Rhett is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Plano, TX. In addition to his private practice, Rhett is on staff of The Hideaway Experience, which is a 4-day marriage intensive in Amarillo, TX. He is the author of The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? (Moody, 2012), and the coming book, What It Means to be a Man: God’s Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes (Moody, 2013). He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (MDIV, MSMFT), and lives in McKinney, TX with his wife Heather and his two children. Rhett’s Inclusion Fusion presentation is entitled Reframing Anxiety: The Inclusion of Anxiety in our Church Communities.
Since this is Mental Illness Awareness week, I thought this would be a great time to share a fabulous interview Rhett shared with us last winter on The Anxious Christian that to this date holds the single day record for most page views on this blog. I believe there’s a growing recognition within the church of the barriers that exist to full inclusion of children and adults with mental health issues. Here’s an preview of Rhett’s Inclusion Fusion 2012 presentation…
“The Bible says do not be anxious, therefore you shouldn’t be.”
How many times has this statement or one similar to it been uttered to someone wrestling with anxiety? It’s a situation that I hear often in the context of my work as a pastor and therapist. A person is told it is wrong for them to have anxiety as a Christian, yet they find themselves in my office struggling with their anxiety.
Whether we know it or not, our views on anxiety often exclude those struggling with it from our church communities, only driving the person farther into shame, rather than including them in the community they call home.
But what if God can use our anxiety for good? What if it’s a tool that drives us closer to God, rather than leads to disconnection?
God has used anxiety from the beginning as a way to bring people closer to him, and he is wanting us to help others embrace their anxiety in order to transform their lives. If you are wanting to see your anxiety in a new light, or you are wanting to help others feel included in church community, despite their anxiety…then I hope you will join me.
Join Rhett and 35 other leaders serving as faculty for Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s second annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit is made available FREE OF CHARGE to pastors, church staff, volunteers and families everywhere from November 12th-16th, 2012. For an up to date list of speakers, topics, links to speaker blogs and a link for free registration, click here.