Preaching and the Importance of Landing The Plane

I felt this panic come over me. At this point I had only taught a handful of times and I found myself at the end of my notes. I had nothing left to talk about, I’d made all three of my points and I was done. Out of nowhere I said a concluding sentence, prayed and walked off stage. The only thing worse would have been to drop my mic in the process.

I was new to this preaching thing and had spent all my time working on the main points of my message. I had completely forgot about how I was going to “land it”. In turn, it was a completely abrupt, drop out of the sky finish that left everyone jarred and confused.

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Very often we don’t give our conclusion enough credit.

Some times we treat it like an obligation. We repeat everything we’ve already covered, we pray, cover that same material again in our prayer…and then we dismiss.

Our closing is so much more than that. It is the “landing of the plane” after a journey through life and scripture together. 

In order for a conclusion to be as effective as possible we need to know how we are going to end our message (aka “land the plane”) before we even begin writing our message.

A predefined conclusion becomes the deciding factor.

By knowing where you are headed with a given message, you now have the necessary tools to help you focus your content. Does the funny story you want to tell help you move toward your conclusion?

Just like flying a plane, your planning is heavily effected by where your flight is ending. Your destination helps you decide how much fuel to bring, how many staff will be necessary, etc. The same is true with teaching. Knowing how you will conclude your message helps you decide what is most important to teach and what can wait for another day.

A predefined conclusion helps the landing seem smoother.

Landing a plane doesn’t just happen over the runway, it’s something that begins miles out. The pilot begins a process of steps down as he prepares the plane to land.

The same is true in preaching. Moving toward conclusion isn’t just a summary of the message, it is helping your audience answer the question “So what?”

Your conclusion helps them to bring your message down to earth and to apply it to their every day life.

A predefined conclusion means you can answer this question:

What do I want my audience to do as a result of this message?

The answer to that question is your conclusion, it is the landing strip for your message.

Your conclusion is the landing strip for your message.
— StevenJBarker

Take that question a step further and outline what implementation looks like for each demographic in your audience (singles, married, job seekers, managers, men, women, students, etc.)

Understanding your conclusion prior to writing your message helps to focus your preparation time and to focus your content.


Still struggling uncover your predefined conclusion? Read “The Most Under Recognized Ingredient in a Powerful Message”.