Sermon Illustrations


Jack Martens is a fifty-six year old teacher who has spent 33 years teaching music at Ben Franklin Middle School in San Francisco.

“Over 50 percent of Martens’ students are from broken homes. The same number are on welfare. Nearly that many come from families where English is not the primary language. To that score, add the reality factor that funding for the arts has been all but cut off in Jack’s school district.”

He sees himself as Father Christmas bringing joy to girls and boys all year long. Jack’s ultimate desire is to help kids in his band see God’s love. Although Martens keeps a Bible and other Christian symbols on his desk,"it is his interaction with the kids that gives his witness a melody line.”

He eats lunch with them to give them a chance to talk through their problems at home with somebody. He stays after school to help with difficult fingerings with their instruments and difficult passages in life. Through the mechanics of music, he is able to communicate with disadvantaged and academically struggling students that they are capable of doing something beautiful with their lives.

Every December as the Band from Ben's performs in the Nordstrom Plaza dressed in their nicely pressed white shirts, black slacks and skirts, it’s not only the Christmas shoppers that feel the spirit of the season. The kids in the band (who otherwise might be in a gang or in the juvenile detention center) feel the joy of God’s love incarnated through a man...

Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • Ravi Zacharias Tells The Amazing Story Of A ...  PRO

    Contributed by Rodney Buchanan on Feb 2, 2003
    based on 21 ratings

    Ravi Zacharias tells the amazing story of a young Christian in Vietnam. He writes, “I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971, and one of my interpreters was Hien Pham, an energetic young Christian. He had worked as a translator with the American forces, and was of immense help both to them and to more

  • When We Let Go Of Money, We Are Letting Go Of ...  PRO

    Contributed by Mary Lewis on Aug 6, 2003
    based on 11 ratings

    When we let go of money, we are letting go of part of ourselves and part of our security. But this is precisely why it is important to do it. It is one way to obey Jesus’ command to deny ourselves.… When we give money, we are releasing a little more of our egocentric selves and a little more of our more

  • Small Words, Profound Effect  PRO

    Contributed by Alan Perkins on Jan 12, 2003
    based on 4 ratings

    SMALL WORDS, PROFOUND EFFECT "The tongue has the power of life and death . . . " That may sound a bit extreme to you; a bit exaggerated. How could mere words kill anyone? But consider this. You’re probably familiar with Karen Carpenter, the popular singer from the seventies who died in 1983 of more

  • Fisherman  PRO

    Contributed by Timothy Jones on Jan 16, 2003
    based on 6 ratings

    Fisherman American businessman was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. more

  • The Republican Methodist Church Began On ...  PRO

    Contributed by Charles Salmon on Feb 3, 2003
    based on 2 ratings

    The Republican Methodist Church began on Christmas Day, 1793 in Manikintown Virginia. It was formed by several Methodist congregations who rebelled against the Methodist Episcopal form of government brought from England. Soon. There were several thousand members and whole congregations had joined more

Related Sermons