Oh Lord, I admit it.
I have books of sermon illustrations.
And sometimes I use them.
Not as much as in the old days, mind you, but I still pull them out. And every once in awhile, I’ll locate just the right anecdote or analogy to bring a message to life.
There. I admitted it.
I feel better.
Here are the five I’ve found most helpful through the years:
1. Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book Of Illustrations. Oh, does he have the gift of analogy. Arranged by topic, written in such a way that you can hear Dr. Evans preach it, this one is almost always the first one I consult.
2. Chuck Swindoll, The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart And 1,501 Other Stories. If Tony Evans is the first one I consult, Chuck Swindoll’s is the first one ever. Period. I have lugged this large volume around for years. Know what’s ironic? The title story — “The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart” — is among the least useful.
3. Robert Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book Of Stories, Illustrations, & Quotes. I honestly don’t know if this is from “Morgan” or “Nelson”; I just know it is both comprehensive and thorough. Perhaps a few too many examples from the Middle Ages, but apart from that, worth the investment.
4. James Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited. Arranged by topic, sprinkled with humor, and primed for impact.
5. Raymond McHenry, Something To Think About. Rev. McHenry is an illustration machine. Something To Think About, along with its companion piece, McHenry’s Stories For The Soul wins a vote by sheer volume — well over 1500 anecdotes in each volume.