The 30-Day Sex Challenge

February 20, 2008 by

Here’s an interesting tidbit about a church campaign to promote, well, sexuality and um, effective sexual habits. (And their current series, of course.) Here’s the skinny:

  • Married couples: Have sex daily for 30 days.
  • Singles: No sex for you. Not even in a committed relationship. At least for 30 days.
  • Everyone: Follow with Relevant Church in their series and study guide for a month.

Obviously, this is generating attention like crazy. At times the campaign has flopped, like when they proposed a billboard with the challenge web site and the phrase, “Are you up for it?” and the billboard censors said no (they revised the slogan and it got the OK). Or the fact that the web site is currently showing a bandwidth limit exceeded error (that’s both good news and bad news).

Some couples are extremely excited about the campaign. The St. Petersburg Times covered the campaign and spoke with Doug and Lorena Webber about the challenge.

“At first I was like, ‘Oh – okay,’ ” said Lorena, 28. “But I think it’s going to be really good. You get so busy with life. Life gets in the way.”

Doug, 38, didn’t hesitate. What guy would, he asked?

Dig further and he explains that, sex aside, it’s an opportunity for them to reconnect as a couple emotionally and spiritually.

It’s certainly an interesting marketing strategy, but some will certainly argue for a separation of church and bedroom. For naysayers to consider, however, is the campaign’s strong focus on sexual needs beyond merely the physical. Understanding your partner’s needs, effective communication and selflessness are key points of the campaign, focusing on intimacy in all aspects.

Even if it does push the envelope, I think people want to feel that churches care about them, and if a church can help their intimacy, then go for it! It’s never a bad marketing strategy to let folks know you can improve the quality of their life.

The best news of all? If you’re interested, you can download the guide (PDF), follow the blog and join the challenge!

(link via LeadingSmart)

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Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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23 Responses to “The 30-Day Sex Challenge”

  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    February 20, 2008

    So… they’ve got all men on the series planning committee, huh?
    Or perhaps they want to grow their children’s ministry. (OK, that was my wife’s comment)
    Oh those wacky churches. Bring on the zingers!

  • The Aesthetic Elevator
    February 20, 2008

    Drat and blast! Their website has exceeded its bandwidth!
    Fun idea, but I’m a bit concerned it might reinforce unrealistic stereotypes, such as those proffered by TV and movies. I can’t say this for sure because I can’t read more about the campaign, but that’s my two cents.

  • Jermayn Parker
    February 20, 2008

    OK the thing that has me is the fact that they say “singles no sex even in a committed relationship”….
    Is this condoning sex outside marriage?

  • theultrarev
    February 20, 2008

    You wrote: “It’s certainly an interesting marketing strategy …” See, I really don’t think this is an overt marketing strategy. I think they really, honestly want to minister to married couples and promote sexual wholeness. It’s not just another gimmick to get people in their church.

  • Paul
    February 21, 2008

    My wife didn’t go for it, but I am on the programming team for the church, so I’ll suggest it next time that we do a marriage and/or sex series.
    I think it flies in the face of the lie that God hates sex. He created it. He wasn’t surprised the first time Adam and Eve did it. Like all things, He helps us know the right way to live life for our good.

  • Matt Holley
    February 21, 2008

    This is a great challenge to the singles. How many singles do you know that are having sex and need to stop? This just might be the challenge they need to abstain from that sin.

  • Matt Holley
    February 21, 2008

    This is a great challenge to the singles. How many singles do you know that are having sex and need to stop? This just might be the challenge they need to abstain from that sin.

  • Kurt
    February 21, 2008

    I am concerned that a church has to tell its single church members not to have sex for 30 days.

  • brad
    February 21, 2008

    ultrarev, ultimately if “church marketing” is just a gimmick, we’ve entirely failed and it’s time to pack up and go home. Church marketing must always connect to the truth of Christ that the church is founded in.
    Sometimes that truth is easy to find. And sometimes it’s nearly impossible — that’s when church marketing truly sucks!
    This seems like a strange but perhaps workable idea. I hope that it achieves its higher aims, rather than just becoming another performance benchmark…

  • Joshua Cody
    February 21, 2008

    Sorry to anyone who has had trouble seeing their comments. Our comment catcher was flagging you all for using the word “sex.” Shame on you.
    In response to whether the church is condoning premarital sex, I would cheer them on. They’re not hiding from a real issue, and they’re proud to have attendees who aren’t perfect.
    It’s not the well who need a doctor, but the sick.
    I’m glad folks who are doing this are in church rather than feeling like they can’t come to church. This challenge might be good for them.

  • brad
    February 21, 2008

    Joshua, you’ve touched on a huge tension there. Let’s never hide from a real issue, but let’s never put ourselves in the place where we condone sin either.
    I think the effort in question does a good job of feeling that tension — the tone is encouraging people to find out what happens if we begin to live life “God’s way”.

