Preparing a sermon is hard labor sometimes. You have to pray for it, study the Bible, and dig to other resources to strengthen your message. Not to mention finding the right title for it (which if I’m struggling with it, I can’t move on writing the entire message itself). Also adding to that a need for quotes, stories and illustrations to make your message interesting. Whether it is to keep your listeners from falling asleep or a take home story or quote that will leave a lasting impact, you might want to have a reference book for it. Not that we discount the Holy Spirit that will work into the hearts of your pew by using your sermon, but an added “garnish” to the already appealing message you have prepared.
Enter 1001 Quotes, Illustrations, and Humorous Stories by Edward K. Rowell and the editors of Leadership magazine. This awesome resource is well organized in three sections, Quotes, Illustrations, Humorous Stories and Pastors to Pastors. If that’s doesn’t make it user friendly already, they thrown in an Index to further assist you in your specific sermon, lesson or speech. Plus a “Date used” in every entry that you can jot the date to remind you that already have used it.
Although the entries of this 400+ page book seems to cater Western audiences, there are plenty of entries that can be understood by anyone, so you don’t have to fret that you can’t use this book. In fact the “Quotes” chapter has various words of wisdom from distinguished personalities. This is my favorite section that collects quotes from Christian giants (Spurgeon, Tozer, John Wesley, Martin Luther), to political figures (Napoleon, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln) to authors (T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, Albert Camus) that will sure grab your listeners attention. The “Quote” section will be, I think the most used part of the book, because people love quotes. The “Illustrations” sections delivers “speech block” cure which includes interesting anecdotes, newspaper clippings and stories. “Humorous Stories” doesn’t just provide funny lines or stories but cartoons that will put a smile to your listeners. The last section “Pastors to Pastors” is quite short but still dishes out the good stuff if you’re engaging with your fellow colleagues.
“1001 Quotes, Illustrations, and Humorous Stories” is a quick, easy and useful reference book that will add some spice to you sermon, lectures or articles. Use this book as an effective springboard if you don’t have time to research or read something in the internet. Be sure that it’s near your study table.