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5 Surprises about Illustrating Sermons

And it only took me 30 years to discover them.

5 Surprises about Illustrating Sermons

A year ago I was out in Colorado, and went for a run in some parkland along the South Platte River. It was a beautiful day and my run got off to a great start. I was keeping an eye on my watch to see how the altitude was affecting my pace, but was also enjoying the scenery—the winding river, the wildlife, and the snow-covered Rockies on the horizon. As usual, I was letting my mind ponder an upcoming series on evangelism.

As I came around a bend I noticed a couple of women standing beside the trail handing out flyers. I wasn't about to break my stride or concentration, but as I ran by they put a flyer in front of me and I couldn't help but take it. I gave it a quick look as I ran. It had a picture of a young man and a few sentences explaining that he was lost. He'd gone out for a run the night before and hadn't come home.

Troubled, I turned around and ran back to the women and asked them a bit more. They explained that he had suffered a brain injury, and sometimes got ...

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Displaying 1–8 of 8 comments

Marshall Shelley

May 04, 2016  9:55am

Yes, indeed. Very helpful and winsomely told!

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Greg Hollifield

April 29, 2016  1:19pm

Excellent! Thanks for sharing. If I may, I'd add this bit of advice: "Don't apologize for using a personal illustration." Somewhere in days gone by, aspiring preachers were told not to refer to themselves in the sermon. Some of them actually took that advice to heart and passed it along to their friends. Those preachers succeeded not in making more of Jesus and less of self but in making themselves and their messages seem distant, aloof, leaving only the shadow of a human in the pulpit. If preaching is indeed "truth through personality," there's no need to apologize for sharing either one.

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Damien Parks

April 19, 2016  5:37pm

Pastor Bryan. Excellent article full of insight and wisdom so much so I have to read it over asgin.5 stars.

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Tyler Smith

April 19, 2016  12:38pm

Extremely helpful

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Mary Guleserian

April 19, 2016  8:28am

Thank you! Well worth the read, and your insights are excellent.

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Mark Pitts

April 18, 2016  4:57pm

Not only loved this article, I could relate to it on every count.

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Fred Huffman

April 18, 2016  3:12pm

This article is great. Good illustrations bring ideas to real life where the rubber meets the road. Great tips, and a good observation that often the greatest illustrations are from our own lives... both successes and failures. This allows people to remember that pastors are real people... on our own journey... sometimes with struggles too. A pastor who never admits mistakes will not always relate.

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Pastor Chuck

April 18, 2016  2:16pm

Excellent insight!

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