Results of The Overcomers Needs and Assessment Survey (TONAS) 2003
About this survey
The 2003 TONAS was conducted by WITNESS! Ministries in conjunction with the LifeLines Discipleship Program. To date, it is the first of its kind and scope in assessing ministry needs from those in the church community who stand to benefit most from programs or initiatives geared towards strengthening and encouraging such individuals in their journey to wholeness.

The aim of this survey was to capture the needs of formerly gay black men who are in the overcoming process. The survey was conducted via the internet from October 10 through November 15 with fifty (50) respondents.The self-directed nature of the online survey allowed us to honestly capture information without  requiring individuals to reveal identities.. This was a  key factor in selecting the methodology for this study. Therefore, we feel the answers reflect truthful beliefs regarding overcoming homosexuality. It is our hope that this information will be utilized by church leaders to establish ministry programs and effectively assist men in dealing with unwanted sexuality issues.
Section I - Data about the respondents
If you had to describe your post-homosexual experience, which term would you most likely choose?
Overcomer                          72%
Exgay                                   6%
Former homosexual                   8%
Former gay                                 0%
Exhomosexual                            4%
Other*                                        10%
*Some responses: "son of God", "a mended vessel", "a work in progress" 
What is your age range?
18-20    4.3%
21-25    21.7%
26-30    8.7%
31-35    28.3%
36-up    37%

Are you currently a member of a local church?
Yes  87%
No                                                13%
What state do you reside in?
AL   6.5%       MI   4.3%
CA 8.7%       MN                                        2.2%
CO  4.3%       MO                         2.2%
DC  2.2%       NJ                                 2.2%
FL   2.2%       NY                                        13%
GA  21.8%     NC                                        2.2%
IL    4.3         OH                                         6.5% 
IN   4.3%       SC          2.2%
MD  6.5%      TX                                         2.2%
Armed Forces       2.2%
Section II - Data on personal struggles with same sex attractions
If you are overcoming or have considered overcoming your same gender attractions, what has been the greatest obstacle for you?
Letting go of gay friends                                                                                 18%
Not having a place to concentrate on overcoming                                        10%
Fear of rejection by church or family members                                            20% 
Not believing you could be successful                                                           16%      
No support/role models by which to pattern yourself                                   24%
Other*                                                                                                             12%
*Some responses:"I need friends I can be really be totally honest with", "Spiritual attacks...sin within the church", "Believing God could and would do it for me"
What one thing do you feel would help accelerate your healing/recovery?
Being part of a long term live in program (residential housing)                   2% 
More personal committment                                                                          18%
Having a mentor                                                                                             36%
Understanding the Bible more                                                                       6%
Learning how to deal with the reasons I am attracted to other men           32%
*Other                                                                                                              6%

If you consider yourself "delivered", how long have you been out of the "lifestyle"?
1-3 years                                     73.9%       
4-7 years                                     4.3%
8-12 years                                   10.9%
13-18 years                                 2.2%
18 and over                                 8.7%
Complete the following. I believe homosexality is primarily a...
Spiritual matter                         2.2%
Relational matter                       17.2%
Demonic                                      2.2%
All of the above                            67.4
Other*                                         11%   
*"spiritual and relational", "mental", "it depends on the individual struggler"
What has been your primary source of gaining information on overcoming homosexuality?
Internet                                                                                                         29.0%
A ministry to homosexuals (Exodus, Witness, etc)                                       23.0% 
Local Church                                                                                                 4.3%
Another major Christian ministry (TD Jakes, Bishop Eddie Long, etc)      4.3%
A friend who has overcome                                                                           9.0%
Other*                                                                                                            30.4%
*Some responses: "My own experiences", "My wife and healing", "books and experience", "therapy with the Lord and books", prayer and study of the Word", "IBOC (Ricky Rush)" 
In your current state of dealing with homosexuality, how much longer do you think it would take for you to feel like you are no longer "gay"?
6 months to a year                            24%
1-3 years                                            32%
3-5 years                                            8%
Other*                                                36%
*Some responses: Ideally 6 months with the right help, but since that is not the case, 1-3 years", "I have been told it might not go away completely, but to take the walk to freedom one day at a time", "I don't feel as though Im gay, but the feelings are there, though the actions are not", I currently do not feel as though I am gay", "when passion for the Lord is more than anything", "I've been trying off and on for 10 years"
Section III - Data on Residential Programs
If you were given the opportunity to be in a residential program, would you accept it?
Yes                                                      34%
No                                                       66%
If your answer was no, why would you reject the offer?
I don't think it's necessary                                                                           18%
I think it may cause more sexual problems with the residents                 20%
I may not be able to committ to it                                                                 4%
It's a good idea, but just not for me                                                               20%
Maybe at a later time                                                                                    2%
NA (responded yes)                                                                                        33%        
If you were part of a residential living program, what length of time do you feel is sufficient to help you in your recovery?
6 months                                            46.5%
9 months                                            7%
12 months                                          32.5%
Longer than 12 months                     14% 
If you were part of a residential living program which provided room and board, training and mentoring, which method would you choose to "give back"?
Service options to the organization  41.9%                             
Small monthly rent payments          41.8%
*Other                                                16.3%
Some responses: "I would do both", "Pay as much rent as possibly and reccomend it to everyone I know is struggling"
Section IV - The Overcomer and his church
If your local church does not have any specific programs for helping same sex stugglers, would you want to see one in operation?
Yes        82.6%
No                                                      17.4%

Do you feel your local church is helpful to you in your efforts to overcome same gender sexual issues?
Yes                                                     39.4%
No                                                       60.6%

If your pastor invited you to share your testimony openly in church, would you accept?
Yes                                                     53.5%
No                                                      46.5%

In your opinion, what is the greatest reason for the lack of support for men coming out of homosexuality in the black community?                                           Fear/misunderstanding about homosexuality                                             44%
The black church has internal issues                                                         16%
Men have not adequately demonstrated that they can overcome          
this issue                                                                                                       10%
Misunderstanding of the Biblical passages on homosexuality                    2%
No public discussions/forums                                                                       14%
*Other                                                                                                             14%   
*some responses: "Prejudices in the church against those who are earnestly looking for help"

Section V - Miscellaneous Questions
What topics would you like to see covered in a discipleship program?
[listed responses]
  • regaining manhood
  • masculinity in the black community
  • destroying "gay" mentality
  • sexual maturity
  • healing of broken relationships
  • how to work out your own personal deliverance effectively
  • root causes and overcoming emotional issues
  • how to find your true identity
  • body image problems
  • healthy same sex relationships
  • history of homosexuality
  • how to share your testimony without being a stumbling block to others
  • transitioning to heterosexuality
  • overcoming guilt

Please click here if you would like to participate in the 2005 TONAS. Your privacy will be protected and respected.

You are authorized to quote from this survey only if it is credited as follows:
"A WITNESS! Ministries/LifeLines Discipleship Program Joint Survey" Please include links back to the source page of the survey

Click here for the TONAS Analysis and Reccomendations