Five Sermon Illustrations

Here are five sermon illustrations you could use in an upcoming message, devotion, or church-wide email.

#1 – Stories Add Value

A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value.

The project resulted in $128.74 worth of thrift-store junk selling for $3,612.51. Read more here.


Here are some possible ways you can use this illustration in a message.

  1. God’s Story – When God adds His story to your life, it becomes immensely valuable.
  2. Your Story – Everyday events, activities, and family vacations can have incredible meaning when you add your story. 

#2 – Rear View Mirrors

Ray Harroun came out of retirement to race in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.  In those days, every race car had a passenger – a mechanic to check oil pressure throughout the race and provide constant updates on changing conditions.  Ray decided to race without the mechanic.

Instead, he installed a rearview mirror in his car – and this as the first recorded instance of such a thing.  Controversy filled the air, but eventually, they decided this wasn’t a violation of the rules.

In the end, Ray won the race.  The average speed was 74 miles an hour.  But the thing that changed racing was the use of the rearview mirror.  As you might guess, it became standard practice.  We’ve been using rearview mirrors in cars for about 100 years now.


Here are some possible ways you can use this illustration in a message.

  1. The Past.  Do you have a passenger in your life who reminds you of past failures?  2 Corinthians 5:17 says you are a new creation and the old is gone.  Don’t let the past keep you from God’s best future for your life.
  2. God’s Faithfulness.  Looking back on God’s goodness can give you the confidence to move forward in faith. 

#3 – The Power of Everybody

There was a time when the Encyclopedia Britannica was THE go-to reference book for students.  How many of you remember looking up articles in the encyclopedia for a report?  In 1993, Microsoft came out with the Encyclopedia on CD.  It was called Encarta, and they published it until 2009.  They hired a bunch of professors and professional writers to write thousands and thousands of articles. 

That all changed again a few years again when the world’s most popular encyclopedia launched.  Wikipedia.  What’s interesting here is there were no professors and writers.  Who writes Wikipedia articles?  Everyone.  It’s crowd-sourcing.


Here are some possible ways you can use this illustration in a message.

  1. Volunteers.  Everyone is better than someone.  The church doesn’t work because there are a few hired guns to do everything.  We’re crowd-sourced here – we all play a part.  We all contribute.
  2. Decision Making.  Everyone is smarter than someone.  When you don’t know what to do, involve your small group community.  There’s collective wisdom in a group of wise people.   

#4 – $275,000 Wood Chip

How much would you pay for this wood chip?  It’s maybe a couple of inches long.

Well, it sold for $275,000 in an auction.

But it’s not just any old wood chip.  It’s actually a piece of the propeller of the Wright Brothers' plane that flew in the very first flight on December 7, 1903.

Neil Armstrong took it from the Air Force Museum and he had it with him in the lunar module on Apollo 11. It was the first wood chip to go to the moon.

#5 – The Oak Grove

Trees look so different in different parts of the country.  In California, you have the giant redwoods.  In the Pacific Northwest, there are Spruce.  In the Carolinas, there are pine trees everywhere.  The state tree of Georgia is the live oak.

Trees look different above ground, but their root structures are different too.

Pine trees, even though they are really tall, have very shallow roots.  That means when storms come, they are prone to fall down.  They can be pretty dangerous.

The Oak tree, on the other hand, has a deep, sprawling root system.  That keeps it anchored to the ground during a storm.

But Oak trees are actually strongest when they are growing in a grove with other oak trees.  Their roots intertwine, and they keep each other from falling over.  During Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, only a few of the hundreds of oak trees fell during the storm.  Their root systems, and their connection to others, kept them strong.

Church is a lot like that. 

When you plug in and connect to others, you’re not just putting down roots, you’re allowing your root system to connect with others.  And that connection makes you stronger.


Easter is coming fast!

What are you waiting for? You need the Ultimate Easter Kit!