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4 Ways to Finish a Sermon That Inspires People to Action

Sep 21 2020

Winston Churchill is widely considered one of the great orators of the 20th century, and is known to include five major ingredients within his speeches.

He would have:

  • A strong beginning

  • Pictures

  • One theme

  • Simple words

  • An emotional ending

Ps Robert Fergusson, notes in the brand new Reach & Influence online preaching course, that when he is preaching he will tend to start by aiming at the head – because he wants people to think and engage.


However at the end, Robert will aim at the heart – because he wants people to feel an emotion that inspires them to take action. This is why an emotional ending can be so effective.

Here are four of Robert’s simple ideas that will stir emotion within your listeners:

1. An Emotional story

A well told story engenders emotion. Emotions are memorable and emotions challenge us. Emotions cause us to choose and we need to choose at the end of a message.

We need to choose to change and apply the truth of what we’ve just heard, and without an emotional response the message simply remains as head knowledge.

2. A Strong Challenge

When Ernest Shackleton was recruiting for his famous Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, he famously advertised: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” 

Shackleton intentionally made it as difficult as possible and yet immediately got volunteers. The truth is, challenge is good for people and if it’s done appropriately it can be a great way to finish a sermon.

3. A Provocative Question

Think of a provocative way to ask “What are you going to do with this message?” or “How are you going to apply it?”

Take the subject, construct a sentence or a question around that subject and leave people thinking about how they can apply it effectively to their lives.

4. A Memorable Statement

When constructing a sermon, one of your goals is to condense all your ideas, points and illustrations into one simple statement or proverb.

Poetry is considered to be the best words in the best order. So, take all of your ideas from your message, construct a memorable statement, and let that be the final rallying cry you leave people with as you conclude.

As preachers we each have the opportunity to use inspiration to move people from knowledge to action!

Andy Hopper
Hillsong Network


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