Yesterday I wrote about knowing the end from the beginning. Preach as if you’re going somewhere and when you get there, stop preaching. It seems obvious, but it is important to note that good sermons end.
As a preacher, once you get to the end, stop. Don’t add extra exhortation (that should come in earlier), stop. Don’t keeping talking to fill time (people never mind an early end), stop. Preach, then stop.
As I’ve written before, so now I quote Haddon Robinson on the same point. Once you stop, don’t allow a song leader to sabotage the moment by switching peoples’ hearts and minds off. Often people need some quiet. Let the sermon do its work. This is the best time for people to respond, or to write down their notes, so give them space to do so. A poorly placed song is unhelpful, but so is the preacher overtalking the message. Conclusions are simple really. You just need to stop.