we first began the book, I am unable to totally grasp all that God has done in their hearts and lives. It was certainly not easy. There were many tears, frustrations and attempts to give up; however, when those times came, the other women flocked around that woman, bore her before the Cross, interceding, encouraging and loving her back into the fold. I am so very proud of them!”
In the meantime, Dave continues to forge ahead—even though he holds down a fulltime job. Not only does he oversee three groups of men meeting at various church campuses around the city, but he has also begun helping other churches in need. As word continued to spread about his success, churches in other cities have approached him about helping them establish groups. “I’m working with seven different churches right now,” he humbly acknowledges.
But numbers are a secondary issue to Dave. He has adopted the philosophy of his pastor, James MacDonald, who stresses the need for “a quality of discipleship, not a quantity of disciples.”
Click to read comments from participants/attendees at a Disicples for Purity Event:Anyone wishing help or advice about establishing a group can contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Gallagher is the founder and president of Pure Life Ministries. He has dedicated his life to helping men find freedom from sexual sin and the abundant life in God that comes through deep repentance.
2008 http://www.purelifeministries.org/. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use, copy, distribute, or retransmit information or materials on this page, so long as proper acknowledgment is given to Pure Life Ministries as the source of the materials, and no modifications are made to such material.
Disciples for Purity at Harvest Miami
Some 60 attenders gathered to learn how to address and handle sexual sin/purity issues (prevalent even in the church) and the pervasiveness of sexual temptation in our culture. Even more they received Christ-centered hope and help through instruction from God’s Word. With content designed to help any follower of Christ, Disciples for Purity spoke deeply into the needs of those personally struggling with sexual sin, small group leaders, and those seeking biblical equipping to help others in need. The topics taught were wide-ranging: Glorify God in Your Body; Men: Sexual Purity and Marriage; Women’s Purity Issues; Breaking Sin Patterns and Spousal Support. Each topic included break-out discussions, Q & A, and homework for those wishing to dig a little deeper.
The responses were revealing:
Now I know I can change because there IS hope and help…
We weren’t aware of some of the more subtle temptations that exist in our culture… We understand better how clearly and thoroughly God’s Word deals with this.
The conference also served as a launch point for Disciples for Purity weekly discipleship accountability groups at Harvest Miami. Disciples for Purity offers Christ-centered, biblically-based answers and ongoing support to build up His church in the spirit of Ephesians 4:12-13, particularly in the area of purity. To host a conference or for more information visit Disciples for Purity online and at Harvest University, or contact Dave Mozdin at email@example.com .
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…