So now you have the ingredients. There are a few things that we will repeat that you must have for a powerful celebration. Some of these are repeated in what we have seen before. Here are the things I assume you will to ensure a powerful close.
Remember when you put together your sermon conclusion that you are attempting to address the emotive primarily and
not the intellectual. This is not to ignore the intellectual, just that the close is not about that, it is about an emotive celebration.
So what is the key to having a solid ending? I think it is one simple word, Celebration. Let me say that again, “Celebration is the key to closing your sermon with power. Now in later chapters, I will write about how to do that, but if there is only one thing you get from the book, it is you need to celebrate the gospel message that you presented in your sermon to have a powerful close.
What is celebration? Here is one definition of celebration within the context of preaching,
Celebration is holding up the intellectual truth of the message for a response from the emotional and spiritual dimensions of humanity.
Look closely at that statement. First you must have presented “intellectual truth” to have celebration. People are not celebrating or yelling about nothing. No, they are celebrating the truth.
Another point is that the celebration is related to the truth OF the message. In other words it is truth that you presented in the message. I am not talking about you bringing in something to shout about at the end of the message that is not related to the message at all.
To be blunt, I am not talking about shouting “EEEAAARRRLLLYYY Sunday morning” at the end of a sermon just to get a shout when it isn’t related to the truth of the message.
How do you end a sermon with power? You are asking this because innately you understand that no matter how well you preach the sermon, ending well is very important.
But before you end a sermon powerfully, you must have a few pre-requisites. So what are these?
One of these things you must have to end a sermon well is to engage in Solid Exegesis. There are a number of ways to exegete the text, and you can even read my white paper “Four waves of exegesis” for my approach to this.
Whatever muscles you exercise will be your strongest muscles. I remember growing up watching professional wrestling. The well balanced wrestler stood up with a solid muscular build the top of the head to the bottom of the foot. Other wrestlers in worse shape appeared to have never seen the inside of a gym.
But there were wrestlers who had arms that were rock solid showing that they had diligently worked their biceps. However their bellies showed that they couldn’t remember the last time they completed a sit up or crunch. These wrestlers did not have a balanced approach to their exercise routine.
You worked hard to put together a sermon. You studied the text. You assembled some funny anecdotes and pertinent illustrations. And now you are ready to preach. You put powerful emphasis on the text and you bring expect the house to come down, but nothing happens.