Sidestepping Seven Illustration Pitfalls
It's easy to do more harm than good with an illustration. Here's how to avoid undermining an otherwise great message.See theme
Several years ago, I heard a sermon illustration I thought was great for demonstrating determination, so I decided to use it. It went like this:
On the last day of the 1956 Olympic Games, Austria had yet to win a gold medal. Its only hope was a young Austrian named Johann, who had entered the rapid-fire pistol competition. His teammates weren't disappointed. As he fired his last shot, he gave his country their single gold medal.
When Johann returned to his homeland, his country gave him a warm welcome and a huge parade in his honor. Tragically, only a few weeks later, his right hand—his shooting hand—was blown off in an accident.
But this didn't stop Johann. After his body had healed, he walked out the back door of his home with something stuffed under his shirt. His wife noticed the bulge and followed him to a place where she saw him loading a pistol, holding it between a tree and his leg. Shot by shot, he emptied the pistol with his left hand and reloaded. After months ...