“Best of Preaching and Preachers” Episode #14: Keys to Effective Sermon Illustrations

This week on Preaching and Preachers, Dr. Hershael York joins me in a discussion on keys to effective sermon illustrations. Dr. York is the Victor and Louise Professor of Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Senior Pastor of Buckrun Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Guest(s): Hershael York


Some of the topics discussed on today’s episode are:

  • Dr. York’s call to ministry, and what has shaped him as a preacher.
  • The two aspects of every sermon: preaching what the text says, and applying the text.
  • The need to intentionally illustrate the sermon.
  • The Biblical pattern and use of illustrations.
  • How to enhance one’s sermon illustrating ability.
  • When to use sermon illustrations.
  • Why pastors should not use sermon illustration books.
  • Helpful ways to find good sermon illustrations.
  • Why pastors should plan their sermons in advance.
  • The power and risk of personal illustrations.
  • The illustration rule: when in doubt, leave it out.
  • How to discern whether the illustration is taking too much precedence over the text.


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