Sermon Illustrations

Years ago at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, a young sociology profess assigned his class to a city slum to interview 200 boys. "On the basis of your findings predict their future” he instructed the class. Shocked at what they had seen in the slums the students estimated that 90% of the boys interviewed would someday serve time in prison. Twenty five years later the same profess asked another class to locate the survivors of the 200 boys and compare what happened. Of the 180 boys they could find only 4 had ever been to jail. Why had the predictions by the earlier class proven false? A common denominator was sought in their lives, some value or influence that could have made the difference. Through more interviews it was revealed that over 100 of them remembered having the same high school teacher. A Miss O’Rourke, who had been a tremendous influence on them at the time. After a long search, Sheila O’Rourke was found in a nursing home in Memphis. When asked for her explanation she was puzzled and replied, "All I did was love everyone of them."

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