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Sermon illustrations are tricky. You try to be funny, but you’re corny. You try to be inspirational, but you’re cheesy. You try to be serious, and you have a booger in your nose. Sermon illustrations are the flavoring to the meat of the text. Without them, you’re bland. But too much, and you’re overbearing. A few weeks ago, I posted about the different types of sermon illustrations. In this post, I’ll focus on historical illustrations. Likely, you need more historical illustrations in your sermons, not less. Most of us preachers tend to use real-life examples, current news, pop culture, or biblical examples more than historical illustrations.
“Saturday night special” is preacher slang for a sermon that is half-baked on Saturday night, the day before the sermon is delivered. Most pastors have been forced into a “Saturday night special” at some point in their ministry. Tragedy may strike the congregation and there is no time to prepare during the week. Or a major event in culture may prompt the pastor to scrap the sermon and start from scratch on Saturday night. But living from “Saturday night special” to “Saturday night special” isn’t a wise way to live or a wise way to feed the people of God.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. The thought repeated in my mind as I wrestled to understand how everything had gone so wrong. My husband had taken his first full-time ministry position after seminary, but somehow, within a short time period, we were leaving under hurtful, unanticipated circumstances. The place we had excitedly moved to, where we purchased our first home, among whom we felt called to love, serve, and pour our lives into seemed to be rejecting us. It felt like our only option was to trust God and move on. Time and distance have now broadened my perspective of this life-altering event, and though I hope pastors and their wives will never have to experience a similar situation, I’d like to share some tools to help them navigate the situation with wisdom should it arise.
This Week at ThomRainer.com:
The Dangers of Echo Chamber Leadership
What are some key issues that help us leaders not fall into the echo chamber leadership trap? Here are six considerations…..
Five Consistent Sources of Discouragement for Pastors – Rainer Report #1