I came across this video and it seemed all too familiar.

(thanks to ChurchLeaders.com for the tip)

A few years ago I did a similar illustration of having someone slap me hard as a part of a service. In each of our gatherings, I invited up someone whom I considered a good friend (but who wasn’t in on what was about to happen). I then shared with everyone how hearing “Jesus died on a cross for you” has become so commonplace we no longer realize some of what it means.

Between our two services, I got slapped hard two different times, with each service having it happen at least twice. My cheek was throbbing by Sunday afternoon.

sermonillustrations

Years later, I’ve heard it was the difference in the faith of one of our (now) key leaders. In his words, “When you let Jon slap you, and then again, I felt the nails going into Jesus’ flesh for the first time in my life.”

Nothing like taking one for the team.

Sometimes we take this too far, though. In one church I was a youth pastor at I had it in mind to have the kids do an altar call while walking through fertilizer. My short-sighted thought at the time was, “It will help them realize all the crap Jesus will walk with them through.” Thankfully, someone much wiser than me interjected and I backed off the idea altogether.

What have been some illustrations like this you’ve seen “work” (or perhaps a few well-intended ideas you’ve watched go south)?

Share your thoughts. Let’s brainstorm and learn from each other.

This weekend we’re kicking off a brand new series in our high school ministry called Facebook Official. It is a 5-week series on friendships, relationships, love and sex. Here’s the series arc for the next month in HSM:

Week 1: You Have a Friend Request [me]
I’m kicking off the series talking about friendships and how the depth of Christian community and faith changes how we interact with our friends and neighbors and affects who we friend and those relationships. This weekend will include a strong Gospel presentation and the ultimate friend, Jesus.

Week 2: They Kind of Guy I Want My Daughter to Marry/The Kind of Girl I Want My Son to Marry [Doug Fields]
Doug Fields is on for week 2 to share about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. He’ll go over character qualities that he looks for in the kind of person he wants and prays his kids will marry.

Week 3: How to Live Happily Ever After [me]
I’m jumping in for week 3 to talk through true love and how to have a love that will go the distance. How do you know if you’re in love? How will I know if she’s the one? Is there more than one “Mr. Right” for me? Love and marriage is hard work, and this week we’ll look at what it takes to make love last.

Week 4: The Sex Talk [Doug Fields]
Purity, lust, and sex. It will be promoted heavily and be one of the biggest weekends of the year. SO excited!

Week 5: Pulling it All Together [me]
Pull all of these messages together in one final challenge and call to action for students to live a life in close relationship with Jesus that will change their relationships with everyone else. A close relationship with Jesus changes our friendships, changes our dating life, changes our marriage and changes our sexual desires. The message will probably include some sort of takeaway that pulls all of these messages into something memorable to remind students of their commitment.

JG