The 7 Irrefutable Laws of Sermon Illustrations

Learn them, and people will listen to you.
The 7 Irrefutable Laws of Sermon Illustrations

Sermon illustrations are tools. They can be used skillfully or clumsily. Poorly used illustrations dull the message and may even confuse the hearer. But illustrations deftly applied bring a message to life.

Here are 7 irrefutable laws I've learned.

1. Make illustrations fit the circumstance.

No tailor tries to adapt his client's body to fit a ready-made suit. Yet we preachers sometimes try to shape a sermon to fit a great story we're itching to tell.

A sermon illustration I hear often these days concerns the captain of a battleship who exchanges terse messages with a vessel dead ahead. Each vessel keeps telling the other to move aside. The denouement is that the other "vessel" turns out to be a lighthouse.

That illustration seems to belong best in highlighting our need to give way to the lordship of Christ. But I've heard it used as a minister was being introduced to a new congregation (Who was to give way there?) and-I confess-I've used it at a wedding reception, ...

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