Stale Sermon Illustrations?

These pop culture references belong in the dustbin.

The annual Beloit College Mindset List helps professors see the world through the eyes of their incoming 18-year-old freshmen. The List features factoids such as "Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents" to sketch how dramatically different the world is for these youngsters. We have mined Beloit's new Class of 2015 list, for advice on how to freshen your preaching. If you're over 40, odds are this list can help you choose which pop culture references might need to join the VHS player in the dustbin.

  • Cheers. They don't remember the theme, so scratch "where everybody knows your name" when describing church.
  • Godless communists. What communists? The Politburo was dead before they were born, and China has a market-driven economy.
  • Women. With two women always on the Supreme Court, skip stories about women's lib, inequality, and the glass ceiling.
  • Family. Make your fond memories about the Food Network. Their Grandma lives four states away, and she specialized in the drive-thru. If today's freshmen cook, they learned it from Emeril.
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.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
When A Word Is Worth A Thousand Complaints (and When It Isn’t)
When A Word Is Worth A Thousand Complaints (and When It Isn’t)
Bible translation is about more than just technical accuracy.
Editor's Pick
His Eye Is on the Pastors
Seasoned Salt
His Eye Is on the Pastors
God sees and watches (as do others), which is both a comfort and a caution as pastors navigate their calling.
close