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Taking Your Illustrations to the Next Level

How to use ordinary stuff to make memorable illustrations

Matt Woodley, I've heard you preach at Wooddale Church—you have a unique, creative way of illustrating your sermons. How would you describe your illustration process to other preachers?

Dale Hummel: First, I start with the big idea of my text. What does the text say? What is the main idea? Based on the text, what do I want to get across to my listeners? I realize that I have different kinds of listeners—some who are cognitive, some who connect with stories, some who are visual, some who are emotional.

My desire to connect with these different listeners is influenced a lot by my own experience growing up in church. I remember so many people just sitting there, not connecting at all with whoever was communicating. I was bored, and most of the time I didn't understand what the preacher was saying. I would look around and see people not paying attention, not talking about what they just experienced that Sunday. I remember telling myself, Man, if I ever ...

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Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Mike Justice

June 19, 2014  12:11pm

DALE!! It's AWESOME to read your article. For the other readers: I was a youth pastor with Dale WAY back in the day & I saw him in action. He is exactly what you read. His messages have always been true to the text, relevant, and VERY practical & easy to apply - not just for the pastors in the pew, but for the everyday person too. I follow him online & always learn from him. GREAT article from a GREAT model! Blessings Dale!

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Ken Williams

June 18, 2014  1:11am

Great advise for both the pulpit and the classroom. Important to remember that some of the most effective communication happens without $100,000 worth of sound lighting audio and video support. Love the flannel graph.

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Woody Jenkins

June 16, 2014  10:40am

Very helpful and practical. I appreciate the insistence that we must start with the text. Indeed, often the text provides the illustration, but I fail to grasp it because it is so simple. Thanks for the reminder!

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