A Necessary Grief: Essential Tools for Leadership in Bereavement Ministry
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A Necessary Grief: Essential Tools for Leadership in Bereavement Ministry

Kregel Ministry / 2015 / Paperback

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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.

"This is a book for everybody - because grief is a common human experience. Larry Michael brings together biblical insight and pastoral wisdom to help us deal with our own grief and also to offer friendship and support to others in bereavement. Highly recommended!"
--Timothy George, Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"A must-read for every member of the clergy as well as individuals who work in the field of grief and loss. A Necessary Grief provides a concise, to the point view of grief that fills in the gaps where one's theological or spiritual education has failed them. It very sensitively merges the reaction of grief to one's spiritual beliefs and provides practical ideas for helping those who are hurting and questioning their faith."
--Sherry L. Williams, Founder of New Leaf Resources

"Dr. Larry Michael has written an exceedingly practical and helpful book on moving through grief... This book will be helpful to counselors and those experiencing seasons of grief alike."
--Dr. Edwin Gray Hurley, Senior Pastor, South Highland Presbyterian Church

"Larry Michael has written a book that he has lived and tested in real life. For decades he has worked to shine light in the dark places we all experience when we suffer loss."
--Elizabeth Harper Neeld, Author of Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Kregel Ministry
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0825443350
ISBN-13: 9780825443350

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Dr. Larry J Michael
Located in: Birmingham, Alabama
Submitted: January 28, 2015

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I currently serve as the Pastor for Adult Ministries and Parish Associate at South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to this, I served as Executive Director of Alabama Grief Support Services, Inc. Before that, I served over thirty years in pastoral ministry, leading congregations in five different states and in England. I taught as an adjunct professor at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, have written educational curricula, sermonic series and articles for various periodicals, and authored a previous book on leadership (Spurgeon on Leadership, Kregel Publications, 2003, 2010).

    What was your motivation behind this project?  As a pastor for many years, I realized that there were some areas of my grief ministry were lacking, mostly due to commitments in so many others of church leadership. In recent years, I realized the importance of hands-on ministry and follow-up for leaders in bereavement ministry. I wanted to provide a tool that would help leaders to be better equipped in helping those who have experienced the loss of loved ones.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  A Necessary Grief is a practical book of guidance for those professional and lay leaders seeking to help those who have lost loved ones,--through understanding, competence, and counsel that will bring hope and healing to those who are bereaved.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  Writing this book was an inspirational journey from beginning to end. While grief may not be the most popular topic, it is something that affects every person who has ever lived and loved others they have lost through death. I believe this work has given me personal insight beyond my previous ministry and experience, and for that I am most grateful.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Dr. Alan Wolfelt has been a tremendous influence through his writing and workshops, as had been other authors and speakers like Dr. Elizabeth Neeld, Dr. Robert Neimayer, and Dr. Therese Rando.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  We live in a world that runs away from grief. Even in times of great tragedy, the focus on death and grief is short-lived. Attention soon goes elsewhere, people move on with their lives, and they expect those grieving to do the same. Meanwhile, many people grieve silently in isolation, continuing to reel from their loss but having no recourse to give public expression to their mourning. We as leaders must do a better job in helping persons experiencing healing and wholeness as they journey through their grief.

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