How to End the Sermon Series

You are preaching through a book, perhaps an epistle, and you come toward the end.  How will you finish the series?  There are several options available, none of which is always the best route to take:

1. Summarize the “end matter” in a sermon.  You preach the last obvious preaching section and include a summary of the final verses in the book.  So for example, in 2nd Timothy, you might preach 4:6-8, but then summarize the content of verses 9 and following.  The strength of this approach is that it avoids dragging out a series unnecessarily.  The weakness is that you may miss the richness of those final verses, including verses 16-18.

2. Preach the “end matter” as the final sermon.  There are two reasons to always consider this.  First because of a conviction that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful.  Second because it will stretch you as a preacher to wrestle with how to preach sometimes seemingly miscellaneous verses (although whether any are truly “miscellaneous” is open to debate).  If a sermon would truly feel like a stretch, then it is probably better to not pursue this option.  However, it would be a shame to miss such passages and verses as Romans 16:17-27; 1Cor.16:22; 2Cor.13:11-14; Gal.6:11-18, etc.

3. Preach a review sermon at the end of the series.  Instead of finishing with a small part of a book, take the opportunity to review the whole book in one messages. We would be naïve to assume that listeners pull all the pieces together during a series.  Consider preaching the whole thing, making sure to show how those final verses bring the book to a point of closure.  Consider creative preaching options for such a sermon, with first-person being an obvious candidate.

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