Sermon Illustrations

Tim Stafford of “Christianity Today” magazine said (September 14, 1992, p. 36): A pastor I know, Stephey Belynskyj, starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates.

Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right.

Belynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. "And which one of these is closest to being right?" he asks. The students protest that there is no "right answer"; a person's favorite song is purely a matter of taste.

Belynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, "When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?"

Always, Belynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one's faith is more like choosing a favorite song.

When Belynskyj told me this, it took my breath away. "After they say that, do you confirm them (as Christians and church members)?" I asked him. "Well," smiled Belynskyj, "First I try to argue them out of it."

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • I Remember Setting In The Church Office Working ...  PRO

    Contributed by Frank Zerbel on Feb 4, 2005
    based on 3 ratings

    I remember setting in the church office working on a sermon when I heard something in the sanctuary. As I got out there I saw a ragged young man stepping out the door. I caught up with him and asked if I could help him. He was crying and proceeded to tell me who he was and that he felt something more

  • I Can Remember One Saturday Afternoon In The 60's ...

    Contributed by Frank Zerbel on Feb 4, 2005
    based on 2 ratings

    I can remember one Saturday afternoon in the 60’s as I was outside with the push mower cutting the grass for my father when two men carrying a box down our driveway caught my attention. They sat it down outside the front door and unpacked our first color TV. It had a beautiful solid wood more

Related Sermons