At any Fourth of July fireworks display, some rockets capture more attention than others. There are the delicate sprays that gently "puffph," sending to one side a dozen streaks of red or blue. There are the dazzling sky-fillers that radiate spokes of fire into a gigantic wheel of light. Then there are, what I called as a boy, the "boomers." Their launch sounded a bit louder. I would spot a small flash in the sky; a moment later the intestine-vibrating concussion thundered over the golf course, kids squealing with ear-aching delight.
Like fireworks on Independence Day, illustrations put light, color, and excitement into our sermons. They celebrate the sermon's ideas and principles. The small ones-allusions, analogies, and clever turns of phrase-are designed to support small points. But when we want to drive home the major theme, we best send up our most powerful and illuminating illustration.
As a preacher and as editor of LEADERSHIP'S To Illustrate column, I've reviewed literally thousands ...1