Where I Find Sermon Illustrations.

Finding sermon illustrations can be a drain on your time and effectiveness. I have often been asked about or shown resources filled with illustrations such as books  or databases on the  internet. And these can be very effective! But, most times I only find myself using them when I am desperate to find something.


Now, like most communicators I have certain wheelhouses that if left unchecked I will illustrate points over and over again. I can think of music, sports, history, and my dogs. Maybe yours are your kids, what you saw at the gym, and mountain climbing, who knows? But, what I do know is we need to change it up to be effective to more people.

So, in general, I like to make illustrations out of things that were not already “sermon illustrations” so to speak. It seems more genuine and effective. Usually the illustrations revolve around story as well.

Here are where I get my sermon illustrations on a weekly basis:

News/Current Events

I think the news and current events are imperative to pay attention to as a communicator. Not only will it improve your cultural awareness on what you preach but it can also give you very good, effective, and timely illustrations. I keep up with the news mainly through Twitter (yes an imperfect medium) but anything I want to use in a sermon is thoroughly vetted for accuracy before Sunday.


Are you having trouble compiling illustrations? A quick fix for you: read more.

Other Preachers

Yes, listen to other preachers. Hear how someone effectively communicated, illustrated, and explained a point, truth, or concept. Then use it! But make sure to give credit where credit is due if necessary.

My Life

Yes, many of my illustrations come straight from my life. Do not be afraid to use your life, just do not overuse or abuse (embellish) events in your life.


Whether it is war history, church history, sports history, music history, political history, or so on

The Lives Around Me

Again do not overshare or use anything confidential. But, this can be effective as well.


Illustrations are an important part of our messages. Many times they are hard to find. I hope this can be a good resource for you.

Where do you find illustrations? Let me know in the comments!


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Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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