Here’s one last thought about illustrations. The richest source of illustrations is found in the many news sites now available on the web. I often use current events, and there are two ways of finding them.
First, if I’m preaching on a particular topic, I search that topic on the NEWS tab of Google. For example, if you’re preaching about anger-management, google the word “temper” on the NEWS tab. You’ll get 980 news reports on Christian Bale’s temper tantrum on the Batman set, 88 articles on Lindsay Lohan’s temper tantrum at the Superbowl, and a great phrase in a Bradenton Herald story about temper: Self-Sabatoge. There’s a fresh term for a good sermon title.
The other way is to visit your favorite sites each day with an eye out for illustrations. You might try some of the “odd story” sites that give those strange items that sometimes make us gasp or laugh.
One such site is Yahoo Odd News. Among the stories today is one with this headline: “Evangelists Accused of Stealing from Tennessee Homes” – about two young burglars here in Nashville that get into homes by pretending to be door-to-door church workers. Another story tells of a woman jailed for accumulating $30,000 in parking meter fines. And then there was the thief in France who thought he was drilling into the bank’s vault, but burst into its bathroom instead, and that’s where he was captured. There’s got to be a sermon illustration in there somewhere.