Church Sermon Illustrations

Church Sermon Illustrations

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Present in the Pew

A traveler in a European village discovered a beautiful custom. At night she saw the people going to the church, each carrying a little bronze lamp. These lamps they placed in sockets by their pews. The soft light of the lamps was the only illumination for the service. If a member was absent, there was a dark space!

We do not carry lamps to church, but we do send forth light. When we are absent there is darkness in our stead. The more people at church, the greater the inspiration. Many small lamps together make a great and beautiful light.

The first Christian church in Jerusalem had no building. It had a small membership; it had no officers; it had no pastor; it had no choir or pipe organ; it had no wealth; and, most startling of all, it had no New Testament.

What made it a successful church? Just this: It had the total attendance of its membership. Pentecost was possible because they were all together in one place. Its results lasted because they were continuing steadfastly with one accord in the Temple.—Rev. Ralph V. Gilbert in Southern Churchman.


In almost every church there are to be found three classes of members. The first class we will call the "pushers." They are full of energy, and really want to do something worthwhile. This is a commendable trait, but it can be abused. Sometimes it grows until the "pusher" is not satisfied until his finger is in every church pie. He is hurt unless he holds an office, and pities himself if the pastor does not recognize "his unusual ability and outstanding talents along every line." While people of this type are an aggressive force, and do some good, yet they mar their influence by the human element present in all their efforts.

Then there are the "draggers." Always late, never on hand at the beginning of anything—it seems to be a principle with them. If called to be a part of the program, or asked to perform some duty, they plead, "I can't. Get someone else." Now humility is a fine virtue, but this extreme attitude is nearer laziness than humility. Never have they been known to be on the progressive side of anything. Their stock argument when a progressive move is considered: "We are not able. We would better be satisfied with what we have. We have always got along without it." They have not yet caught the vision of God's aggressive plan for His children.

But we find in every church some "pullers." They must be relatives of the soldier whose first remark, when told of the enemy, was "Where are they?" This class of laymen does not hesitate at the hardest task, or the most insignificant job. Their question is, `Where do you want me?" And if it is just to be door­keeper, they resolve to be the best possible doorkeeper. They have a vision, not lopsided, but well balanced, and big enough to include the whole. They support the budgets, love missions, take the church paper, pray at the altar, and endorse every reasonable progressive movement in the church. "And their children shall rise up and call them blessed."

Pushers — Draggers — Pullers; which are you?—Vernon L. Wilcox in Herald of Holiness.

Whose Fault Is It?

Jesus was speaking of the Temple, which He called "my Father's house." Intended as a house of prayer for all people," where souls find God, it had been turned into "a den of thieves," and He fixed the responsibility: "Ye have made it." Each of us has some responsibility for his church. We make it, for better or for worse. Its morale, its friendliness, its spirituality, its attendance record is made by us. Protestant church attendance has been falling off? We "have made it." More losses last year than accessions? We "have made it." He, "as his custom was," went to church. He also cleansed the Temple; He remade it. The first and most obvious way of supporting a church is to be a regular attendant.—Today.

No Sunday Morning Sickness

Church attendance to many is merely a matter of duty, or of appearance, or for the effect it may have on their business and the like. When this is the case, churchgoing becomes a drag and a burden. It has lost its thrill and fails to fulfill its purpose.

When I was a small child, I wondered at the interest shown by my father and mother in going to church. Every service, including the prayer meeting, seemed equally important. More than once I have heard my mother say, "Oh, I can hardly wait until I get to church!" And though we were living on a farm, it was the custom, on Wednesday afternoons, even in the harvest season, for my fa­ther to stop the main work of the day from a half hour to an hour earlier than on other days in order to do the nightly chores and get to prayer meeting on time. "On time" was his motto for all the services.

And why all this? What was there at the little country church which meant so much to them? Through constant observation, it gradually became apparent to me that to them church attendance meant more than mere performance of duty. The toils and trials of the week had worn on them physically and spiritually. This was the occasion when ev­erything earthly was thrown off and cast aside and they met with God and felt His heavenly touch on their bodies as well as their souls. The inspiration they received at these services helped them to get through the trials and toils of the weeks and months victoriously. Where, then, would there be room for a prayer meeting headache or Sunday morning sickness?—The Free Methodist.

Labels Sometimes Necessary

The word "Fundamentalist" is a new word in the religious world. It is a recent name. Names are necessary. They are symbols of ideas. It is not the best thing in the world to be nameless. There are some people who object to being branded. They say they will not carry labels. But labels are also necessary, and the absence of them may be embarrassing, as when a goat was being shipped by express with a tag of destination about his neck. Later the Negro in charge of the car was thrown into consternation because he found as he declared with wide-eyed astonishment and perplexity, "Dat goat done eat up whar he's gwine." Probably the goat was a Modernist, or a Conservative who refused to wear a label. But it bothered the Negro, and it bothers us today not to know definitely where people are going and with whom they are going. —The King's Business.

Why Be Quiet In Church

"I am building a church," said a small boy, playing on the floor with a set of building blocks, "and we must be very quiet." His father, eager to encourage this unexpected reverence, asked, "And why are we quiet in the church?" "Because the people are asleep!" was the immediate response. Think of the opportunities we have missed because of spiritual drowsiness!Courtesy Moody Monthly.

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