Well, I’m up way too late and I’ll be paying the price tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait until after I got home from the office on Thursday to watch the Alias & Lost Season Finale. Amazing! It got me thinking about some things when it comes to preparation for ending a series of teachings. The best season finale I saw was CSI. How can you go wrong with Quentin Tarantino at the helm? It was an amazing 2 hour ride that was engaging, emotional, and thrilling all at the same time. What an amazing story teller! Lost’s finale was great as was Alias’ due to the cliffhanger nature of them. The worst piece of garbage I saw was the Enterprise Series Finale. Horrible! This was a good show that could have given us last hurrah to remember them by. Instead, that trash is all I will remember. It made me start to think about good endings to any series of messages I teach. Here are my suggestions:
#1 – The series has to end sometime - I heard about a guy that spend 8 years teaching the Gospel of Matthew. That’s not a series, that’s career!
#2 – Think your series all the way through - Many times I have a great idea to start a series, but not a great idea to end one. I believe both are just as important.
#3 – Make the end Memorable – We tend to start our series on natural high attendance days at church (Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas Eve, etc…) and that makes sense. But we should also think through when we end our series so it can have the greatest possible impact. They probably won’t remember how the series started, but they will remember how it ended.
#4 – Use a Cliffhanger - Take the last message of your current series and introduce an idea of your new series. This will create excitement and interest into your new messages.
#5 – Celebrate the Series – Whenever we end a series, I like to try to cap the series during the last message and make it special for whoever was there for the whole thing. I’ll sometimes ask the congregation who was there since the series started and talk about how implementing what’s been heard throughout the entire series will change their lives.
#6 – Once it’s over, move on – Every Pastor has certain series that he prefers. Don’t try to duplicate them in a few months. Instead, get creative. God has plenty of things to say. Our job is to find the best way to say it to our audience. So let’s try to make the next series even better than the one we’ve just finished…