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Church Illustrations

  • A Brokxn Kxy

    typewriterEvxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx of the kxys. I havx many timxs wishxd that it workxd pxrfxctly.

    It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.

    Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that our church is somxthing likx my typxwritxr -- not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly.

    As onx of thxm, you may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll, I am only onx pxrson, I don't makx or brxak thx church."

  • Answered Prayer #2

    prayer2A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God.

    However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

    The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.

  • Bible Reading Page Turner

    bible openEnding his sermon, a preacher announced that he would preach on Noah and the Ark on the following Sunday, and gave the scriptural reference for the congregation to read ahead of time.

    A couple of boys noticed something interesting about the placement of the story in the Bible. They slipped into the church and glued two pages of the pulpit Bible together.

    The next Sunday, the preacher got up to read his text. "Noah took unto himself a wife," he began, "and she was" - he turned the page to continue - "three hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high."

    He paused, scratched his head, turned the page back, read it silently, and turned the page again. Then he looked up at his congregation and said, "I've been reading this old Bible for near fifty years, but there are some things in it that are hard to believe."

  • Chavez Prayer

    prayer3Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
    So I will know my people's plight.

    Free me to pray for others;
    For you are present in every person.

    Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
    So that I can be free at last.

  • Church Attendance, Religion vs. Relationship

    doctor4Strangely enough, this is all true.

    I had heart bypass surgery. For recovery, they have you do an exercise program. So I go to the doctor and he asks if I have been exercising. I reply, "Yes. Religiously."

    "How is it going?"

    "Well, at first it was kind of tiring doing all that once a week..."

    "Once a week?"

    "Yeah, you know, religiously. Just like church. Every seven days."

  • Church Leadership

    bishopWe were celebrating the 100th anniversary of our church, and several former pastors and the bishop were in attendance. At one point, our minister had the children gather at the altar for a talk about the importance of the day. He began by asking, "Does anyone know what the bishop does?"

    There was silence.

    Finally, one little boy answered gravely, "He's the one you can move diagonally."

  • Directions to Our Father's House

    *Directions to Our Father's House*

    map coupleMake a Right onto "Believing Blvd."

    Keep straight and go through the Green Light, which is Jesus Christ.

    From there, you must turn onto the "Bridge of Faith," which is over troubled water.

  • Faith and Suffering

    blind caneI was listening to a lady who called a radio pastor. The pastor was a wise, grandfatherly gentleman who has that calm reassuring voice that can melt all fear. The lady, who was obviously crying, said, "Pastor, I was born blind, and I've been blind all my life. I don't mind being blind but I have some well meaning friends who tell me that if I had more faith I could be healed."

  • Family Harmony

    wooden crossOne Sunday a priest announced he was passing out miniature crosses made of wood.

    "Put this cross in the room where your family argues most," he advised. "When you look at it, the cross will remind you that God is watching."

    When the parishioners were leaving church, a woman walked up to the priest, shook his hand, and said, "I'll take five."

  • How to Fast

    bread slicedFast from judging others;
    Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

    Fast from apparent darkness;
    Feast on the reality of light.

    Fast from pessimism;
    Feast on optimism.

  • Hypocritical Complaints

    pig upcloseFrank visited a farmer to talk to him about Christ. "I wouldn't come to church up there," the farmer said. "I know old Bill who claims to be a Christian and his sister Clara who claims to be a Christian and they don't live any differently from me. I'm as good as they are."

    Everywhere the farmer went he was in the habit of talking about the hypocrites he knew in that Church. Months passed and Frank went to see the farmer again. "I want to buy a hog", he said. The farmer showed all his best hogs to him. Then they came to the runt. "I believe I will take that one," Frank said.

  • Kids on the Bible

    Children's thoughts on the BibleThe statements below are said to have been written by actual students, that they are genuine and NOT retouched or corrected:

    - Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark.

    - The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount cyanide to get the ten amendments.

    - The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

    - The fifth commandment is to humor thy father and mother.

  • Liar Lesson

    class1A Sunday school teacher was giving her class the assignment for the next week.

    "Next Sunday," she said, "we are going to talk about liars, and in preparation for our lesson I want you all to read the seventeenth chapter of Mark."

    The following week, at the beginning of the class meeting, the teacher said, "Now then, all of you who have prepared for the lesson by reading the seventeenth chapter of Mark, please step to the front of the room."

    About half the class rose and came forward.

    "The rest of you may leave," said the teacher. "These students are the ones I want to talk to. There is no seventeenth chapter in the Book of Mark."

  • Prayer, Spiritual Leadership

    rocking chairsThe wives of two Baptist pastors, had a friendship that was unending.

    Were sitting together as they worked - their husband's clothes they were mending.

    One said to the other, "My poor John is so discouraged with preaching.

    He's about ready to give it up - there are no souls that he's reaching."

