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

Mass Exodus
Mass Exodus
From the Magazine
Police Work Nearly Broke Me
Police Work Nearly Broke Me
I was a narcotics officer on the brink of suicide when God began his mighty healing work.
Editor's Pick
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
After many difficult years in ministry, I lost the strength to pastor. But Christ met me in weakness.