I’ve given two funerals in my short pastoral ministry: one for a 34 year old man who died too early from cancer, another for a 64 year old who died suddenly from health complications; the former was co-led, the latter I flew solo.
While I took a class on pastoral ministry during my M.Div. program, I wish I would have had a new ministry guide to help, called Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals.
This compact guide by Brian Croft and Phil Newton is more than a manual for the logistics, challenges, and practical matters of leading funerals. In it they aim to help you shape these experiences to be gospel-centered.
What is a gospel-centered funeral? “Gospel-centeredness is making the gospel of Jesus Christ the primary purpose and focus of the funeral.” (14)
Croft and Newton believe planning, preparing, preaching, and performing funerals should be infused with as much of Christ and His hope of salvation as all the other areas of life.
These 4 essential “P’s” will ensure you don’t merely perform a funeral, but that you conduct a gospel-centered funeral. Let's take a look at each point in brief: