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Taking Your Illustrations to the Next Level

How to use ordinary stuff to make memorable illustrations

Matt Woodley, PreachingToday.com: 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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