Why do so many parishioners find themselves in pews, week after week, listening to sermons that are vague, confusing, boring, discouraging—or that simply don’t connect? And what can preachers do to change the dynamic?
The “M” word consistently makes preachers squirm, perhaps because it’s so wrapped up in our livelihood and the sustainability of the church. But money impacts so much more than our salaries and budgets. It’s a critical influence in nearly every aspect of a parishioner’s life. So our silence on matters of finance may be hurting the very ones we wish not to discomfort.
If your experience is like mine, you’ve never preached in a political and cultural climate as volatile and unpredictable as the one we face in the U.S. right now. How do we preach the unifying love of Christ when many are divided? How do we preach peace in the face of vitriol? How do we preach dignity when displays of disrespect are paraded as badges of honor?
Ending a sermon with “Amen” is both redundant and ill-fitting with the purpose of a sermon. In truth, though, most preachers aren’t worried about these technicalities when they finish with “Amen.” They simply don’t know how else to conclude. Consider these five types of conclusions for a more effective close instead.
Now that the the candy's eaten, the dishes are washed, and the schedule has settled back into something resembling normalcy, take a few minutes to reflect on your Easter sermon. Was it effective? How would you know? Using BsP's 6-elements of an effective sermon, see where you excelled and where you can grow for your next sermon.