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Publication Date: 2011
Cancer. Suicide. The death of a child. As much as we wish we could avoid tragedies like these, eventually they will strike your church community. When they do, pastors must be ready to offer help by communicating the life-changing message of the gospel in a way that offers hope, truth, and encouragement during these difficult circumstances. Those asked to preach in the midst of tragedy know the anxiety of trying to say appropriate things from Gods Word that will comfort and strengthen Gods people when emotions and faith are stretched thin. This indispensable resource helps pastors prepare sermons in the face of tragedies by providing suggestions for how to approach different kinds of tragedy, as well as insight into how to handle the theological challenges of human suffering. Each topic provides a specific description of the context of the tragedy, the key concerns that need to be addressed in the message, and an outline of the approach taken in the sample sermon that follows. Topics addressed include: abortion; abuse; responding to national and community tragedies; the death of a child; death due to cancer and prolonged sickness; death due to drunk driving; drug abuse; and suicide. Bryan Chapell, author of Christ-Centered Preaching, has gathered together messages from some of todays most trusted Christian leaders including: John Piper, Tim Keller, Michael Horton, Jack Collins, Dan Doriani, Jerram Barrs, Mike Khandjian, Robert Rayburn, Wilson Benton, Bob Flayhart, and George Robertson. Each chapter provides you with the resources you need to communicate the life-giving hope of the gospel in the midst of tragedy. In addition, the appendices provide further suggestions of biblical texts for addressing various subjects as well as guidance for conducting funerals.
Bryan Chapell is the bestselling author of numerous books on Christian ministry and life. Christ-Centered Preaching and Christ-Centered Worship are standard seminary texts; Holiness by Grace, Each for the Other, and Praying Backwards have helped thousands find greater joy and fulfillment in the grace of Christ. Bryan has been a pastor and is President Emeritus at Covenant Seminary. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.
The categories covered include sermons for various tragedies, the loss of a child, funerals with especially difficult causes or circumstances, and sermons that deal with suicide. This collection even includes a sermon preached at a funeral for a celebrity certainly a unique resource, if not, invaluable if the situation were to arise.
Not only is this collection a profitable resource for pastors, but the theology and help provided in these sermons certainly may provide comfort and clarity for those who face the difficult situations that are covered. Each chapter begins with an introduction of the sermon including the situation for which the sermon was originally preached, the concerns covered in the sermon, the approach taken in the sermon, followed by a transcript of the actual sermon. These sermons are well crafted, thoroughly biblical and surprisingly readable.
Thanks to Bryan Chapell for another highly useful preaching tool for pastors and laymen alike. Todd Burgett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
James RubergAge: 45-54Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5May 11, 2012James RubergAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This book contains sermons that were preached during times of great distress. Some of the sermons deal with 9-11, abortion, child abuse, the death of a baby, suicide, murder, cancer, a special needs person, and the death of a leader. Some of the sermons and ideas are helpful to draw ideas from. Others are short and shallow. I greatly appreciated the author's comments before each sermon. He described the situation, expressed the concerns that the pastor had to face with his message, and the approach that the pastor took.
The one area in the book that I didn't agree with was infant baptism. One of the pastors talked about infant baptism in his message. I believe baptism is for believers. Baptism is for people who have made a conscious decision to trust Christ as their Savior and Lord; and they desire to follow Christ in obedience by by being baptized.
Chris LandWichita Falls, TxAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Resource for Pastors to haveFebruary 2, 2012Chris LandWichita Falls, TxAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5There are many things that Seminaries teach to prepare you for ministry and there are things that they can't. Not that they are not faithful to give you an education that you need, its just things in life are very unpredictable. Losing a loved one to cancer or suicide. Tragedies that shook our nation, such as 9-11. There is no training for that except on the field.
That is where this book, The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have To Preach, becomes a very helpful resource. Bryan Chapell collected 25 sermons for the purpose of equipping Pastors for the task of doing a sermon, whether corporate worship or funeral, for the unexpected. This book contains sermons for John Piper, Tim Keller, and many others with a Reformed Theology background.
I appreciated this book being available not just for sermon helps, but for theological purposes. This book contains Tim Keller's sermon from the Sunday after 9/11 which was very insight. There is one sermon on the loss of a child which can be not only hard for the parents to go through, but for a pastor to preach. I am thankful that Chapell put John Piper's sermon on that subject because I would not know where to start.
This book is a must need for pastors to have because you never know when tragedy will strike your city or a family in your church.
Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5valuable resource for difficult funeral sermonsAugust 31, 2011Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Dr. Bryan Chapell has put together a wonderful collection of essays from well known established Pastors who often are called upon to preach the tough sermons at funerals that have devastated a family, a church or a community. How do we as faithful Pastors respond in such times of crisis? How do we write and preach sermons that will be tools in the Redeemer's Hands to bring comfort and care, show empathy and compassion, and yet preach the Gospel in all situations?
The books is broken down into five sections, they are;
Part One: Preaching in Response to Tragedy
Part Two: Preaching after the loss of a child
Part Three: Preaching funerals with Especially Difficult Causes or Circumstances
Part Four: Preaching funerals for Public figures
Part Five: Preaching after Suicide
Then there are three Appendixes to help the pastor deal with putting together these sermons and helping families to cope with the stresses they are facing.
Within the Five Categories listed above there are twenty-five chapters written by people such as John Piper, Bryan Chapell, Tim Keller, Michael Horton and others. The combined wisdom of these men and the years they have spent in preparing and teaching these difficult sermons gives them a unique perspective and they provide us with guidance that is difficult to find almost anywhere.
If you Shepherd a Flock of any type you will eventually be faced with a difficult crisis. I'm convinced that this will be the first reference book that you will reach for when you sit down to start writing that sermon that you desire to bring hope and healing to your congregation.
I want to thank Dr. Chapell for putting this together and believe he has given a very valuable gift to the Body of Christ.