This past May I had the opportunity to speak at Pepperdine University for the annual Bible Lecture's series. It's primarily a gathering of a combo of lay and professional ministry leaders, and as this event I was able to talk to them about one of my favorite topics...anxiety.
Anxiety is a huge issue both in and out of the church, and in fact, Walter Brueggemann has stated that it's the primary pathology in our culture that church leaders must deal with (see the excerpt starting at the 41:50 minute mark); I also believe anxiety to be one of the primary issues that our culture struggles with, and it can especially become toxic in a church culture where an extra stigma is attached to it.
In this lecture I walked the audience through several main points to better help them not only understand anxiety, but how to help them reframe it in a positive light, and what tools they can use, and steps they can take, to work with people who have anxiety. In this lecture I:
- help them identify the importance of what everyone's anxiety story is and how that informs not only how they handle anxiety, but how they perceive it and work through it.
- help them define what anxiety is and is not.
- help them define how to best understand anxiety.
- help them with the key ways to work through anxiety.
- help them normalize anxiety.
- help them reframe it as God at work in their lives, and as a friend, not a foe.
- help them understand how violations of love and trust inform anxiety.
- help them with tools to work with anxiety.
If you are someone who has struggled with anxiety yourself, or know someone who does, and you want to be of help...then check out this episode.
Resources and Tools Mentioned in this Episode
The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin by Soren Kierkegaard
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care of Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.
The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety by Kelly G. Wilson and Troy Dufrene
Bill Mounce's Exegesis of the New Testament word Merimnao (anxiety)
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Basel van der Kolk
Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy by Terry Hargrave and Franz Pfizer
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
The Meaning of Anxiety by Rollo May
The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? by Rhett Smith
Existential Psychotherapy by Irving D. Yalom Failure of Nerve: Anxiety in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman