Sermon Illustrations: 3 Tips For Your Sermon
As a pastor it can sometimes be difficult to find ways to illustrate biblical truths. Many scripture passages have complex messages and meanings that are challenging to portray to our flock. Enter the sermon illustration. Though meant only as a tool to help convey a greater timeless truth, it is a tool that every pastor should equip himself with.
For this reason, we have compiled these 5 tips for your sermon illustrations.
1) Sermon Illustrations Are Not To Make You Sound Hip
This is perhaps a trap that pastors fall in to more often than the should. Many pastors believe that making themselves sound contemporary or edgy will help boost their numbers or increase engagement with their sermons. This is a grave mistake. A sermon illustration is not something to make you sound relevant. Its purpose is simply to help convey your message.
We put this tip as #1 because it happens too often. We will leave it with this… The Bible does not need to be made relevant or hip. It is timeless. Make sure that the illustrations you use are appropriate, and directly relatable to the passage you are talking about!
2) Personal Stories Gives Your Audience Connection
This is a basic public speaking tactic. You want your audience to connect with your message. The easiest way to do that is to use a personal story. This gives them insight into your life, into your story, and presents a tangible application of the passage you are preaching on.
This is perhaps the most powerful use of a sermon illustration. When people hear how you have applied a scripture to your life, they begin to draw parallels to how they themselves could apply the passage to their life.
Think of stories about your childhood, your family, your kids, or something ridiculous you’ve done.
3) Make Sure to Tie It In!
This is maybe the most important part of using sermon illustrations. You need to tie it back in to your message and the scripture you are talking about. You can have the funniest stories, the most eloquent tales, and captivate your entire audience, but if you fail to tie it into the Word, it is of no use.
The purpose of using an illustration is to consolidate a complex biblical truth into a more easily understood contemporary story. However, if you don’t tie the two together, your audience will be left wondering what the purpose of your story was!