As a small boy in Sunday School in Quincy, Illinois, where I grew up, we used to sing a song: “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus.” With lyrics by William H. Parker and music by Frederick A. Challinor, singing this song always made me feel as if I had been transported to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. In case this memory from my childhood prompts a similar memory for you, then you will likely appreciate these lyrics from the first two verses of this song:
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here;
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
First let me hear how the children stood round His knee,
And I shall fancy His blessing resting on me;
Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
All in the love light of Jesus’ face.
Do you remember ever singing that song? It certainly brings a smile to my face and floods my mind with many pleasant memories from those days of growing up along the western border of central Illinois.
Almost everyone likes a story. But, children particularly like stories. That’s why I’m suggesting in this Preaching Tip that when crafting their sermons, preachers would do well to use more illustrations with which children can identify.
In fact, I believe in this recommendation so much that when I went to craft my sermons for Advent this year, I used stories from the Tales of the Kingdom, the Gold Medallion Award-winning book that my wife Karen and I wrote 30 years ago and which we have just significantly updated and republished with stunning new artwork and a completely new design. We did this as a tribute to our son, Jeremy, who lost his battle with lymphoma a little more than a year ago at the age of 41.
In my latest Podcast No. 190, I talk at length about how pastors can choose more illustrations that will capture the attention of the children in a congregation. By capturing the attention of the children, a pastor will discover that he or she has simultaneously captured the attention of all the adults present, as well.
If you would like to hear how I develop and support my recommendation, I encourage you to click the link on this page that will take you to my Sermon-Coach.com website and listen to Podcast No. 190.
Jesus set a wise pattern when He told His disciples, as recorded in Matthew 19:14:
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
We pastors can learn from Jesus. If we use more illustrations with which children can identify, we will help all the people understand the message God wants to share with them through us.
Please click here to visit David Mains’ Sermon-Coach.com website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Please click here.