Why Not Try This – Effective Preaching: Choosing Illustrations

Thinking, intelligence, problems,  gears in head.Source: NAD Ministerial

Illustrations are pictures in books that show what the book tells. They add force to its message. In a sermon, they serve the same goal but the medium has changed. Instead of ink and paper, you have words and the listener’s mind. You paint mental scenes with words.

In some cases, you will start from scratch. At other times, you can use an image already etched in their brain — instead of painting it fresh, your words bring it into focus. This works best with familiar scenes. Either way, your goal is to turn ideas into pictures. Some readers will thrive on this notion. But, if you are not good with description, don’t worry. Many stories and pictures are strong enough to live without your help. You can also borrow the talent of others, if you give credit.

“A writer for the Washington Post describes the event this way …” Or, “C. S. Lewis tells the story of …”

Even so, it is well worth the work to develop your own skills. You may discover a hidden
talent or, at least, improve. Whatever you can do to make the story of the text live will
increase impact and retention.

Types of Illustrations
Before exploring how to paint good illustrations, we should consider the shapes they take. Most illustrations are stories but stories come in many forms. There are stories from your week, childhood stories, news stories, historical stories, celebrity stories, and others. Read More…

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