Our calling as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to make Christ central in all we do. Yet, in many funeral occasions, the gospel of Jesus Christ is lamentably overlooked as the primary purpose of the funeral service and that upon which all true hope depends. The aim of this book is not just to inform you of all the different kinds of important logistics, challenges, and practicalities that often accompany any funeral, but so that you will know how to apply the power of the gospel in the midst of those unique challenges.
Logos Bible Software dramatically improves the value of any resource by enabling you to find what you are looking for instantly and with unbelievable precision. As you are reading Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals, you can easily search and access topics or Scripture references you come across, for example, “comfort” or “gospel.”
“The most helpful advice I ever received about preaching at a funeral for someone I didn’t know was this: ‘Don’t preach them into heaven. Don’t preach them into hell. Just preach the gospel for the people who are there.’” (Page 46)
“Exhort the mourners to grieve. Preach the gospel clearly and simply. Help them understand their need for Christ as death is before them. Call them to repent and believe.” (Page 48)
“Pray for the spouse, children and grandchildren, friends, and other acquaintances, that God would comfort them, that they would find their hope in the gospel, and that they would grieve in a way that honors God as well as the person they have come to remember.” (Page 43)
“Therefore, gospel-centeredness is when the gospel of Jesus Christ is the primary purpose and the focus of the funeral. It is making sure that the foundation of any hope experienced is rooted in a holy God’s merciful plan to redeem sinners through crushing His own Son on the cross in our place.” (Page 18)
“Second, prepare your comments for the graveside interment service. Make your comments brief. They should contain an introduction, a Scripture reading, and prayer. Prepare your portion to last no more than five to seven minutes.” (Page 49)
The brevity of this book betrays its value. Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals is a superb treatment of this crucial aspect of pastoral ministry. It is both theologically faithful and practically useful. I will refer to it often when called upon to point others to the victory we have in Christ during the times of sorrow and grief that always accompany death.
—Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
How I wish that I had this book 10 years ago! Filled with biblical and wise pastoral wisdom, this book will help the person just starting to take funerals as well as give fresh thoughts to those who have taken many. Brian Croft and Phil Newton have written a pastoral gem.
—Paul Rees, senior pastor, Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, Scotland
Brian Brian is the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of several books about pastoral ministry. Through his blog, Practical Shepherding, he seeks to equip pastors and leaders to faithfully shepherd God’s people.
Phil Newton is the senior pastor of South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, a church he planted in 1987. He is the author of Elders in Congregational Life and contributor to other books and journals. He came to faith in Christ as a teenager while living in Russellville, Alabama. Called to gospel ministry a year later, he received his education at Mobile College (now the University of Mobile), BA, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, MDiv, and Fuller Theological Seminary, DMin. He is presently a PhD student at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he is studying applied theology in missiology. After pastoring three churches in Alabama and Mississippi, he planted South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee in 1987 and continues to serve as senior pastor. He regularly engages in training young men for Christian ministry and leading international mission trips.