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HELP A HURTING PASTOR
MINISTER TO THE GRIEVING
CARE FOR PERSONS IN CRISIS
MINISTER TO LOST A LOVED ONE
HOW TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS
MANAGE CONFLICT IN A CHURCH
RESPOND OFFENDING BROTHER
TEACH LIFESTYLE STEWARDSHIP
HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM
NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS
HOW TO USE TIME WISELY
GET ALONG WITH MEMBERS
OVERCOME DISCOURAGEMENT
EVANGELISTIC INVITATION
CONDUCT A COMMITTE
RECOVER FROM BURNOUT
LORD'S SUPPER OBSERVANCE
HOW TO PERFORM A WEDDING
HOW TO BAPTIZE
CONDUCT A FUNERAL
HOW TO DELEGATE
IT IS TIME TO LEAVE
PASTOR AND HIS SERMON
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How to Conduct a Funeral

The loss of a loved one is one of the difficult experiences a person can encounter. It is a time when all Christians need the loving support of their pastor. Upon hearing of the death, the pastor should go immediately to the family and offer comfort and support. Be sensitive. Listen. Let them know that God cares and that you care.
Here are a few ideas to help as you minister through the funeral.

Make It Personal

When the funeral is for a church member, you will probably be well acquainted with the deceased. Even when this is the case, review the details of the obituary carefully. This is not the time for an inadvertent mispronunciation of a name or place of birth.
Do not use the funeral service to condemn the sins of the dead.
Ask the immediate family to help you prepare your comments for the memorial service.

Respect Local Traditions and Customs

The local funeral director can be of tremendous benefit to the pastor as he interprets local customs. Community traditions may dictate the order of service and even where the pastor should stand after the funeral. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

Be Professional

When you minister to a grieving family, you represent God and the church. Be caring and warm, but also communicate the quiet confidence of a professional who has been down this road and can serve as a guide.

Care of the Family

Sometimes a zealous pastor will, inadvertently I hope, deny family members permission to grieve. He says that since we will be together in heaven someday, there is no reason to grieve. But the reality of heaven does not erase the present pain death brings to a family. Paul said that Christians should "not grieve as others who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13). This is not a statement to deny grief; it is simply to say that Christians should grieve in a different manner.

Let the Powerful Word of God Bring Comfort
Here are some of the passages I use
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, Psalms 90, Daniel 12:2.
The Word of God is a powerful force for comfort in times of loss by death. Choose Scriptures that speak to the heart and communicate comfort. Claim the promises of Scripture. Apply the medicine of the Bible to grieving hearts.

Keep the Funeral Service Brief

A funeral service is an expression of the love of a family for the one who has died. The family is tired, and the funeral service gives them permission to begin the long journey to recovery. This is no time for a long, drawn-out service. A few well-planned comments will accomplish more than a long, rambling message.

Prepare for the Graveside Service

In most places the pastor should walk ahead of the casket from the hearse to the graveside. There the pastor should read a Scripture, offer a few words of comfort, and pray. Following his prayer, the pastor should say a personal word of comfort to the immediate family.

Make Follow-up Contacts After the Funeral

Don't forget to continue ministry after the funeral. During the stressful days of the funeral, life is busy, and lots of family members are usually nearby. Two weeks or a month after the funeral, things are quiet, and reality sets in. The wise pastor will realize that a contact from him may be more needed then than it was on the day of the death.

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