It’s been a bold and risky endeavor since day one. Not one to take the easy or safe road on the issue of pornography, Craig Gross, co-founder of xxxchurch, has proven over the years that sometimes a radical approach needs to be implemented in order to lead souls to Christ.
Originally a youth pastor in Fullerton, Calif., Gross came up with the idea for xxxchurch after seeing how many people around him were affected by pornography. His mission was to “give people a safe place to get help and let them know that they are not alone in this struggle.”
The part-time venture began years ago, when Gross decided to set up shop at the Adult Culture Expo in Las Vegas, promoting his organization as an alternative to pornography.
And the reaction from those attending the show?
“Surprisingly, we had a very favorable reaction from people. I think they were quite shocked that we even came to the show in the first place, but I feel that they were respectful towards what we were doing because we were respectful towards them,” says Gross. “From day one, we treated them lovingly and we didn’t point fingers at them or judge what they were doing. This is a big part of why we are liked among people in the industry.”
Gross’ website, xxxchurch.com, was launched on Jan. 9, 2002, the same day that he manned his first booth at the expo. Over the years it has become one of the biggest sites on the Web, helping people to deal with pornography and sex addiction, as well as helping them set up recovery plans and working alongside those who want to get out of the industry.
With the fan base growing over the years, the site now averages between 200,000 and 300,000 hits per month and has approximately 500 people per day downloading the site’s X3watch software, free accountability software that logs any questionable website the computer user accesses. The software is programmed to then send a report to a specific accountability partner chosen by the user. With more than 400 million pornographic Web sites currently out there, X3watch helps people reach their goal of becoming more open and transparent with one another concerning their daily Web surfing.
It was while Gross was working as a youth pastor that he discovered that “pornography struggles went way beyond just men and teens.”
“As of right now, the statistics show that pornography is a struggle that is 72 percent male and 28 percent female. The statistics concerning women may be surprising at first. 17 percent of all women struggle with porn addiction, they favor chat rooms twice as much as men, and women are more likely to act out on their behavior because sex is more of an emotional thing for them, opposed to men who have more of a visual need,” states Gross.
For the curious, here is a quick glance at surprising statistics regarding pornography and the different groups of people that it affects: