The Conclusion Of A Great Sermon Brings It Home
The Conclusion of a Great Sermon Brings It Home
We are considering what makes a great sermon. In the last couple of posts we’ve looked the body of the great sermon, and the fact that the body of a great sermon holds attention and creates pictures for people. In this post we turn our attention to the conclusion of a sermon. The conclusion of a great sermon brings it home to people.
What “Brings It Home” Means
The phrase, “bring it home” is an idiom. In other words, it is a phrase that means something in one culture, and may not be understood in another one. So, what does it mean to say “brings it home”? Here’s the definition of the idiom from lexico.com:
Make (someone) realize the full significance of something.
Here are some examples of how to use this phrase correctly:
- ‘Maybe this tragedy will bring it home to similarly minded people that this is nothing to do with class struggle.’
- ‘Mr Grant, defending, said: ‘Mr Harper is full of remorse and the breakdown of his relationship has brought his alcoholism home to him.’’
- ‘Two recent revelations brought this point home to me in a significant way.’
- ‘The horror of the situation was brought home to me by the story of one mother who I worked with.
So, to say the conclusion of a great sermon brings it home means that it makes people realize the full significance of what the message was about.
The Great Sermon’s Conclusion and Bringing it Home
The conclusion, of course, is the end of the message. Those who teach on preaching say that this should be the
strongest part of the message. You’ve just spent 25 minutes or more bringing the Word to people, letting them know what God wants them to know from His Word. At the end is not the time to drop the ball.
I have to say this is, for me, the most challenging part of creating a great sermon. Spending energy and time crafting an introduction that will hook people’s attention is something I learned years ago. I also craft the body of the message in a way that will touch hearts and minds, and hopefully be a channel of the Holy Spirit to speak to individuals. After all that work, I sometimes leave the conclusion to some weak statement at the end. Remember, the conclusion of a great sermon brings it home to the congregation.
Why Don’t People Create Great Sermon Conclusions?
Brandon Hilgemann (Preach and Deliver) points out the problem of creating great conclusions in a book I have quoted often lately:
There are two common reasons that conclusions get weak: the preacher ran out of time and had to end abruptly, or they were lazy and didn’t work to write a strong conclusion, so they keep talking in circles until finally coming to a halt.
I resonate with that statement. I’ve shared before in this blog the story of running out of time and having my tape recorder send the sound of a rifle shot through the congregation as it shut off. I’ve also shared a whole series of posts on how to make effective conclusions. You can access those posts beginning here. Here, though, I want to limit myself to some general reflections on conclusions.
How To Create Great Conclusions that Bring It Home
The conclusion of a great sermon brings it home to your audience. So, what are some things to keep in mind as you think about the conclusion to your message? Here are some general guidelines:
- Emphasize the main point of the message. Don’t add a new thought in the conclusion. Rather, hit home on the main point.
- Use this time to summarize. Give them the highlights of the message.
- If you’ve used a catchphrase in your message, end with it.
- The last thing that you say in a message is likely what people will remember. So, make it memorable with a story, or a quip, or a joke.
You can create great sermons. When you do, thank God that he gives you the privilege of being his spokesperson.