Tom Ryan


What would happen if you went to church this Sunday and found out after 10, 20, 30 years or more….that your senior pastor, your lead minister, or your priest was stepping down from the pulpit because of pornography/sexual sin? How would you respond? Would you be shocked? Would you be angry? Would you feel hurt and betrayed? Would you demand that he immediately be kicked out of the Church? Or….would you try and help?

In show 46, we learn that statistics tell us that 50%-60% of Christian men and 20%-30% of Christian women are addicted to pornography. This means that well over half of the Church is living in adultery (Matthew 5:27). It also means that most of the Church (especially the clergy) is dying… dying in isolation because of the shame involved with sexual sin. In this show, find out why the Church has become spiritually anemic, why sex is the perfect drug, and why “mindfulness” is so important to your journey toward health and healing in Jesus Christ.

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Bio:  The only child of mismatched parents, I was bright and anxious, imaginative and lonely. I loved books and music and—except when feeling afraid or threatened—school. Part of my upbringing was attending church, and early on I developed a keen awareness of the Divine Being. Our church was what we might call a mainline church in the midtown part of our city. Some of the people in that church were very important in my development as they provided me with stability and support. I am grateful for that church.

It is a wonder to me now that, given my life origins, I was able to enjoy the educational opportunities that became mine: an above-average high school education, a bachelors degree in education from the University of Missouri, a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, a year studying at Princeton Theological Seminary, and finally, a Doctor of Ministry degree, again from Fuller.

I met Pam Sandefur at the University of Kansas in the fall of 1977 while speaking at the Icthus Bible study. I got her phone number from a mutual friend, called her and it was my remarkably good fortune that she was glad to hear from me. I think we spoke for well over an hour that night, and we’ve really not stopped talking since. We married a year later. We have four grown children, all remarkable in their own right.

I’ve had the privilege of being on Young Life staff, prior to seminary, and since then have been an associate pastor in Lawrence, Kansas, an executive pastor at a large church in Kansas City, and planted a church in 1989. I was senior pastor of that church until leaving in 2008. During that time I twice served as the moderator of our denomination’s regional governing body. Beginning in January of 2009, I served as adjunct staff with PastorServe, ministering to clergy with personal brokenness issues and doing guest preaching for several years. I now lead the Shame No More project, a ministry under the oversight of Jacob’s Well in Kansas City.

I like reading mysteries, especially authors like Michael Connelly, P.D. James, Tana French, John Connolly and Elizabeth George, watching Masterpiece Theatre, action and other types of movies, hanging out with Pam, talking with my kids, streaming (Irish radio) and listening to Cashel (our chocolate Labrador) breathe heavily as he rests in our study.