Sermon illustrations

Church Attendance

Bat Infestation

Three pastors got together for coffee one day and found all their churches had bat-infestation problems.

“I got so mad,” said one, “I took a shotgun and fired at them. It made holes in the ceiling, but did nothing to the bats.”

“I tried trapping them alive,” said the second. “Then I drove 50 miles before releasing them, but they beat me back to the church.”

“I haven’t had any more problems,” said the third.

“What did you do?” asked the others, amazed.

“I simply baptized and confirmed them,” he replied. “I haven’t seen them since.”

Reader’s Digest, July, 1994, p. 64.

Not Going to Church

As was the normal routine on a Sunday morning, a wife got ready for church. She got up, had breakfast, showered, got dressed, put on makeup and was ready to go. It was just as she was ready to leave that she noticed her husband was still in his robe and pajamas. She asks him what’s going on, “I’m not going to church” he says. “What do you mean, you’re not going to church?” Give me one good reason why you’re not going to church?“

The husband responds, “I’ll give you three good reasons why I’m not going to church. Reason number one, the church feels cold. Reason number two, no one likes me. And reason number three, I just don’t like it there. Is that good enough?” he concluded quite proudly.

 “Well, what if I give you three reasons why you should go to church.” the wife answered. “Reason number one, the church is actually quite warm and friendly. Reason number two, there’s a few people there who like you. And reason number three, you’re the pastor sweetheart, so you better get dressed and get to church.”

Original Source Unknown, Stuart Strachan Jr.

The Pastor’s Visit

The story is told of a man who had gone to church for several years but suddenly stopped attending. His pastor dropped by one evening unannounced. The man answered the door and invited him in. Of course, he knew why his pastor was there.

They went and sat in two chairs in front of a roaring fire. Neither man said anything. After a few minutes, the pastor picked up the fire tongs, took one of the logs out of the fire, and laid it on the hearth. The flames died down and flickered a few times before going out. They watched in silence as the log started to grow cold. 

After a while, the pastor once again picked up the fire tongs and put the smoldering log back with the other burning logs. It immediately burst back into flame. 

The pastor got up and said, “Well, I need to go now. But I’ve enjoyed our visit.” 

The man rose too and said, “I appreciate your message, pastor. I will be in church on Sunday.”

Source Unknown

Why People Don’t Go to Church 

Rick Warren, perhaps the most famous missional code breaker, surveyed his community and found why people in his community did not go to church. He found that there were four primary complaints about church:

Church is boring, especially the sermons. The messages don’t relate to my life.

Church members are unfriendly to visitors. If I go to church, I want to feel welcomed without being embarrassed.

The church is more interested in my money than it is in me.

We worry about the quality of our church’s childcare.

Ed Stetzer & David Putman, Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community B&H Publishing.

See also Illustrations on The Church, Church Growth, Ministry, Pastors

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our quotes page on Belief. Don’t forget, sometimes a great quote is an illustration in itself!

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