  • Frank
    February 21, 2008

    “Aesthetic Elevator”, no, they are not condoning sex outside of marriage. They ARE addressing a fact that it often does occur outside of marriage, and they are trying to address the issue through study of the Bible. It is 30 days which becomes a lifetime.

  • Brandon Bowers
    February 22, 2008

    Hey folks.. I’m a member of Relevant Church, and I can tell you that the whole thing wasn’t started as a way to market the church. Albeit, it has created great buzz for the church. Our pastor has a heart for marriage and healthy relationships. We aren’t naive enough to think that every marriage is perfect and all single couples are abstinent. Instead of ignoring it, they’ve hit it head on. It’s being done in a way that will glorify God and change lives. Check out the podcast at

  • Dave Jones
    February 24, 2008

    Relevent Church thank you for being brave enough to take this step, too many times the church is silent in this area! I love it

  • Toni
    February 25, 2008

    I sent the website to my husband. We haven’t had sex in two years. Another reality the church doesn’t talk about…and it isn’t me who is not wanting it. I hope this can bridge the gap and help us in that area. It is hurting my heart! Thank you Relevant Church for bringing this to the forefront. As my former pastor told me, we are not the only couple with intimacy issues. A healthy sexual relationship in marriage prevents unhealthy extramarital sexual relationships, just being real about it. Usually the stereotype is the woman who doesn’t want to do it, but that is not always the case as the many Christian books on the matter discuss including The Sexless Marriage. There shouldn’t be such a thing!

  • jesuguru
    February 25, 2008

    I understand that the singles component isn’t necessarily “condoning” premarital sex… and yes it’s good that they’re at least going to church (yes everyone in church is a sinner)… and yes this might be a “good challenge”.
    But Biblical repentance isn’t “try not doing it for 30 days! Come on!” Jesus’ admonition is rather, “Go and sin no more.” Regarding sexual immorality, Paul writes “Flee”, not “Take a break.” Too bold, too direct?
    Repentance is hard. The Gospel is challenging. Watering it down is not the solution.

  • Jason Stanley Marshall
    February 26, 2008

    30 days?! I thought if a woman is “unclean” she had to leave the camp.
    Okay, seriously, a pastor in my area said in a sermon… “Sex in marriage is an act of worship!” On the way out the door one of the deacons said…”Pastor I have to hurry up and go home so I can WORSHIP!”
    Sex is not dirty. You’re right ultrarev the world needs to know the right way God intended it … In Marriage!
    My wife and I had our first kiss on our wedding day. I won’t get into the full story. But great post!

  • Mark Hardy
    March 4, 2008

    “I am concerned that a church has to tell its single church members not to have sex for 30 days.”
    Better to address the issue than pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s making people think about it more. Just because you shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean that you don’t.
    I don’t want to just repeat all the other comments, but we all know not to sin and we still do it. Good stuff, Relevant Church.

  • Kevin
    March 6, 2008

    “I am concerned that a church has to tell its single church members not to have sex for 30 days.”
    So – All the singles in your church are celebate?

  • The TuneHead
    March 6, 2008

    You know, a few weeks ago, my pastor made the statement that sex was created by God FIRST for the husband and wife’s pleasure, THEN for procreation. I’ve never heard a pastor nail it on the head, and I’ve never heard one speak that out from the platform. Of course, he offended some of the judgmental, Pharasitical types in the crowd (thank God they were only visiting), but he also told people, “Look, if you’re in here with your children, you’re gonna expose them to some adult stuff. That’s why we have age-appropriate teaching.” He’s even considered keeping a sign outside the auditorium that says “Today’s message contains adult content.”

    You really need to have a pastor in your church that has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world, not just what’s going on in the church. That’s why I think this idea, while pretty gimmicky, is a great draw. I mean, look how many people are visiting their website to find out more about it. That kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident.

  • Karla Goolsby
    March 6, 2008

    I’m so sick of some Christians’ obsession with sexual issues. This publicity stunt certainly reinforces that. This is so contrary to the teachings of Jesus. He was much more concerned about the needs of the poor than with sex.
    I wish we were as concerned about feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, and loving the friendless as we are about policing human sexuality.

  • Teresa
    March 6, 2008

    i think there is something to be said for balance. how does daily sex promote intimacy? there are many ways to have intimacy and sex isn’t the only way. there are many women in abusive marriages where their husbands abuse them using sex. this could promote more abuse.
    i’m just not sure all the possible ramifications were considered.
    i think the abstinence challenge part would be great for a college or singles ministry, but church-wide? the diversity of people, backgrounds, circumstances, etc. is just too big for this to be a church-wide thing in my opinion.

  • Kimberly
    November 21, 2008

    So, for the singles challenge, does masturbation count?

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