- Don’t let the illustration shape the sermon.
- Don’t use illustration that are too powerful (people will remember the illustration and not the message).
- Don’t use too many illustrations.
- Don’t use illustrations that are inappropriate (either they confuse people or offend them).
- Don’t use illustrations that are inaccurate.
- Don’t be funny for the sake of being funny (you’re a preacher not a stand up comedian).
- Don’t use boring illustrations.
- Don’t ad lib illustrations.
- Don’t use illustrations that are always about you.
- Do use ones about things that happen to you (the more self-deprecating, the better).
- Do use illustrations derived from observations about life, people or nature.
- Do use illustrations about other people’s experiences.
- Do use quotations (but make sure they are clear and not too long).