    He said nothing is going right - no new faces does he ever see.

  • Psalm 23 Summary

    bible girlA Sunday school teacher asked her class if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm.

    A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said, "The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want."

    She bowed again and went and sat down.

    That may well be the greatest interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ever heard.

  • Quote #1425

    sheep3"It’s easy to love and serve a sexy church. But to love and serve a struggling one, that’s another level of Christ-likeness."
    - Whitney Capps

  • Reaching the Unchurched

    church1While serving as church usher, I was carrying out our tradition of escorting parishioners to their seats before the service began. After I returned to the entrance of the sanctuary to escort the next party, I greeted two strangers and asked where they would like to sit.

    Looking confused, the young man smiled and said, "Nonsmoking, please."

  • Relativism

    cemetaryAn older woman recently returned from her home town in North Carolina and told a friend they'd spruced up the churchyard cemetery since her last visit several years past. "Lots of new greenery," she said. "And families are together now."

    "All together?" her friend asked, puzzled.

    "Well," the first replied, "years ago they never much worried where they buried someone because everyone was a neighbor anyhow. They'd just dig a grave wherever it seemed to balance things. But they've redone it so people are with their children and grandchildren, instead of scattered."

    The friend was still puzzled. "You mean they exhumed all those people and reburied them?"

    "Oh my, no," was the reply. "We just shifted the headstones. Everyone agrees it looks ever so much nicer."

  • Religious Customs

    torah scrollA young scholar from New York was invited to become Rabbi in a small old community in Chicago.

    On his very first Shabbat, a hot debate erupted as to whether one should or should not stand during the reading of the Ten Commandments.

    The next day, the rabbi visited 98-year-old Mr. Katz in the nursing home.

    "Mr. Katz, I'm asking you, as the oldest member of the community," said the rabbi, "what is our synagogue's custom during the reading of the Ten Commandments?"

    "Why do you ask?" asked Mr. Katz.

    "Yesterday we read the Ten Commandments. Some people stood, some people sat. The ones standing started screaming at the ones sitting, telling them to stand up. The ones sitting started screaming at the ones standing, telling them to sit down... "

    "That," said the old man, "is our custom."

  • Self-Righteous Son

    boy soccerballThanks to List member Dannette from Ohio for this true story about her son.

    When my son was 4, I was in a Women's Bible Study group. They had classes for children as well, while we studied in our groups. One day, as my son and I were walking to our car, he said to me, "Mom, I'm not going to sin anymore."

    You can imagine my pride at hearing this. Then I got to wondering why he said this, so I asked him.

    His answer was quick: "Jesus said if you don't sin, you can throw the first stone, and I want to throw the first stone."

    - Dannette from Ohio

  • Self-Righteousness

    Self-righteousnessTwo elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of the church listening to a fiery preacher.

    When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out, "Amen, Brother!"

    When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, "You preach it, Reverend!"

    And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and hollered, "RIGHT ON, BROTHER! TELL IT LIKE IT IS... AMEN!"

    But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet.

    One turned to the other and said, "He's quit preaching and now he's meddlin'."

  • Self-Righteousness Committee

    A self-righteous speechPraise God, everyone! Welcome to our annual membership re-commitment committee. Think of this as a tune-up for the soul. We're going to run a diagnostic on your spiritual life to make sure you're still committed.

    My name?

    Call me God's Enforcer. And no, there are no other committee members. Yes, it was sad to watch them go but, alas, they wouldn't measure up to The Standard. Huh? Well, I set The Standard. That's my job.

    Shall we begin? 

  • The Devil's Beatitudes

    crowdIf the devil were to write his beatitudes, they would probably go something like this:

    1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians - they save me the effort of trying to keep them from God's blessings.

    2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked - its pretty easy to keep them from working for God.

    3. Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church - they are my missionaries.

    4. Blessed are the trouble makers - they shall be called my children.

    5. Blessed are the complainers - I'm all ears for them.

    6. Blessed are those who are bored with the minister's mannerisms and mistakes - for they get nothing out of his sermons.

    7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church - for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.

    8. Blessed are those who gossip - for they shall cause strife and division - that pleases me.

    9. Blessed are those who are easily offended - for they will soon get angry and quit.

    10. Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God's work - for they are my helpers.

    11. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister - for they shall be with me forever.

  • There They Go Again

    church peopleAs Christians, it is our responsibility to be a witness to our neighbors but, also, to let our witness show by our faithfulness in the family of God and the house of God every opportunity we can. As our neighbors watch us leave on Sunday morning, they will say "There they go again."

    As our neighbors watch us leave on Wednesday evening, they will say, "There they go again."

    As our neighbors watch us leave on a Friday morning, they will say, "There they go again."

    One day, when the trumpet of God sounds and God steps out onto the portals of Heaven to say, "Come here," our neighbors can look out their window saying, "There they go again."