How you begin your sermon is vital. It can mean the difference between your listeners checking out or deciding to pay close attention. The things you say at the beginning of a sermon are what your listeners subconsciously use to build a framework for your whole message. If your thoughts are murky and unclear, you’re laying an unstable foundation.
But the way you end a sermon is just as important. If the closing of your message is disorganized and unclear, then your listeners will walk away feeling the same way about your message – that it was disorganized and unclear.
When I first began preaching I would prepare relentlessly for the first five minutes of my sermon. I wanted my opening thoughts to be perfect. I would prepare the opening remarks and the body of the sermon with careful detail. But when it came to the end of my message I would just let the sermon kind of close itself. I didn’t have a plan for ending my sermons most of the time.
The result was a lot of missed opportunities where I could have had a much sharper impact if I had called people to action or drove a point home. Instead, I just winged most of them. I have learned from these mistakes and I now plan much better for closing my sermons. I want to share with you some of the mistakes I have made because a lot of preachers make the same ones. Here are four common mistakes preachers make when ending a sermon: