Posted in Fridays are For Illustrations

Sermon Illustration: My Meeting with “George”

I recently closed a sermon on Acts 13:1-4 with the following story. Actually, it was the close of a 4-week Vision Series. The story is personal in nature, but I am guessing any preacher can identify, have their own similar stories, and can tweak it to make it their own for similar purposes.   Last week I received a phone call from a man I had never heard of. He wanted to come by my office to meet me. To protect his privacy, let’s call him George. George heard I was living in Franklin, Tennessee – the same city he...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: Can ANYONE Partake of the Lord’s Supper?

The last time we observed the Lord’s Supper at The Church at West Franklin we did so in the middle of the song service, rather than the end of the sermon. Usually (9 times out of 10), I will preach TO the Lord’s Supper. This time, however, I preached OUT OF the Lord’s Supper. I did so due to the point of the passage I was preaching that day (Acts 11:25-26). I wanted to emphasize that the Antioch Christians gathered and studied the Word, not for more information, but for transformation. So, I opened the message (having come out of...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: Great Quote

Okay, so this may not be a good sermon illustration. However, I have a pretty good feeling you (preacher) can use this somewhere. In a sermon. In an article you write. In a talk you give. In a counseling session in your office. For the good of your own soul. This is one of the best paragraphs I have read in a while. Winn Collier wrote this in chapter 6 of his book Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions. Enjoy. Jesus did not come to help us maneuver around our brokenness; Jesus came to enter our brokenness with us. The...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: The Wrong Question

Below is an illustration I used recently to conclude a Vision sermon for our campus. It is a personal story, but one that can be easily applied with any preacher (especially if you and your wife are due a brunch together!).   On Sunday, December 31st, 2017 my wife and I didn’t attend a church service. Our children were with grandparents. We stayed home and went to brunch later in the morning. The brunch was fantastic. This never happens. I don’t remember ever being at home on a Sunday morning. I usually leave between 6:30 – 7:00 AM and get...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: J. M. Barrie and Young Peter

I am currently reading Winn Collier’s Holy Curiosity. Chapter 3, entitled “Why are You Afraid? The Grace of Letting Go,” is Collier’s meditation on the question Jesus asks His disciples when they assumed they were drowning in the storm. In the middle of the chapter, he gave an illustration I thought would be helpful for when I preach on this story. He writes: After Jesus woke to the barbarous conditions and his unnerved disciples, he stepped to the ship’s edge and spoke words to the wind. He simply told the wind to stop. And it did. The disciples didn’t know...

Continue Reading

Last Minute Christmas Idea/Illustration

If you’re like me, you will take any ideas in order to make the final Christmas/Christmas Eve/Advent message special. Every preacher wants to carefully craft his words on Christmas Eve in order to make the service meaningful and Christ-exalting. Recently, on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, I preached a sermon on Zechariah’s song (the Benedictus) from Luke 1:67-79. Looking back through Luke 1, I challenged the congregation to learn from what the Lord did to Zechariah by being still and listening. Instead of us being so diligent about telling God how to do His job, we would serve our souls...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: How Do You Receive Jesus?

Tim Keller has written an outstanding book titled Hidden Christmas. In chapter 1, he gives a couple of thoughts/examples as to how one receives certain gifts. I have pasted a portion of it below. It is a great illustration to use at Christmas and one the preacher can tweak to his own situation and circumstances. Enjoy! . . .When we trust in Christ’s work on our behalf, rather than in our own moral efforts, God forgives and accepts us and implants his Holy Spirit in us to renew us from the inside out. This great salvation, this light that flashes...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: Whadgya Git?

Recently, I begin a sermon on Isaiah 9:6 this way:   I am guessing that the most frequently asked question over the next 3 weeks is a brief, 4 word question. It’s a 2 word question if you grew up in North Alabama like I did because we just combine syllables. It’s easier that way. Kids will ask it of their friends and siblings and cousins. Parents will ask it of their children. Aunts and uncles and grandparents will come over and ask it. You’ll have it asked of you and you will ask it of others. No, it’s not...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: Rise and Shine

To introduce the 2017 Advent Season, I preached out of Isaiah 60:1-3. The first words from the first verse state, “Arise, shine!” The purpose of the sermon was to encourage my congregation not to fall into the trap of being deflated by these commands. The intent was/is NOT for us to think we have to “get up and get to work” to show the world what great Christians we are. The point is to free us, by pointing us to the reality that we don’t shine OUR light. We shine the light that has come upon us. The Light (Jesus)...

Continue Reading

Sermon Illustration: God and the Dog Collar

Here is an opening illustration I used recently to preach a sermon on Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8. The point of the sermon was to help encourage my congregation to engage the lost anywhere and anytime. If you have a dog, preacher, perhaps you can use something similar.   You’ve heard me talk about the Pearson family dog Eddie. Eddie is a wonderful dog, but during this first year of residence at the Pearson home he has single-handedly destroyed every piece of furniture and carpet in our bedroom and den. We have an invisible fence that works...

Continue Reading