“Concluding a sermon is difficult, and… I’m not the only one who has a hard time with this.” As a regular contributor to his local newspaper, pastor and columnist Joe LaGuardia writes about aspects of congregational life normally reserved for in-house conversation. In this column, he offers a part confessional, part tutorial reflection on why it is important to end a sermon as thoughtfully and deliberately as it is begun. He references such preaching luminaries as Fred Craddock and Andy Stanley as experts in the art of finishing well, and quotes numerous others who have wisdom to share. The takeaway is that no matter what approach a preacher takes to sermon preparation and delivery, she owes it to her listeners to end well and in a timely fashion. This article is a pithy and practical note to those who preach, even as it is “overheard” by everyone else.
Reviewed by Marie F. Fleming