When Your People Are Grieving
Author(s)Harold Ivan Smith
Once upon a time it would have been taken for granted that a pastor's responsibility as shepherd and "curer of souls" would be to be present for the griever. The Gallup Organization reported in 1997 that only one in three believe a member of the clergy could be comforting in a time of loss; only one in four say that it is "very important" for a member of the clergy to be on hand when a person is dying. Death and dying have become very secularized in this country. Many would more likely turn to a counselor or psychologist than a minister. Yet the hunger is there. It is the spiritual helper who repeatedly points the griever to another perspective who gives hope. It is the godly minister who helps grievers continue to love and live in anticipation of reunion.
When Your People Are Grieving calls upon pastors to embrace their positions of leadership and to be a means of grace and mercy to grievers during trying times. In this easy-to-read book written directly to the pastors, well-known grief specialist Harold Ivan Smith probes the many facets of grief ministry, presenting practical advice in dealing with one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of ministry in the local church. You'll learn:
- What family members expect from their pastors during times of grief
- What you should never say to those who have experienced loss
- How to equip your congregation to care for grievers
- How to counsel grievers who question the existence of God
- Why we no longer talk about the "five stages of grief"
Each chapter includes a spiritual formation exercise you can use to help grievers grow in the Lord. You'll also find "A Story That Will Preach" in every chapter to help you as you strive to relate and connect with you congregation in trying times.