Featured Organization: Strip Church

Filed under Organizations & Causes Your World on Dec 01 12 by

Strip Church This month, we have been featuring organizations (such as Treasures) that reach out to women working in the sex industry. Today, Strip Church Coordinator Tara Ulrich fills us in on what Strip Church is, why you should care about reaching women in the sex industry, and how you can get involved.

YOU ARE: What is Strip Church?

TARA: Strip Church is a ministry committed to serving, teaching, and equipping women across the world who share a heart and calling to reach those in the sex industry. We provide 3-4 training conferences each year, developing 30-50 people each time and training new leaders to do strip club and sex industry ministry in their own cities. We also have a Strip Church Network of over 40 ministries around the world who are sharing Christ’s love in clubs in their areas.

YOU ARE: Why should someone care? Why is it necessary to do this type of outreach?

TARA: There are more women in the sex industry today than any other time in history.  The majority of Christian ministries out there today are combatting poverty, hunger, or sex trafficking. [This] is all incredible, but women working in strip clubs are often forgotten. They are often judged, because people assume they chose to go into the industry—which may be true, but nobody dreams to become a stripper when they grow up.  Life circumstances like abuse or abandonment lead these girls into this industry. We desire to bring them love and hope. If the church doesn’t do something, if the church isn’t willing to be a light in the dark places, who will?

YOU ARE: What is the link between strip clubs, porn, prostitution, and trafficking?

TARA: 70% of all female trafficking victims are trafficked into the commercial sex industry.  That means that they are working in strip clubs, massage parlors, porn sets, and at escort agencies.

YOU ARE: In Strip Church training, you teach, “This is not a ministry that will bring instant gratification.” How do you keep from getting discouraged or disappointed by this?

TARA: You have to remind yourself this is a seed-sowing ministry. We trust and believe that as we plant the seeds, it is God who will bring the harvest, whether or not we get to see it. Although we have the honor of seeing tangible change in the lives of the women we serve, there are many times when we don’t.

YOU ARE: Why is the glamorization of stripping in main stream media such a problem?

TARA: In general, our society normalizes the sexualization and objectification of women. The more this happens, the more desensitized to it we become.

Also, the more commercialized and glamorized the sex industry is, the more blind we are to the pain it causes. That struggling college student doesn’t realize that women in the sex industry experience rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder equivalent to veterans of combat war, or that 33% of women in porn meet diagnostic criteria for depression.

The couple that believes that watching porn is part of a healthy, adventurous sex life doesn’t realize that what they thought was going to facilitate intimacy in their relationship actually destroys it.

YOU ARE: Who would you recommend attend Strip Church Training and why?

TARA: Anyone who has a desire to see women in the sex industry and victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation reached and restored through the love of Jesus Christ [should attend Strip Church training]. If you have any inclination or desire to reach out to women working in the sex industry, you need to be at Strip Church Training. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a college student, or a ministry leader in your church, if God has given you this passion, you are ready to get started.

We have women who have been effectively doing this type of outreach for years provide their wisdom, experience, and insight on the ins and outs of the sex industry. Whether you’re simply interested in learning about this outreach, or you have a team ready to go out, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to go in equipped.

YOU ARE: What do participants learn at training?

Tara: [They will learn] statistics, how to get in the clubs, what to do once you’re in, how to expand your reach beyond the clubs, team building, leadership development, and fundraising.

YOU ARE: Where can readers find more information about upcoming trainings?

Tara: We have a lot of new cities and dates coming up in 2013! Check out our training page for more info.

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The You Are Project
The You Are Project aims to inject truth into the lies that women believe about themselves. We want to help women discover their identity in Christ, and to instill confidence in them that isn’t swayed by the ever-changing media or by the opinions of others. We want to restore the relationships between women that have been damaged by jealousy, gossip, and competition.
  • Darlene Anderson

    Informative interview. This gives me a better understanding about what Strip Church is all about.

  • Temeka

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Temeka