One element of sermon preparation that tends to get less attention than it deserves is the conclusion. One preacher said, “My sermons are like chickens with their heads cut off – once you think the sermon is done, it just jumps back up and runs in another direction!”
A couple of suggestions to avoid short-changing the sermon:
1 – Write a rough conclusion early. Obviously, you have to study the passage and start work on the sermon before you can write any conclusion. However, once you are considering the purpose of the sermon, write a rough conclusion to reflect that purpose. This will help your sermon preparation, as you will know where you are heading. This will also help your conclusion since it will have time to percolate in your heart and mind.
2 – Write your conclusion out in full. I advocate writing a full manuscript, but I don’t always achieve it. The pressures of time and ministry may not allow it. Nevertheless, it is worth writing out the conclusion, and editing it, and reading it aloud, and praying though it. Put in some effort on the specific wording of the conclusion. Give it some good attention, otherwise it is likely to rise up and run some more when it should have been laid to rest!