How To End A Sermon Well: 7 Ways To Finish With A Bang 💥

You’ve got 90 seconds.

90 seconds is all it takes to engage your listeners right from the get-go or lose them for the rest of the sermon.

If you haven’t read how to write a compelling sermon intro check it out.

And the only thing as important as starting a sermon is how you end it.

If the closing of your message is not fully thought through then your congregation will walk out your church doors feeling your message was disorganised and unclear.

I remember working tirelessly on my sermon outlines, putting all my focus on the sermon intro and main points but often neglecting my sermon conclusion.

I ran out of time or just thought I could wing it.

Safe to say, I didn’t have a plan on how to end my sermons well most of the time…

The result was a lot of missed opportunities for life change, instances where I could have made a sharper impact or made a more compelling case for action. 

Most of the time rambled or repeated myself…

Like a plane coming in to land, once I realised my sermon was coming to an end without an adequate, predetermined runway I’d do what a lot of preachers do…

I just kept circling the airport.

Thankfully I’ve now learned from these schoolboy preaching mistakes and now always have a plan on how to end my sermons.

And in this post, I’m going to give you 7 ways you can end a sermon well.

Let’s dive right in.

7 Best Ways To End A Sermon

1. End Your Sermon With A Story
2. End Your Sermon With An Appeal
3. End A Sermon With Life Application
4. End Your Sermon With A Bold Statement
5. End Your Sermon By Seeing What Could Be
6. End Your Sermon By Ending Your Sermon
7. Mix It Up

1. End Your Sermon With A Story

If you can find a relevant story that sums up your key sermon point, ending a sermon with it is a great way to come full circle.

To really conclude your sermon strong come back and tell a story you started in your introduction.

Hollywood does this all time – a film or TV show will draw you in with a captivating story but leave the ending up in the air before coming back to it later.

The key is to find a story that connects and supports your sermon message.

Remember the time you got bullied or had your heart broken?

Connect with everyday frustrations you know your people have experienced.

Stories about being cut off in traffic or having to put up with a difficult colleague in the office can be used to connect with your listeners on a heart level.

Jesus did this all the time.

So next time you preach give this a try and use a captivating story to end your sermon.

Here are 7 remarkable stories you can use.

2. End Your Sermon With An Appeal

Depending on your sermon series topic, ending with an appeal could be the best way to conclude a sermon.

The best appeal of course is inviting people to commit to Christ.

No matter how ‘routine’ this may seem, it is one appeal you should never skip if it fits the key message. If you have just preached the gospel, invite people to respond to God’s call.

Pastor Kelly Stickel of Parallel Church in Lethbridge, Canada ends his sermons with the sinner’s prayer every single week.

And his church is growing.

Your appeal could be any kind of opportunity for people to respond to your message…

It could be a call to forgive someone who’s hurt you, to invite a friend to the next service or to start thanking God for His blessings every day.

Whatever your appeal is, make sure it fits your key message and keep it simple, easy and practical.

3. End A Sermon With Life Application

You’ve prepared, you’ve presented, you’ve preached your heart out.

Your listeners have listened. Now what?

The end of a sermon is a great time to introduce or reinforce life application.

End your sermon with what you want your people to do as a result of what they just heard.

How should they respond to the Word you have just given?

Answer these questions as clearly and succinctly as you can at the end of a sermon. Don’t leave anyone in any doubt as to what the life application is.

This will make you think really hard about what your message’s point is. If you can’t challenge with action, you aren’t done preparing. Get really specific.

When you are preparing your sermon, always have the end result in mind:

What is your call to action? What do you want your church congregation to do with what you’ve said?

You want your people to be doers and not just hearers only.

“A sermon fails, though it be well presented, biblical and inspiring, if it has no call to action.”

4. End Your Sermon With A Bold Statement

I always start my preaching preparation with the end of the sermon in mind and work backwards from there.

If you’ve ever watched Andy Stanley preach, you would have heard him say:

So if you remember nothing else from my sermon today, today’s takeaway is…

He then proceeds to summarise his whole sermon in a powerful one-liner.

A concise one-liner that sums up the main idea of your message makes your sermon memorable and portable.

It’s a bold statement that gives your sermon handles your people can hold on to. It’ll stick with them for the rest of the week.

“No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence clear as crystal.”

5. End Your Sermon By Seeing What Could Be

This is one of my favourite ways to end a sermon because it can really make an impact.

You cast vision by showing your congregation what their lives, communities, church, finances, marriages and families could be like if they applied the Word presented to them today.

It goes something like this…

Can you imagine what our relationships would look like if we learned to deal with conflict in this way?

What if we could become all that God has called us to be? Can you imagine how our world would be changed?

Give a lot of thought as to how you can best paint a picture of what could be and explain it in a compelling way.

Hit it home and work hard to connect with your people.

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6. End Your Sermon By Ending Your Sermon

If you really want to know how to end a sermon well – avoid false endings.

We’ve all been there, listening to a preaching rambling on and because he hasn’t planned how to end his sermon he just keeps going.

“Let me close with… okay I’ll end with this… let me wrap it up and say…”

It’s one of the biggest mistakes preachers make. Avoid this trap, use any of the closing tips in this post and end your sermon strong.

7. Mix It Up

And finally, the best way to end a sermon is unpredictably…

Mix it up!

A wise preacher once said:

Don’t jump out from behind the same tree every week.

His point is a simple one. In the same way that variety is the spice of life; using different ways to end your sermon keeps your preaching fresh.

Like a gourmet chef, who uses a diversity of herbs and spices to enhance the appetiser, we as preachers need to use calculated variety in our sermon endings.

Alternate between ending with serious and funny stories, switch between ending with a bold statement or a thought-provoking question.

Have a go at vision casting how things could be and making an appeal.

Keep your people engaged with what you have to say, especially when your sermon is drawing to a close, by mixing it up.

So take the challenge, pick 2-3 of these ideas and experiment with them in your future sermons and see how it improves your sermon endings.

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2 thoughts on “How To End A Sermon Well: 7 Ways To Finish With A Bang 💥”

    • Thanks Lizzy, as I say, just try a few of the different sermon endings and see how you go. When preparing my sermon I start with the end in mind, too often preachers fade out gradually and the otherwise great sermon loses it’s impact. It doesn’t have to be this way 🙂


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