Over the summer, former pastor and I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Joshua Harris announced on Instagram the “deconstruction” of his faith. Then, a Hillsong songwriter—Marty Sampson—posted that he too was “losing his faith.” Christianity Today asked several Christian voices to share some considerations around when and how prominent figures should disclose their doubts and disbelief.
Michael Hidalgo, pastor of Denver Community Church, author of Unlost
For leaders, these are teachable moments to show helpful ways of engaging questions, skepticism, and doubt. This demands honesty and authenticity with themselves, other leaders, and those who have entrusted them with influence. Should leaders do this, we will encourage others toward the same kind of authentic faith, and come to see we are all simply sojourners in relationship with the endlessly knowable God.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert, blogger at Sayable
It should comfort those following to see leaders with an early and consistent willingness to be wrong, repent, ask forgiveness, change, and remind others that they are not God but they look to him as the unchangeable one. Yes, Christian leaders should disclose their fears, doubts, and shifts regularly. Will it hurt? Maybe. But it is good for God’s people to see the Great Physician administering healing to even great Christian leaders.
Mandy Smith, pastor of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, author of The Vulnerable Pastor
Sharing doubt models the entire experience of faith to followers, reminding them not to let doubt grow in silent shame. Of course, there are unhealthy ways to share doubt. When done wisely, it releases both leader and followers from the idolatry of human leadership. . . . At difficult times in our faith, we all need our community to believe on our behalf—even Christian leaders.
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Source: Christianity Today