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Sermon Illustrations

It's been said that the three guiding principles of effective preaching can be found in the three "I"s -- "Illustrate, Illustrate, Illustrate." Clergy of virtually every theological background recognize the need to include powerful sermon illustrations in their Sunday messages. Said one well-known preacher, "Few words are as welcome to the people in the pew as, "Let me tell you a story."

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Displaying 16-30 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
AttitudeOften we allow ourselves to be upset by small things - things that we should forget at once. Perhaps someone we helped has proved ungrateful. Perhaps someone we believed to be a friend has spoken ill of us. Perhaps some reward we thought we deserved has been denied us. We feel such disappointments so strongly that we can no longer work well, or even sleep. But isn't that an absurd attitude? And why lose those placable [...]View
AttitudeS.I. Hayakawa, the great Japanese Christian who labored tirelessly for the poor, and the down-trodden, was visiting in Chicago. He was intrigued by the differences among motormen on the Indiana Avenue streetcar line in Chicago. "When the traffic was heavy," Hayakawa said, "some motormen would get steamed up with rage, clang their bells, and shout at the drivers. Other motormen, however, would sit and wait for minutes without impatience, whistling a tune, cleaning their fingernails, [...]View
AuthorityIn a Peanuts comic strip, Linus is upset over the news that one of his school teachers is about to be fired. He turns to Lucy and says, "They can't fire Miss Othmar! I'll write a letter of protest! I'll blow this thing wide open! I'll write to someone in authority! Someone who can really do something!" Linus composes himself for a moment as he prepares to set his pen to his paper, and then [...]View
BaptismThere was a man who was attracted to Jesus' Gospel and who had been coming to Church for several months. When he was asked why he hadn't yet taken the step to become a baptized Christian, he said that his whole experience in the Church had been like climbing up on a train and asking the conductor, "How much?" And he heard the conductor saying to him, "Your life." "When I heard that I got [...]View
BaptismA group of leaders in the Presbyterian Church met in Scotland for a religious conference. On a warm summer's afternoon they went off to explore the beautiful countryside. Coming to a temporary bridge that spanned a swift-running stream, they started confidently to cross it. When they were half way over, the bridge keeper suddenly appeared and hollered that the bridge had been declared unsafe. One of the Church members didn't quite understand the warning and [...]View
BaptismA little boy was behaving perfectly at the Christening of his small sister until the pastor started to sprinkle water on little Barbara's bald head. Then the lad leaned forward in his seat and whispered very loudly: "Behind her ears too, Rev. Jones." [...]View
Baseball"...he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth"(Ephesians 1:9-10). There once were two Major League baseball players - a pitcher and a catcher - who were so dedicated to their sport that they could not imagine life without it. Moreover, [...]View
BaseballSportscaster Joe Garagiola recalls an outfielder who used to draw a cross in the dirt with his bat every time he came up to the plate. Yogi Berra was catching for the opposition the day the man decided two crosses would give him even better luck. After he was finished drawing, Berra stood up and rubbed both crosses out with his shoe. Then he turned to the batter and said, "Why don't you let God [...]View
BeliefA first grade teacher was leading her class in a discussion about the students' mothers and fathers. After the discussion had turned to their religious beliefs one little boy raised his hand and said, "My Daddy is Jewish and my Mommy is Catholic." A fellow classmate asked, "How do you know which religion you should believe in?" "Well I believe in everything," the first boy said. "What do you mean you believe in everything?" another student asked. "You know, [...]View
BibleWhat is home without a Bible? 'Tis a home where daily bread For the body is provided. But the soul is never fed. [...]View
BibleA pastor in Washington, D.C. had an early morning Bible Study Program on TV. Each Sunday after the program, he would stop at the hospital to visit sick parishioners. On one such visit, he received an unusually enthusiastic greeting from a man who had been hospitalized for a long time. "You'll be so glad to know that this week you beat the Fat Man by one vote, the man said excitedly. It seems that the [...]View
BibleThree people were talking about some of the newer translations of the Bible. One said, "I like the New English version of the Gospels. It's easier reading than all the older versions." Said the second person, "I prefer the new Jerusalem Bible. The translations have modernized the language without sacrificing reverence." To which the third person replied, "I know an even better translation. I like my mother's translation best. She translated the Bible into life, [...]View
BibleTwo little boys were comparing the habits of their grandparents when one asked, "Every time I come over to your house to play, I see your grandfather sitting in the same chair reading the same old Bible. Why does he spend so much time reading it?" "I don't know" replied the other boy, "Maybe he's cramming for his finals." [...]View
BibleThe pastor of a rural congregation travelled several hundred miles to make arrangements for a sign to be placed outside the Church. When he arrived he discovered he had lost the dimensions. He wired his wife: SEND COPY AND SIZE OF SIGN. When his wife handed the reply to the Western Union office, the clerk almost fainted. The wire read: UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, 8 FEET LONG AND 3 FEET WIDE. [...]View
BirthA very wealthy man invited his four married daughters to dinner. "I'm getting on in years," he said to them, "and I've lived a full life for which I'm grateful. But I continue to be disappointed that none of you has given me a grandchild. Tomorrow I'm adding a provision to my will. It will state that the first of you who presents me with a grandchild will receive an extra bonus of one million [...]View