Unhelp assumptions and helpful imagery

Jot down below any unhelpful assumptions that you hear preachers make (Christian jargon and language, references to the Bible and its stories which they assume people know about etc.). Please don’t mention names or be critical.


Jot down below¬†any visual or mental images which you witness a preacher using which helps the listener ‘see’ with their eyes or with their mind’s eye (e.g. a story, good power-point slide, descriptive language, a visual aid, a metaphor etc. etc..) How did this ‘image’ help to get the message across?

7 thoughts on “Unhelp assumptions and helpful imagery

  1. A famous teacher opened up Matthew 26,7 to an American audience. The message split between i) because you deserve it treat yourself ii) treat someone even if they are wealthy.

    Seems to me that in Matt 26,7 the woman’s act was prophetic, devotional, and sacrificial.

    However, the whole focus of the preacher’s message was about shoring up one’s psyche – using celebration and the giving of gifts as a way of enjoying the journey / feeling better.

    Have I got it wrong?

  2. How many times have we seen a homeless person in the streets begging and thought they are a homeless drunk, and just walked pass without giving them the time of day.

    There is one guy in Great Yarmouth called Bob, (we all call him santa because of his big white beard), one day i decided to stop and speak to him and give him a drink and a sandwich.

    I ended up sitting there beside him for nearly an hour chatting to him, and found out that he had been a very sucsessful buisness man, with his own company, big house, cars and family and when the recesion had kicked in he lost everything.

    His buisness failed, he had to sell the cars and the house and his wife and family left him, but whilst speaking to Bob i found out that he was a very intelligent guy, who had fallen on tough times.

    He said there had been times he had been sworn at, beaten and abused, because of him being homeless.

    The thing i learnt is that any of us could end up in the same possiton as Bob, and how would we feel if people walked pass us and looked down their noses at us or trearted us in the same was a Bob had been treated.

    The next time you see a homelss person, don’t just think they are a homeless bum, why not take the time to find out why they are in that position, you never know you may even be suprised.

    • The point you make is a good one. But you should bear in mind that the story that Bob told you may not actually be true. In this country, people who live on the streets often do so because they have a self-destructive aspect to their lives, such as mental illness or drug addiction. A person who had a successful business would be someone with “get up and go”. Such a person would be unlikely to be content with the passivity of a homeless life when they could get help if they tried, unless they were caught in the grip of something that robbed them of that vitality.

  3. Simon Ladd recently used an effective illustration during a Remembrance Day service. He showed some photographs of the poppy art installation at the Tower of London. One image showed the poppies pouring out of one of the windows in the tower, like blood streaming from a wound. He pointed out that the tower has six windows, just as Jesus on the cross had been given six wounds. The connection between the sacrifice of the lives of our servicemen during WW1 and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross isn’t one that had occurred to me before, and it stayed with me.

  4. Our trainee SSM was preaching on the parable of the talents. She used the illustration of her 2 year old daughter receiving an enormous christmas present from her doting grandparents (wooden bunkbeds for her dolls), which she then played with for the whole day. She also played with the enormous box the dolls’ beds came in, really enjoying the gift to the full. Do we sometimes not appreciate our gifts or use them as God intended? Do we keep them wrapped up in the box and never delight in them?

  5. Sunday November 24 service at Christ Church to receive and bless ‘Shoeboxes’ as part of the national appeal, to a congregation including several visitors, including children. Talking about the Christmas gift boxes we are sending and how each is a gift of love, the speaker took one of the boxes and talked about how we would respond if someone offered us a very special gift. Of course we would accept it, wouldn’t we? All the kids nod. So when God sends us the most precious gift of all in the form of His only Son, why do so many refuse it? I found this appropriate and powerful in that it spoke both to the children and the visiting adults.

  6. Power point illustrations – if used – need impact, and so need to be used sparingly and wisely. Otherwise can too often be a distraction to the text and passage.

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