I once had 5 different men who had 5 different funeral circumstances to relay to me in one week. Among these scenarios, there were 2 common links. They contacted me because they were either faced with doing their first funeral in a couple of days with no idea how to do it, or they were sharing they had just finished conducting their first funeral and read Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals the day before to figure out how to do the funeral. In the latter case, they were calling or writing to say thank you. This is one of the many reasons I regularly have Q and A sessions with pastoral interns at churches to discuss this very topic.
Many young men either training for the ministry or have just gotten their first pastorate, do not realize that their first funeral they will be called upon to conduct could be tomorrow. In light of the constant questions I get about this issue, I feel the need to exhort those of you who have yet to dive into the waters of funeral conducting, take time now to learn about it. Plan out a few funerals in your mind. Talk to other seasoned pastors about how they approach it. And yes, feel free to pick up the funeral book Phil Newton and I wrote as its 100 page length is designed to be read in a couple of hours if the pressing need of a sudden funeral arises.
Are you ready to conduct your first funeral? If not, you need to be! Having 2 days to figure it out is not ideal. Prepare now before a funeral comes. Trust me, you will be glad you planned ahead on this one.