Category Archives: Ministry Illustrations

Feel free to use these in your next sermon/lesson

Youth Lesson: Burn us Up

Below is an old lesson I taught in August of 2008. If you are looking for a lesson on faith and need some ideas to jump start your train of thought, hope this can be of help.

We’re talking today about faith to do what God says.

Lots of great examples
David vs Goliath
Jesus in garden

But TODAY Abraham and son Isaac

Gen 12
Isaac is foretold as the one whom blessing comes through


What would be your dream car/truck?
God says:  I gave you this dream for a reason and you are going to use this for my glory.
Great things will happen because you have this car, I WANT you to have this.
I want you to get in this car, will you do that?
I want for you to drive it along the coast will you do that?
Now roll down the windows and crank up some tunes.
Now drive your car up a rocky mountain.
When you get to the top get out of the car and set it on fire.

Gen 22

God is asking Abraham to give up his most prized thing, his son, the one whom the promise was to come through. It didn’t seem to make any sense. Kinda makes God sound like He’s going back on the promise. Abraham figures God will raise his son from the dead and he complies. Whatever was going to happen, Abraham had faith.

God holds the future
Abraham didn’t forget the promise, He just knew the one whose word was good
Not uncharacteristic for Abraham
God told him to move out – he did
God tells him to kill son – he was about to!

Play song: Holy is the Lord by by Andrew Peterson

Parallel to Jesus
Was nervous in garden but had faith this was His father’s will and was right

God may be asking you to do something simply to test your faith. You may get back whatever it is you would be giving up, and if so great! But if you don’t you should trust God that He has greater things in store. We should act as though we trust God whether we get something out of it or not, whether or not it makes sense to us.

Daniel 3:8-27

Burn us up!

You know there are a lot of people out there singing songs, making movies, trying to act like their big and bad. They lie about crimes they never committed, talk about all their women and the people they say they shot up. They try to look tough by putting their faith in themselves and really their “selves” are just fake! Cardboard cutouts that you can knock over if you put them to the test.

It takes a real man, takes a real woman, to stand before a king and say “Burn me up. God can save me, but if He chooses not to I will STILL burn for him!” To sacrifice our lives, even give up relationships with those closest to us, children, siblings, parents, friends. That’s the kind of sacrifice we should be willing to make for God, and even if it doesn’t make sense when God asks it, I promise you it’s worth it!

R. Travis Crocker

Student Family Minister – Beaufort FBC

Associational Youth Director – ABANC     252-269-0578


How to make bright green fire: An idea for your VBS and more

We are adding a little twist to our youth VBS tonight that I wanted to share with others who might wish to do the same.

The Lifeway Outrigger Island Curriculum (the best VBS Lifeway has put out that I’ve seen,) calls for a reenactment of Jeremiah 36 where the king burns the scroll that Jeremiah and Baruch have presented to them. We are going to have youth throw in cards with the commandments they have not kept. Where we depart tonight is that we will have a second bowl full of bright GREEN fire. Since green represents life, we will have youth decide what particular commandment they will work on observing that they haven’t. The green fire will represent the fire of God inside of them and their placing their cards in here will represent giving it over to God.

So how do you make green fire? Take a teaspoon of boric acid and mix it with about a cup (at least) of HEET antifreeze. You can get both of these items at Walmart and inexpensively. Mix the boric acid with the HEET for about 30 seconds and light it. The eerie green glow is something you just have to see! And I’m sure our youth will be enthralled with it tonight as well

Ministry Illustration: Frivolous Lawsuits

You can use these examples of real life lawsuits to illustrate:

Greed, Sin, Injustice, Lack of accountability/Blaming others

Richard Overton sued Anheuser-Busch for $10,000. He claimed to have
suffered emotional distress, mental injury, and financial loss because
drinking beer did not make his fantasies of beautiful women in tropical
settings come to life, as he claimed it had advertised, driving him to
buy and drink more Bud Light.

you can’t sue the system, sue yourself. 1995, Robert Lee Brock sued
himself for $5 million. He claimed that he had violated his own civil
rights and religious beliefs by allowing himself to get drunk and
commit crimes which landed him in the Indian Creek Correctional Center
in Virginia, serving a 23 year sentence for grand larceny and breaking
and entering. What could he possibly have to gain by suing himself?
Since being in prison prevented him from having an income, he expected
the state to pay.

Peters sued Universal Studios for $15,000. She claimed to have suffered
extreme fear, mental anguish, and emotional distress due to visiting
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, which she
said was too scary.

Brewer sued Providence Hospital for $2 million. He claimed that the
hospital was negligent because it had not prevented him from raping one
of its patients. The judge ruled that any damage Brewer suffered due to
his crime was his responsibility for choosing to commit the crime, and
that the hospital had no legal duty to protect him from that choice.

