I just love pastors; they amaze me. Watching a person who can skillfully interpret a message from the mouth of God invariably fills me with awe and a deep desire to worship.
My calling is not to preach myself, but rather to support those who undergo the regular spiritual and emotional wrestling matches of producing sermons worthy of the great I Am.
For more than 10 years I served as staff research assistant to our preaching pastor. His job was to study the Word; mine was to support him with relevant illustrations, facts, data, and imagery to help him better articulate the Word. Since I can’t act as personal research assistant to every pastor in the SermonCentral community (although I admit I’d enjoy it!), please accept this gift of 20 website links that might help you in your sermon preparation. These sites have no specific intent to help in sermon preparation, but they do provide great imagery, illustration support, background data, how-tos, cultural applications, and just plain inspiration for better preaching.
A gorgeous gallery of royalty-free photos taken by NASA, including satellite imagery, historical moments, aeronautical aircraft, weather phenomena, planets, nebulae, and other amazing images of the cosmos. Perfect for topics like creation, perspective, humility, and God’s power and majesty.
Most are familiar with Gallup’s data-driven news and poll results on human behavior and popular culture. Its extensive database of results is constantly updated, and you can have regular updates on your topic of choice sent directly to your email address. Try the topics “Moral Issues” or “Religion” for church-relevant data. (George Gallup and George Gallup Jr., like George Barna, are committed followers of Christ.)
This site has comprehensive information for every film you can think of, whether high- or low-profile, big-league or independent producers, Christian or otherwise. My favorite information for sermon prep is their behind-the-scenes trivia on films, as well as their movie quotation database, which is searchable by keyword.
Have you ever considered using an object lesson outside of children’s or youth ministry? They really work well on adults, too. Some adults are highly visual and may not fully grasp a concept that’s only spoken to them. This blog contains Christian object lessons on a variety of topics, and most are very simple to prepare and execute. For more object lesson sites, try searching for “object lessons” using your favorite Internet search engine.
It’s hard to forget an illustration supported by a woman with 24-foot-long fingernails or a guy who stood on one foot for 3 solid days. This is my favorite site to use when researching commitment, loyalty, dedication, uniqueness or success.
September 7, 2009
19.warren ashley says...
What a great help these will be. Thank you sooo much!
Thanks for sharing these sites, nothing replaces Gods Word and the work of The Spirit to point people to Jesus as Lord but it is useful to have additional resources for suitable illustrations to use in preaching, bless you for sharing these resources.
August 24, 2009
8.cynthia deocares says...
Thank you so much for the assistance. Though not standing in the pulpit, you have already given a lot!
Hi Paul, Thanks for your post. We are definitely not a Mormon site. We advocate the Bible as the only authoritative Word of God. I'm wondering where you found these posts? Thanks for the clarification.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. This information will be helpful to all of us in sorting through waves of internet information when we try to prepare sermons. Well done!
August 24, 2009
5.Chipman Tucker says...
Paul Turner asked a question. I found this answer to his question here on Sermon Central's website. "Sermon Central is a non-denominational ministry that works with all Bible believing Christian churches that embrace traditional Christian theology." There is currently a lot of Religious Groups who claim to be Christian and yet they deny that Bible is TRUE and full of truth from God from beginning at the start of Gen 1:1 "God created.." to the end of the "Book of Revelation" where it says "AMEN". The Bible can not simultaneously be true and also have false information in it, this would make God a Liar. God can not lie. If we served a lying god then our faith and hope is in vain and we are all doomed after death.
August 24, 2009
4.Paul Turner says...
Hey guys, don;t know if you noticed by quite a few of the posts involve Mormon scriptures. Now, a good illustration is a good illustration no matter where it comes from. I was just a bot taken aback. Is this an LDS site? Was just wanting a heads up if it was. Good illustrations though. Mormons have the best tv commercial so I figure they major in good illustrations LOL.
(Obviously this thread is going to get more links...)
So, I find more sermon illustrations per square minute in the following places than anywhere else:
1. Podcast "The Engines of Our Ingenuity"
2. Nova (pbs.org)