Worship in an Age of Anxiety: How Churches Can Create Space for Healing

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by: Dr. Michael Jordan

The history of the theology of worship is riddled with examples of clergy and worship leaders who have sought to manipulate their parishioners' anxiety in order to spur repentance and turn people toward God. Even if such ends may be desirable--at what cost?

In Worship in an Age of Anxiety, Jordan challenges this utilitarian approach, offering a critical assessment of contemporary as well as historical evangelical figures such as D. L. Moody and Billy Graham who have deployed anxiety as a tool for conversion.

Proposing a completely different model, Jordan takes up various elements of worship, including:

  • liturgy
  • space
  • music
  • preaching
  • the sacraments

In doing so, he develops a practical theology of worship that also turns people toward God but within a healing framework.

While worship alone cannot heal anxiety, it can be a time and place where, rather than being manipulated, anxiety can be acknowledged, accepted, and offered to God.