Sermon Illustrations

Jan was on staff with Athletes in Action. After attending a conference where the importance of listening to unsaved people was stressed, Jan and others were relaxing in the hotel whirlpool. Two adolescent girls joined them in the tub. One of the teens, named Brittany, began passionately telling her friend about an upcoming Wiccan gathering she was planning to attend. (btw, Wicca is religion which worships God and Goddess, finds spirituality in all of creation, believes the practice of magic and spells and seek to contact the spiritual world through any means.)

Jan says: Normally we would have tried to counter the girl’s ideas, but we decided to listen instead. I said something simple like, "Wow, you really sound excited about this!" This was all the encouragement she needed to launch into a five-minute explanation of why she was so attracted to neo-pagan rituals. The bottom line was that she’d had a really traumatic time in high school and the Wiccas accepted her. She said, "I’ve gone through so much crap just trying to make it through high school that I’ll probably be in therapy for the rest of my life!"

[Jan] tried to mirror back what she said with, "It’s hard for you to even imagine a future where you’d be free from all of the pain you’ve gone through." Jan said, “What came next completely floored me. With a film of tears starting to form in her eyes and with complete sincerity in her voice, she said, "Sometimes I wish I could be born all over again. I’d really like to start over from scratch." After a long pause, my friend asked if she would really like to be born again. "Yes, I really would," she said.