Aitken sued NBC for $2.5 million. He claimed that an episode of “Fear
Factor” caused him “suffering, injury, and great pain.” He said that
watching the contestants eat rats on television made him dizzy and
light-headed, causing him to vomit and run into a doorway

Heckard sued Michael Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for $832
million. He claimed to suffer defamation, permanent injury, and
emotional pain and suffering because people often mistook him for the
basketball star

bicycling doctor has sued his then-11-year-old inline-skating neighbor
for pain and suffering after they collided on their Chester Township
street in 2003

Alexander Dlugi, now 54, sued the child, claiming she was negligent and
caused the collision by reacting unreasonably when he approached her
from behind on Sugar Maple Row, shouted “watch out” and rang his
bicycle bell

The accident expert said on Wednesday Dlugi could have avoided the collision by simply riding around the skater.

girl was skating, generally on the right side of Sugar Maple Row, and
Dlugi had passed her once on his first bicycle loop around the
neighborhood. Ellis stopped skating and stepped to the curb when she
noticed two approaching vehicles. She stepped back into the road —
with Dlugi a distance behind her on his bicycle — and resumed skating.
Then Dlugi decided to overtake and pass the girl on the road

Authorities Suspect Fraud To Collect $222,000 In Disability Benefits

nearly 20 years – ever since Pete Costello was 8 – his mother has
collected disability benefits on his behalf. In meetings with Social
Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and
unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn’t read or write,
shower, take care of himself or drive a car.

But now prosecutors say it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.

“He’s like any other person trying to get out of a traffic ticket,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said Tuesday.

and Rosie Marie Costello were indicted in September on charges of
conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud

the same trick with a daughter, whom officials have been unable to
locate. All told, she raked in $222,000 on their behalf

Georgia Dad Poisons Kid’s Soup With Prozac To Claim Money From Campbell Soup

GA (AHN) – Authorities said that a father in Georgia attempted to sue
the Campbell Soup Co. by allegedly poisoning his children’ soup. He has
been indicted on tampering and fraud charges. The children, a
3-year-old boy and his 18-month sister were taken to the hospital three
times in January.

say that the man in question used Prozac and Amitryptaline, drugs used
to treat clinical depression to taint the soup. His daughter became so
ill that she had to be flown on a helicopter to an Atlanta hospital.

have now charged William Allen Cunningham, 40, with tampering and
disregard for the risk of injury or death of other persons.
Additionally, he was charged with mail fraud, where he had sent
messages that a consumer product had been tainted.

The children are reportedly with their mother and no information about their health has been released.

Should he be convicted

75 years in prison

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Ministry Illustration: Wrong place at the wrong time

You can use this story as an example of:

Myth of luck,fate,being satisfied with your circumstance,contentment

If you ever thought YOU were in the wrong place at the wrong time

British officer, Major Summerford, while fighting in the fields of
Flanders in February 1918 was knocked off his horse by a flash of
lightning and paralyzed from the waist down. Summerford retired and
moved to Vancouver. One day in 1924, as he fished alongside a river,
lightning hit the tree he was sitting under and paralyzed his right

years later Summerford was sufficiently recovered that he was able to
take walks in a local park. He was walking there one summer day in 1930
when a lightning bolt smashed into him, permanently paralyzing him. He
died two years later. But lightning sought him out one last time. Four
years later, during a storm, lightning struck a cemetery and destroyed
a tombstone. The deceased buried here? Major Summerford.

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Ministry Illustration: Ark building kind of faith

You can use this story as an example of:

Genesis, Noah, faith . Would also be useful to tie in clips from “Evan Almighty”

The below article is fragmented news clippings from an online newspaper

replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch creationist Johan Huibers
as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.

models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and
other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.

design is by my wife, Bianca,” Huibers said. “She didn’t really want me
to do this at all, but she said if you’re going to anyway, it should
look like this.”

will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats. And one camel.

In fact, Noah’s Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger than Johan’s Ark.

50-seat film theater, where kids can watch the segment of the Disney film “Fantasia” that tells the story of Noah.

said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the
Netherlands, where churchgoing has fallen dramatically in the past 50

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Ministry Illustration: Seen at the zoo

You can use this story as an example of:

sign points beyond itself, consider in relation to Jesus’ miracles,
done in order to point to the Father  (this humorous intro just points
to humor unlike Jesus’ miracles which pointed beyond.)

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Ministry Illustration: Corporate Hierarchy

You can use this story as an example of:

Mundane existence, injustice, underdog, mistreatment

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