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A handbook to enable ministry leaders to help others through bereavement. Grief is a difficult topic that ministry leaders deal with on a regular basis.
Do they have confidence in helping those who are suffering the loss of a loved one? Do they feel equipped to meet the differing needs that occur in the life of a survivor? Can they lead someone through a process of grief reconciliation? Are they able to plan and implement a bereavement ministry in their church or parish?
Here is a book that can help leaders in a practical way to minister to those who are grieving. In addition, they will discover essential tools to deal with grief's difficult questions.
Drawing upon his thirty years of experience as a pastor and as a professional grief counselor, Dr. Michael provides a valuable resource for pastors and other grief leaders to use within their churches and organizations, and their surrounding communities.
This work is a practical guide that will bring a greater understanding of the impact that loss has upon individuals and will provide competent counsel for ministering to them. In addition, it will equip the leader to implement a ministry of grief education and bereavement within a church or organization.
A Necessary Grief by Larry J Michael was published by Kregel Publications,U.S. in July 2015. The ISBN for A Necessary Grief is 9780825443350.
"What are the necessary tools in bereavement ministry and how do we minister well to others dealing with the downtrodden? These questions are at the heart of Larry J. Michael's new book called A Necessary Grief: Essential Tools for Leadership in Bereavement Ministry. The best part of the book is Larry's insistence on making clear distinctions between various terminology and offering a holistic view of ministry to those going through loss.
In the beginning of the book, Larry helps the reader by differentiating between grief and mourning. Larry writes, "Grief is the inward process that involves our thoughts and feelings after experiencing loss. Mourning is the outward process that involves the expression of our grief. It is often referred to as "grief that has gone public (24)." Mourning is the sign that we see all around us with morose faces, gloomy expression, and looking like a person is not fully alive. Grief is the inward process, the questioning, the deep wellspring of loss that we feel as we know that person is no longer with us.
Secondly, Larry carefully brings up some fallacies of grief that we often come across in daily life. One of them, "Grief is something to Get Over," was one I hear often. Larry writes, "Grief is not an illness from which someone must recover. It is a process to which a person experiences change and transformation over a period of time (55)." Larry points to King David as one who grieved dearly after the death of his son Absalom, never fully recovering from his grief but enduring it till his death. I would add that many people don't know what to say to someone grieving deeply and so words are better left unsaid. Larry also brings up the vital truth that faith doesn't make grieving easy. The comments that someone is in a better place don't take away the fact that they are gone from a person's life.
Overall, I think this is a very good book and one that I will go back to when ministering to those in grieving situations. There are also good sections on children dealing with grief.
Thanks to Kregel Ministry for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review." - Sheep23.
"Shepherding the flock is a noble task and demands a lot of divine wisdom. and shepherds certainly must seek it constantly. This book is a tool that seeks to provide assistance in this regard. Written by Larry Michael who is pastor teacher for adults in South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Focused on the appearance of pain in the lives of people, the author attempts to define the pain and nature and how this affects different people in different circumstances. Instructs on certain aspects to consider when effectively minister to people. It address good advice on what to do and what not to do, especially when we minister to people superficially circunstances of life as the loss of a loved one. The appendices are useful and valuable. It is a good pastoral resource that can be helpful when serving the flock.
This book was given to me courtesy of Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review." - Armando Valdez "Evangelio".
"Wow! This book is in danger of becoming the standard work on the most challenging subject of Grief. Dr Larry Michael writes clearly and sensitively, covering all aspects. He is a practical writer; we suffer grief ourselves and sooner or later every member of our family, every friend, needs consolation and uplift as we and they run the awful gauntlet of inward and outward suffering. Michael not only offers the benefits of his long experience but adapts the meaningful quotations of others to illustrate heartfelt observation. When we attempt to comfort others we need to be aware of the pitfalls in crass cliche; Michael's work is a clear education in this most poignant field of human endeavour. A Necessary Grief shows how to confront agony with a resonant but practical tenderness. Not just a book for ministers but a covenant written from the heart giving inspiration to any reader. A kindly work of Christian scholarship, easy to read and yet profound. Brilliant stuff; thoroughly well done." - William Barnetton.
"Everybody dies. We are aware--aren't we?--of death's inevitability. As Christians we exhort others to prepare for eternity (by cultivating a relationship with God through Jesus Christ in the here and now). Yet the struggle many of us have with death, both as Christians and non-Christians, is how to carry on after a loved one is died. Even for Christians with the hope of heaven before us, the loss of a loved one is felt acutely. If your life has not been touched by grief, it will. Pastors and lay ministers who are involved in bereavement ministry need to minister with sensitivity and compassion.
Larry Michael is the teaching pastor for adults at South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He has had a long career in ministry walking alongside grieving families. Previously he served as the executive director of Alabama Grief Support Services. In A Necessary Grief, Michael provides a guidebook for pastors and other ministers to the grieving. As a pastor, I am grateful for the insights that Michael imparts.
Eight chapters and four appendixes unfold how to minister with compassion to the bereaved. Chapters one and two offer insights into comprehending the nature of grief and the manner that individuals experience its reality. Chapters three through six explore areas of competency we will need if we hope to minister effectively to the grieving. Chapters seven and eight show how to coach others to care for mourners.
The four appendixes are very helpful resources. Appendix I discusses how people at different ages experience and understand grief. Appendix II is a funeral planning checklist. Appendix III and IV list Scriptures and inspirational quotes to share with the grieving.
Michael speaks directly to the 'fallacies of grief' and how to 'get over it' and shows how we ought to approach the hurting in a way that honors their experience. He counsels offering choices to people when grief is raw which will help them survive and heal. He speaks of the importance of rituals and relationships and offers wise council in how to minister to different types of loses (i.e. a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, a suicide, etc.).
I am grateful for this book and am happy to have it as part of my pastoral care library. I am less than a year into my first pastorate and am aware of places where I have not cared appropriately for those gripped by grief. Michael gave me some good suggestions about how to minister effectively with comfort and hope. I give this book five stars.
Notice of material connection, I received this book from Kregel Ministry in exchange for my honest review." - James R. V. Matichukon.
|Author / Artist||Larry J Michael|
|Publisher||Kregel Publications,U.S. (July 2015)|
|Number of Pages||176|
|Page last updated||8th April 2018|