Jump directly to the Content

How To File Sermon Illustrations

Collecting sermon illustrations is only half the battle. The other half is storing them under appropriate headings so they can be easily retrieved. Here are three systems of information management that represent different approaches to the problem.

The New Baker's Textual and Topical Filing System sells for $29.95 (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids). This is an indirect filing system which is becoming more widely accepted than direct filing (i.e. "filing alphabetically by words"). The system contains three sections in one volume: a) a topical index, b) a textual index, and c) reference spaces which contain lines for filling in information.

The topical index has just about every topic listed alphabetically that a preacher would need. The tricky part is handling synonyms. I looked up "broadcasting" in the topical index to file an article the day I bought the system. "Broadcasting" was not listed, so I wrote it in (there are generous white spaces before each printed topic for writing in your own). ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Ball-and-chain Ministry
Ball-and-chain Ministry
From the Magazine
Disasters Often Bring Revelation Rather than Punishment
Disasters Often Bring Revelation Rather than Punishment
An 18th-century earthquake and a 21st-century pandemic can teach us about enlightenment and judgment.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.