WHO WE ARE
FirstLight is a St. Louis-based ministry that is dedicated to sexual integrity and helping people live a life according to God's standards on sexuality.
How We Are Different
Most organizations working to address the harmful effects of pornography and other sexual behaviors, even Christian ones, are solely focused on either eliminating the demand for such behaviors or helping those addicted to stop. While we value their contribution, at FirstLight we are different because we take a holistic approach to care that does not stop simply with achieving abstinence.
We work with men and women for as long as it takes to help them develop healthier and holier ways of living that restores them to a life of joy and abundance.
While our program is much more intensive than most, the effects are much more profound and long lasting. Thankfully, due to the support of our many donors, we can provide a level of service that is comparable to in-patient clinical programs, but offer it at the community support level and for minimal cost to participants.
As a Christian ministry, our ultimate mandate is given to us by Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of him (Matthew 28:19-20). As such, it is important for us to help people understand that their reason for turning away from sexual sin is not only about helping them be more healthy or to improve their relationships with spouses.
It is foremost about helping them glorify God.
As the Apostle Paul writes, we are all to “glorify God in our bodies” (1 Corinthians 11:7). At FirstLight, participants are not only educated about techniques for stopping unwanted sexual behavior or on how to heal their marriage after sexual betrayal. All participants are led into God’s word to see God’s love for them, how we are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and what this means not only for our sexual recovery but for living a life that allows us to better glorify God and enjoy him forever.
MEET OUR TEAM
Point Man Coach
MEET THE BOARD
In the mid-1990s, several pastors and Christian counselors came together to pray about starting FirstLight. They were concerned about how sexual sin was being addressed as churches either moved away from the Bible’s teaching on sex belonging exclusively to marriage (the covenant bond of one woman to one man for life) or moved to emphasize sexual purity in a way that bred condemnation, fear, and ostracization for those who failed to meet the Bible’s standard.
In the beginning, FirstLight offered confidential and safe groups to men and women who had same-sex attractions. However, after the pornography cyber-revolution in 2004, FirstLight added new groups to address the growing need, first for those who struggle with pornography and other unwanted sexual behaviors and later for those who have been negatively impacted by the sexual behaviors of their loved ones.
In 2010, the Lord led the board members of FirstLight to call a minister who would make FirstLight his full-time ministry. While FirstLight had been blessed with committed and talented volunteers and part-time staff up to that time, few Christians believed the need warranted a full-time, specially-trained minister. FirstLight’s board disagreed and, in an act of faith, hired Rev. Sean Maney on full-time.
In 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic and accompanying isolation orders had a huge impact upon FirstLight. The isolation provided time for the staff and other leaders to plan a new curriculum that could better integrate the clinical and discipleship emphases that have always made FirstLight unique. In addition, it enabled the ministry to develop a new online model of care using video technologies.
Today, FirstLight is now in the process of creating a multi-year, comprehensive sexual-discipleship curriculum for both men and spouses that should be finished by 2025. The program is designed to meet the increased need of FirstLight’s services due to wide-spread pornography use by Christians. By cultivating a community of care that utilizes in-person and virtual meetings, mentoring, and therapy, FirstLight is able to provide extensive sexual discipleship and clinical care that is unique in its thoroughness and breadth. We pray that it will be a life-transforming program for thousands of Christians and a model for other communities who still lack focused pastoral care for sexual discipleship.
The focus at FirstLight has remained on making disciples of Jesus Christ who glorify God with their bodies and not simply helping individuals to be sexual in whatever way makes them happy. In addition to curriculum development, FirstLight currently works with churches by teaching Sunday School classes or preaching about the uniqueness of the Bible’s teachings regarding sexuality.