If you have the privilege of serving as a Pastor for more than a few months, then it’s probably safe to say that you will be preaching at a funeral at least one time…if not hundreds over the course of your role as Pastor. People live, and people die. The timing, circumstances, and beliefs of the deaths, however, change everything.
If an individual who loves Jesus passes away in their sleep at 103 years old, we grieve the loss, but understand that it was their time, and rejoice that they are with our Lord. When a teenager, however, is lost in a tragic car accident, it’s another story altogether. Parents lives are shattered. Siblings are faced with a reality they have no idea how to process. Friends are left broken. And that is the case if they were a believer or not. If they were not a believer, then the situation becomes worse.
So what do you do when that inevitable phone call comes that someone has slipped away into eternity? I can assure you that it is not scheduled in your calendar. Adjustments in meetings and schedules will have to be made. You’ll need to meet with the grieving family. You’ll need to prepare an additional message to preach at the funeral and graveside, in addition to the message you have been working on for your weekend service. Death and funerals can stretch anyone to their limits.
This is not a position to be envied. It is one that requires an incredible vision of a loving, merciful, almighty, and good God. One that can comfort and draw the grieving to himself, but also one that can carry you, sustain you, and lead you as you embark on a myriad of tasks that have to be accomplished. So as you continue in the ministry, I urge you to lean into God. Don’t let ministry become a project that you simply complete each day. Trust him every minute of every day during the good times, and during the bad times. Lean into him today so that when the storms hit and your people are faced with the unimaginable, you can go to where you have already been and find the strength you need to carry on and comfort the broken-hearted.
I want to provide you with a few resources to help you when you find yourself in need of sermon prep materials and appropriate media that can help glorify Jesus in the midst of someone’s passing.
Funeral Service by Johnny Hunt
This is a foundational sermon for any funeral that focuses on the topic of peace.
A Baby’s Funeral by Jeff Strite
This is a funeral no person wants to see happen. But it does happen and if it does, this is a sobering sermon to help us prepare a message for our grieving congregations.
The Impossible Separation: A Funeral Message for Suicide by Ernest Easley
If you ever have to preach at a funeral from someone who committed suicide, then you will have many people in the service that are feeling guilty, thinking they should have seen it coming. This is a great sermon to help prepare you to preach at this unique funeral.
5 Tips for Preaching Funerals for Unbelievers
This article offers 5 practical tips for handling this this difficult topic.
“So That You May Not Grieve As Others” – Preaching The Funeral Sermon
This is an in-depth article that gives us solid advice for preaching at this important moment.
Tips for Preaching Funerals
3 simple steps are offered in this article that can help guide us as we prepare for a funeral service.
Everlasting Spirit by Playback Media
Glass Candles by Playback Media
Reflective Candles by Playback Media