With and Without Doubt
I was asked last week, by some of my church leaders, to consider repeating my evening service sermon for the morning congregation the following week. Recognising that I may never be asked to do this again, I said ‘yes’!
The sermon was about doubt.
To be honest, part of the reason for the request was that our audio recording hadn’t worked in the evening! However, mostly, the logic for the repetition seemed to be because the theme resonated with so many and because we don’t talk about doubt very much in church.
When we repeated the message this week we recorded it https://sermonplayer.chichesterbaptist.org.uk/?id=1052
And we also videoed it. It’s available via YouTube https://youtu.be/pobDw8Bh8SE
We opted for video recording as well because the message uses a simple illustration on stage of three chairs representing three positions when it comes to faith and doubt.
What has been so interesting and encouraging to me, after both weeks, has been to hear ongoing stories of faith.
People praying for others who don’t sit in the same chair as they do when it comes to doubt. People using the chair illustration to enable conversations with others in their family about faith and belief and being positively surprised by the answers. People appreciating the perspective of others in our church family. In homes and small groups the illustration has been replicated for those who missed it.
It seems as though this simple illustration has provided a means for ongoing faith and doubt conversations.
Now I recognise that, without doubt (excuse the pun), this is a subject which church leaders and preachers would have differing views about but it occurs to me that there might be something here which others can use and adapt for their own contexts.
You can jump straight to 5 mins into the YouTube video to get the central idea of the three-chair illustration.
Is it possible some of our people quietly limit themselves from being more missionally proactive on their Frontline because they think their doubt disqualifies them? If so then I hope and pray that there is something encouraging here in this message for them.
Is it possible that some in our churches, who are blessed with faith with little or no doubt might gain in mission from understanding and being alongside those who live with more doubt? I hope so, because this message argues exactly that!