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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 91-105 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
ChristmasThe shepherds were sitting around a fire on a hill near Bethlehem. The night before an angel had appeared to them, and now the air was filled with the sound of a choir of angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men.” Trembling with awe and wonder, the shepherds began to speak. “I can’t believe what just happened!” one cried. “It seems like a dream!” Another [...]View
ChristmasAt Christmastime, a schoolteacher in England supervised the construction of a manger scene in a corner of the classroom. It delighted her pupils to set up the model barn and cover the floor with real straw and then arrange the clay figures of Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and the Wise Men and the animals, all facing a little crib in which a tiny doll represented the Infant Jesus. One lad simply could not [...]View
ChristmasThree little brothers had all been given new sleds for Christmas. That night they prayed for snow, and they laid in bed with the radio turned on in order to hear the latest weather forecast. To their great delight, they heard the prediction: eight to ten inches of snow. Next morning they got up and ran to the window. No snow! There was a chorus of groans. Then the smallest of the three piped up: [...]View
ChristmasA few days before Christmas, a five-year-old boy went with his mother to a big shopping mall. Their first stop was the toy department at Macy’s and soon the child was propped on Santa’s lap. “What do you want for Christmas?” Santa asked. “Better write it down” said the lad. “Trust me,” Santa replied, “my memory never fails.” Whereupon the little boy recited his list of wants. Later, mother and son went to the toy [...]View
ChristmasIt was the day before Christmas and little Bobby was in his room trying to be good. He was being so quiet that his mother called into him, “Bobby, what are you doing in your room?” “Nothing,” Bobby replied, “with you and God and Santa Claus watching me all the time, I can’t do anything.” [...]View
ChristmasA few years ago at this time, a story was going around about a man in a department store during the Christmas rush who noticed a little boy trudging along all by himself. He didn’t think much about it until he heard the announcement over the public address system: “A small boy named Donald has been lost. Donald is seven years old. If anyone sees Donald please bring him to the information booth.” Whereupon, the [...]View
ChristmasThose of us who are looking forward to Christmas with joyful anticipation need to realize that for many people it is a season of horror. It is a season when their loneliness presses in on them. For people who don’t know how to love or to be loved, it is a horrible season because there is so much talk about love and so many symbols of it. Now wonder the suicide rate rises during the [...]View
ChristmasChrist climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where there were no gilded Christmas trees and no tinsel Christmas trees... and no powder blue Christmas trees hung with electric candles and encircled by tin electric trains and clever cornball relatives... Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no fat handshaking stranger in a red flannel suit and a fake white beard went around passing himself off as some sort of North Pole Saint... Christ climbed down from His bare tree this year and softly stole [...]View
ChurchSeveral years ago, “Readers Digest” published a story about a parish “Adult Religious Education Class” that attracted a marvelously diverse group of students, in terms of race, ethnicity and economic status. One evening, a woman in the class told her fellow-students about a song she had heard recently on the radio. “The lyrics,” she said, “talked about a place where ‘everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.’” Then she said, “Somebody told [...]View
ChurchSomeone once said that Church members come in three types: 1) The jawbones who talk and find fault. 2) The tailbones who sit and watch. 3) The backbones who willingly and tirelessly do the work of the church. [...]View
ChurchTheologian Bernard Haring tells the moving story of his visit to a little church in Bavaria where he had been invited to preach. He says that as he went into the church for the first time, he felt something. This happens in some churches; you can feel the Presence, the Grace. And, as the people were worshipping, this feeling came over him again. Once more it happened when the people began talking with one another [...]View
Church AttendanceRecently, a West Coast pastor compiled a list of parishioners whose Christian powers he felt were withering with disuse. To them he mailed the following message concerning a forthcoming “no-excuse-to-stay-home-Sunday:” There will be: ...cots available for those who say Sunday is their only day to sleep; ...eye-drops for those who have red eyes from watching late Saturday night TV; ...steel helmets for those who say the roof would cave in if they ever went to Church; ...blankets for persons who [...]View
Church AttendanceA fellow declined an invitation to go golfing with his neighbor one Sunday morning, saying, “You know I go to Church every Sunday, yet you have asked me to go golfing on Sunday every week for two months.” The other guy replied, “Sure, I know you go to Church. And, right, I’ve asked you to go golfing with Me every Sunday for the past couple of months. But something puzzles Me. Why haven’t you asked me [...]View
Church AttendanceWhy are fire trucks red? Well, fire trucks have four wheels and eight men; everybody knows that four plus eight is twelve. There are twelve inches in a foot, and a foot is a ruler. Queen Elizabeth II is a ruler, and also the name of one of the largest ships on the seven seas. Seas have fish and fish have fins. Fins fought the Russians. Russians used to be called “Reds.” Fire trucks are [...]View
Church AttendanceThere is a wonderful story of an elderly woman in a nursing home who was faced with a very hard choice. Being an avid baseball fan, she had been following the World Series which was in progress, and on Sunday morning she was happy to learn that the deciding game would be televised at 3:00 p.m. that day. However, 3:00 p.m. also was the time scheduled for Church Services, to be conducted by an unidentified [...]View