Pastors face many challenges. Suicide in a congregation is amongst the most heart-rending and intimidating. However, the preacher has a unique capacity to engender gospel hope for preparing the congregation and comforting the bereaved. To do so, preachers need help understanding the challenges and opportunities presented by addressing suicide from the pulpit.
In Preaching Hope in Darkness, two practitioners in fields that do not typically interact—homiletics (Scott M. Gibson) and psychology (Karen Mason)—work together to support the preacher in this difficult task. Gibson and Mason offer wise advice on a range of topics such as suicide prevention, post-crisis care, and funeral sermon preparation. With an appendix of sample sermons and a sample funeral liturgy, Preaching Hope in Darkness is an essential go-to guide for this difficult topic.
Scott M. Gibson (DPhil, University of Oxford) holds the David E. Garland Chair of Preaching and is the director of the PhD in Preaching Program at Baylor University/Truett Seminary (Waco, TX). He is cofounder of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the author or coauthor of several books on preaching.
Karen Mason has an MA in Old Testament and a PhD in counseling psychology and is professor of counseling and psychology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA). She is the author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (InterVarsity Press, 2014).