Ministry to Up-and-Outers

Locked gates and security systems cannot keep out the inevitable pain and confusion of life.
—Mark Matheson

I once participated in the funeral for a high-level corporate executive and community leader. The service was held at another, larger church to accommodate the great number of attenders. The pallbearers consisted of mayors, a former governor, an astronaut, and other community leaders. The procession to the cemetery was led by twenty stretch limousines, and several hundred cars followed.

I went to the bereaved family's home following the service and found a catered reception. The large tent standing in the backyard made the event seem more like a garden party than a funeral reception.

Feeling awkward, I wondered for a while if I was needed. Finally the caterer left and the tent came down; the friends and relatives said their good-byes and departed. Yet, grief and loss lingered, and I was glad I was present to help meet the needs that remained.

This experience, however, has not been that ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel
Read These Next