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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 106-120 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
Church LifeA certain pastor was the victim of a prolonged illness. During his absence, the parish secretary regularly posted an update of the pastor’s condition on the Church’s sidewalk bulletin board. “Pastor critical” was the first message. “Pastor off critical list” read the second. And so on until, one day, when the pastor’s recovery seemed almost complete, persons walking past the Church were startled by the announcement, “God Is Good - Pastor Better!” [...]View
Church-GoingA couple was leaving Church after Sunday services. “Did you see that designer suit on the woman in front of us?” the wife asked. “And the hat on that woman across the aisle? And the frilly blue dress on the woman sitting to your left?” “Well, no,” the husband was quick to confess. “I’m afraid I dozed off.” She gave him a sharp look. “A lot of good Church does you!” [...]View
Church-Going“Dad, did you go to church every Sunday when you were a little boy?” a young lad asked his father. “Yes, son, I went regularly,” the father replied. “Well,” said the boy, “I’ll bet it won’t do me any good either.” [...]View
Church-GoingOn the Saturday religion page of a local newspaper, there appeared a pastor’s announcement of a special Church service to be held the following Wednesday. When Wednesday came, the only person to appear for the service was the Church sexton, a huge man who weighed almost three hundred pounds. The following Saturday, the sexton was astonished when he read in the religion page that a “large and enthusiastic” congregation had attended the service. When he [...]View
Church-GoingOn a sunny Sunday morning, two men were out on the lake in a rowboat, fishing. The fish weren’t biting. Finally, one of the fishermen, a bit discouraged, said, “Well, it is Sunday, and I suppose we really ought to be in Church.” To which the other replied, “Well, I couldn’t have gone, anyway. My wife is sick.” [...]View
CommencementSeveral years ago, at a high school commencement exercise in Washington, D.C., one of the senior girls delivered a closing prayer which she had written. The young woman began to read her prayer at that time when the people’s thoughts turn to the parking lot. But, as the prayer unfolded, the confusion and the shifting at the edge of the crowd quickly subsided and a miraculous silence settled over the arena. It lasted until the [...]View
CommonplaceIn a museum in Florence, Italy, there is a painting by Raphael called “The Madonna of the Barrel.” The story is told that Raphael was walking one day through the market place of Florence when he saw a mother, evidently a very poor woman, sitting in the street with her child at her breast. She was dressed in shabby attire, but on her face was the caring expression of mother love. Raphael was so charmed [...]View
CommunicationStan Rolfsrud once candidly told readers why his column in the Carver County, Minn., Herald was missing. Under the usual heading was this statement: “Stan Rolfsrud has nothing to say this week.” Associated Press [...]View
CommunicationA man and his wife were upset by their daughter’s limited vocabulary. Every other word out of her mouth was either”awesome” or “gross,” depending on whether she liked or disliked something. Finally the father said, “Okay, Delphine - there are two words I don’t want to hear anymore. One is gross and the other is awesome.” “Fer sure, Dad,” Delphine answered agreeably. “What are they?” [...]View
CommunicationThis was told as a true story by the lady involved, who came from a small Texas town. It seems she had read a lot about crime in New York, and was scared to death to go there. But her husband talked her into it. But when she got to her hotel in New York, she didn’t want to leave it at night because she was afraid she’d get mugged. “The first night she said [...]View
CommunicationA bank robber who operated along the Texas border around the turn of the century was so successful in his forays that the Texas Rangers put a whole extra posse along the Rio Grande to try and stop him. Late one afternoon, one of the special Rangers saw the man stealthily slipping across the river, and trailed him at a discreet distance as he returned to his home village. The ranger watched as the criminal [...]View
CommunicationIn the novel, “Dearly Beloved,” by Ann Morrow Lindbergh, there is a moving passage in which Deborah, the mother, is adjusting the wedding veil for Sally, her daughter. They have lived in the same house for twenty years but never really enjoyed deep sharing or real communication. And the mother is feeling this very deeply on her daughter’s wedding day. With great feeling, Ann Morrow Lindbergh describes the scene: Deborah went to her daughter, kissed [...]View
CommunicationThe county hospital telephone operator received a call from a woman inquiring about the condition of a patient named Brinkman. She explained that she needed to know precisely how the patient was progressing. “I want all the information from top to bottom, from A to Z,” she insisted. The voice on the other end of the line said, “Would you hold the line, please, we don’t usually give that kind of information over the telephone.” Then a [...]View
Communication“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). A man returned to his home and played his telephone-answering machine to discover that his message to callers had not registered beyond his initial “Hello.” Transcribed, the tape of the exchange between machine and one caller ran as follows: ”Hello.” ”Hello. Hello...hello!” (Click.) ”Hello.” ”Hello, hello...hello, hello!” (Click.) ”Hello.” ”Hello, hello...You see, operator, he says ‘Hello,’ but he won’t say anything else.” ”I’m sorry, sir. We can [...]View
CommunismDuring the early days of the “Cold War,” there was a story about Josef Stalin in which the Soviet Dictator is flying from Leningrad to Moscow. The plane passes over a particularly desolate area and Stalin reaches into his pocket and throws out a ruble. “That will make some poor peasant down there happy,” he says to others on the plane. One of Stalin’s “yes-men” thinks that is a wonderful idea. “Why not throw out [...]View