Buy a Book Of Illustrations? – No Open Your Eyes

“Preacher, you know of a good book of illustrations?”

“Nope…” Is always my answer…

Books of illustrations usually have either the same tired illustrations that you have heard millions of times if you regularly attend church.

Or they have illustrations from an era when horses and buggies or phone booths or…well you get the idea…

But my greatest problem with illustrations from books are that they are not generally tailored to the preacher.

“OK, then what do you suggest?”

Think about your theme and think about stories that may be connected to them.

Pop up Google news and just look at the news. A story may jump out at you.

I just did it and saw that the top news story was “President Obama changed the name of the highest mountain in Alaska from Mount McKinley to Danali.

The name change was to reflect the desire of Alaskans to have an authentic Alaskan name versus the one of the former president.

Now, I am sure some of you preachers are already starting to put two and two together about using that illustration when you are preaching about Revelation 3:12.

A new name written on a white stone. A new name given to us not by a president of the United states but by the sovereign of the universe.

A name. A name that no doubt will fit us better than our old name. A name…

Yeah some of yall are already running with that one…lol

At any rate, that was just taking the top story off the wire.

Now no doubt it will be more difficult to come up with a valid story for your sermon than that, but if you get in the habit of finding a story or two every day and saving them off, you will be ready when the right sermon comes along.

You don’t need a book you just need to open your eyes.

Now, there are other ways to come up with illustrations like looking at hymns, scriptures, and even taking a stroll in the text. I talk about all of these in the help for exegeting the text called Four Waves of Biblical Exegesis. Get your copy here:



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in 11Instruction, blog
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