KTL Finishing Touches: How we end our sermons and services

As we are finishing up our KTL semester with a few of our teens preaching through the book of Job, we have had some questions come up about what to do after you preach and after a service.

What should you say to everyone who just tells you, “Good job!”?  First of all, “good job” really is the last thing a Christ-centered preacher wants to hear.  A Christ-centered preacher would much rather hear: this is what God taught me, this is the sin in my life that has been revealed, this is how I’ve been challenged to change, etc.  So whenever I’m done with a sermon and someone tells me simply “good job” then I simply say in return: “Thank you for the encouragement, but please know that all glory goes to Jesus!”  (Bonus note: I have been told before “that was a d*** fine sermon, son” after a message!)

Is it okay to ask people how you did…after your sermon?  I only have one or two people that I like to ask that, and they are always people who will honestly tell me the bad along with the good.  They know me and preaching well enough to do that.  So, instead of asking them how I did, I always beat my own self to the punch and I quickly ask them: “What did God teach you tonight?”  I ask them that so that the focus is on God doing the teaching, on God’s Word, and off of my performance.  That also beats them to the punch from just saying “good job”.  

What should I do most after preaching?  You should pray!  After we preach, the real work begins.  Sermons don’t change lives.  The Spirit of God changes lives through the power and authority of Christ that was heard from His Word.  So after we preach, we pray.  We pray specifically through the sermon truths and for specific people’s lives that they may experience transformation into the image of Christ!

We have discovered something that is HUGE for our student ministry.  Its so effective that I definitely want to pass it on to you.  Most churches and student ministries I’ve seen don’t take advantage of worshipping Jesus through song after the sermon.  In Scripture, worship and song is almost ALWAYS seen as a response to the Word or action of God…not a pump-up beforehand.  Before every sermon we do sing through two worship songs (since that is the norm in our church culture).  But those two songs don’t even compare to the two songs we do AFTER the sermon.  We save time and make these two songs an absolute priority.  This gives our students time to respond in worship and praise after they have heard God through His preached Word.  The song we do right after the sermon is always picked to go with the sermon best.  It is a conclusion song of the sermon.  Then the song after that (our last song of the night) is a super-epic song that is designed to send them out with passion and energy to do the Lord’s work for the rest of the week.

Lastly, just a hint for all you student pastors out there…  One of the biggest hits of our student ministry is that we all go out for cheap Mexican food together every Wednesday night and fellowship.  We usually get at least half of our crowd to go.  We announce it every night.  We invite all of our guests.  We give each other rides.  And we put up an announcement slide on it.  Every Wednesday we have around 50 – 80 students hanging out together after a worship service and just chillin to some chips and salsa.  I love that!

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