“I am tired, I just need some time off.” A preacher said to me on a Facebook IM. I asked him, so why don’t you take a day off?”
He frowned. Then he asked me, “What do you mean?”
I laughed and said, “I mean take one day off. No work, no sermon prep. Spend some time with your family.”
“You don’t understand, there is too much ministerial work to do.”
I asked him, “So assign work to an associate and take time off.”
I had to work very late. It was 1:30am.
Yep, 1:30 am.
For a guy in his mid-40s, that meant two things. I was going to be sleep walking that day. and I I had to work till 1:30am. First, it meant that I was going to be sleep walking the whole day.
Second, it meant that I was going to go to miss anything that needed to be done later the next day.
I tried a lot of things, but I did nothing that day. I then went straight to sleep when I got home.
When closing your sermon you should reduce complexity as noted before. Included in this is to limit the extent of your vocabulary. What am I talking about? Well, in your sermon you may have two, three, or even five words to mean the same thing. You may even use a thesaurus to look at a concept to find the exact word that includes all the shades of meaning you want to convey.
One of the most common questions I receive on any subject is “Should you always close your sermon with the cross?” This is a good question that requires some explanation in the answer. Let me first say, yes every sermon should have in its celebration a connection of the major thought in your sermon to the redemptive power of God. But, this must be a tailor made celebration. It is made for this occasion and should not be a simple regurgitation of the same ending in all of your sermons. And when you connect the redemptive power of God to your point, one must take care and make sure to make the connection clear. You can do that by following these two suggestions
Every time you step into the pulpit, you are in a battle. You have to understand that. You have an enemy who is as a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
Your enemy, because he has studied you and your congregation, knows what your people need to hear. The enemy knows what you will preach for he has looked over your shoulder as you put the sermon together.
The enemy knows the distractions to put in your life and in your congregation’s life to mute, obliterate, or just modify the message as you preach it. Preacher, you are at war. It is time to acknowledge that.