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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

A Free Sermon Illustration Tool

Updated: Mar 3

I love to preach! I'm a full-time pastor, and I've preached for over 20 years. On average, I've preached 3 times per week for over 1,000 weeks. I've spent 5 years in Bible college, and countless hours in sermon prep. Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours doing something makes you an expert... well, I'm not sure if that makes me an expert, but it definitely makes me a very experienced fellow struggler!

Sermon Illustrations Make Preaching more Fun and Effective

Here's something that makes it a whole lot more fun: having great sermon illustrations! You know what I mean. It's way more fun to listen to someone when they're interesting, and honestly, it's a lot more fun to be interesting! If I'm preaching on discipleship, I'm way more excited to preach if I've got some great sermon illustrations on discipleship already loaded up.

So I'm always on the lookout for sermon illustrations to make preaching both more fun to do and to listen to.

I tend to be an early adopter of new technology, and I started using ChatGPT. (I've never used it to write a sermon, but I have asked it questions in the process.)

But I did discover something: it was decent at helping me brainstorm illustrations!

I'd put in a prompt and it would spit out 10 sermon illustration ideas, or whatever I asked for. But it still had its limitations. I didn't understand exactly what I was looking for at times, and the illustrations were not as varied as I was really looking for. So I decided to spend the time to create a custom version! You can read how to use it below, or just access it instantly: Let's Brainstorm some Sermon Illustrations! 

I Made a free ChatGPT Sermon Illustration Tool

I call it Sermon Illustrator, a beacon of creativity and support in the sermon preparation process. With a design that marries theological accuracy with inspiring storytelling, Sermon Illustrator emerges as a vital aide for pastors, enabling them to breathe life into biblical teachings.

At its core, Sermon Illustrator is a super-fast brainstorming partner. Recognizing that illustrations are like windows that let more light into the message and the hearts of the hearers, I want to browse quickly through options to see what I can find that would help shed some light on my scripture or topic.

Here's how to use My AI Sermon Illustrator

Here's a straightforward, how-to guide on using Sermon Illustrator to enhance your sermon preparation process. This guide is tailored for pastors looking for an efficient and effective way to find sermon illustrations and add depth to their messages.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Sermon Illustrator

Step 1: Start with Your Topic

Begin by sharing the Bible passage or sermon topic you're focusing on. This could be as specific as a single verse or as broad as a thematic series you're planning.

Step 2: Clarify Your Needs

It'll ask a few questions to narrow down the theme or specific angle you're interested in. This ensures that the illustrations it provides are tailored to your sermon's objectives.

Step 3: Explore Illustrations Across 15 Areas

SI will present you with a variety of illustrations from 15 distinct categories, including historical events, scientific facts, art and music examples, and more. You'll receive two examples from each area to choose from.

Step 4: Dive Deeper into Selected Illustrations

If any illustration catches your eye, ask for more details. Sermon Illustrator will provide a deeper dive into the context, significance, and potential application of the illustration to your sermon. You can ask it to "write it as a short story to be shared publicly in simple language, if you like.

Step 5: Visual Support for Your Sermon

Should you wish to include visual elements in your presentation, let me know. I can generate custom images that complement your sermon, making it more engaging for your audience.

Video Demonstration of ChatGPT Sermon Illustrator

Here's a 10-minute demo where I put the Sermon Illustrator through its paces, asking it for illustrations for Romans 16:

Tips for Maximizing the Use of Sermon Illustrator

Tip 1: Be Specific with Your Topic

The more specific you are with your topic or the questions you have, the more targeted and relevant the illustrations it can provide.

Tip 2: Utilize the Variety of Illustration Areas

Don't hesitate to explore illustrations from different areas. Combining insights from various disciplines can enrich your sermon and resonate with a broader audience.

Tip 3: Engage with the Details

When diving deeper into an illustration, consider how its details can be woven into your sermon's narrative. This can add depth and texture to your message.

Tip 4: Visuals Make an Impact

"A Picture is worth 1,000 words," right? Visual aids can significantly enhance your sermon's impact. You can use the custom images Sermon Illustrator generates to create a more memorable and engaging presentation, if you use visuals.

Tip 5: Feedback is Welcome

Your feedback helps it serve you better. If an illustration isn't quite what you were looking for, say so. It can adjust the search criteria or explore additional resources.

Would you help test drive Sermon Illustrator?

If you'd be willing to try it out on this Sunday's sermon, and then send me some feedback, that would amazing!

You can do that here: Let's Brainstorm some Sermon Illustrations!  Thanks!

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