I wrote this up for one of my Children’s Church Volunteers so I thought I’d share it here.
Here’s how I do Illustrations
- Start with the main point and find a sub-point that needs to be illustrated. (ie: Putting God first is a daily choice.)
- I make sure that my point is true (back-able by scripture and/or common sense), applicable to any age-group anywhere in the world.
- I make a final, complete statement of my point: (ie: We must choose to put God first daily by choosing to obey God.)
- I find an everyday situation, item, or whatever that kids can relate to that naturally represents the same idea. (ie: eating healthy is a choice, getting ready for school but allowing video games to make you late, dedication to a sport requires sacrifice)
- Work that illustration into a lesson. Sometimes I talk about the biblical truth, then illustrate. Sometimes I lead with the illustration and then draw parallels to the point. What works best is to mix them both… then have a quick, concise ending that punches them with the desired response. (ie: Putting God first is a daily thing… every day we must choose to obey God and follow his ways, no matter what.)
- After I’m done I make sure I’m saying what I want to say. I view it from the child’s perspective. Will they ‘get’ it?
My rule is, “Don’t start with the object, start with the lesson”. “Don’t teach the object… use the object to teach the lesson”.