Nancy Guthrie: What Grieving People Wish Their Pastors Knew

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Nancy Guthrie speaks at conferences around the country and internationally. She and her husband, David, are the co-hosts of the GriefShare video series used in over 8,500 churches around the world and host Respite Retreats for couples who have faced the death of a child. She is the author of numerous books including Holding On to Hope, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, and What Grieving People Wish You Knew.

Key Questions:

How should a pastor process another person’s sadness?

What are some really helpful things to say to a grieving person?

What are the right and wrong ways to use social media in a situation involving grief?

What advice do you have for pastors conducting a funeral?

Key Quotes:

“I didn’t know how deeply people hurt before that experience. That plunged me into a world of understanding the deep sorrows that people go through.”

“I think one of the most important things is to listen more than talk.”

“We tend to assume people experience loss in the same way we do.”

“Sometimes I think we are more impatient to fix people in the midst of grief than God is. God’s a patient healer. He doesn’t always heal instantly, and he doesn’t always give insight instantly.”

“Sadness is not the enemy. Sadness is not the problem that must be fixed.”

“Sadness takes us to a place where we are desperate to hear God.”

“Think of this as your goal: ‘How can I esteem their grief—value it—rather than minimize it?’”

“If you’re thinking of beginning a sentence with the words ‘Well, at least’….just stop right there. Don’t even say it.”

“For some people, social media becomes a primary outlet for them to express what’s going on.”

“If we were able to put grief in a pot on the stove and we boiled it down to its essence, what would be left in the pot would be a little pile of loneliness.”

“Grief is so desperately lonely.”

Mentioned in the Show:

What Grieving People Wish You Knew

NancyGuthrie.com

Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow

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Andrew Hess
Andrew Hess is Senior Editor of ChurchLeaders.com. He teaches Bible and Psychology classes at Colorado Christian University and is a graduate of Denver Seminary. His writing has appeared on The Gospel Coalition and Leadership Journal. When not working, Andrew is usually enjoying scenic Colorado, teaching Sunday school, or buying a priceless antique at a local garage sale. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.