Categories
Advocacy Calling Challenges Change Choices Community Compassion Courage Determination Empathy Influence Mission Politics Power

The end of slavery

At the close of the eighteenth century the slave trade was a thriving and very big business. Prominent families held slaves and interests in the slave business, a vast swathe of people depended on slavery for their livelihoods, and public opinion was undisturbed by it. When Clarkson threw in his lot with a small group […]

Categories
Courage Justice Leadership Poor Power

Oscar Romero

On February 23, 1997, a priest named Oscar Romero was installed as Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador. His appointment dismayed a number of his fellow priests and delighted the repressive governing regime. Romero was known as a conservative and both the government and reform minded priests thought he would remain silent on the human rights […]

Categories
Beatitudes Beliefs Character Choices Christ Church Commitment Community Conscience Courage Depending on One Another Determination Discipleship From Little Things Big Things Grow Honesty Hope Influence Integrity Justice Perspective Politics Service Society Wealth Words

One small voice can start a revolution

In 2004 Victor Yushchenko stood for the presidency of the Ukraine. Vehemently opposed by the ruling party Yushchenko’s face was disfigured and he almost lost his life when he was mysteriously poisoned. This was not enough to deter him from standing for the presidency. On the day of the election Yushchenko was comfortably in the […]

Categories
Commitment Courage Determination Finishing the Race Integrity Motivation Sermon Illustrations Vision

They Sent Me to Finish

The Olympic Games, Mexico, 1968. The marathon is the final event on the program. The Olympic stadium is packed and there is excitement as the first athlete, an Ethiopian runner, enters the stadium. The crowd erupts as he crosses the finish line. Way back in the field is another runner, John Stephen Akwhari of Tanzania. […]

Categories
Courage Justice Sermon Illustrations

The Underground Railroad

Levi Coffin is an unsung hero of the American anti-slavery movement. In the 1820’s Coffin moved to Newport, Indiana and opened a shop. His home soon became a central point on the famous Underground Railroad, a pathway from slavery in the USA’s South to freedom in Canada. People like Coffin would take enormous personal risk […]

Categories
Christ's Victory Courage Faith God's Sovereignty God's Work Justice Perspective Power Sermon Illustrations Theism

Desmond Tutu’s Confidence

During the deepest, darkest days of apartheid when the government tried to shut down opposition by canceling a political rally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared that he would hold a church service instead. St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa was filled with worshippers. Outside the cathedral hundreds of police gathered, a show of force […]

Categories
Advocacy Compassion Courage Humanity Justice Sermon Illustrations Servanthood

Telemachus and the Colosseum

The story of Telemachus is the story of extreme courage in the face of evil. Telemachus was a Christian monk who, in 391CE, went on a pilgrimage to Rome. While there he noticed crowds flocking to the Colosseum to see gladiators do battle. He followed them in, only to witness a sight that repulsed him. […]

Categories
Advocacy Courage Justice Sermon Illustrations

Standing Firm for Justice

It has been said that all that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to stay quiet. And the converse is also true, when good people speak up, evil can be defeated. This was graphically illustrated inside Bulgaria during the dark days of World War 2. Bulgaria was allied to Germany, with […]

Categories
Courage Forgiveness Grace Inclusion Love Sermon Illustrations

Welcome Mr President

Former US President Richard Nixon is infamous for his place at the center of  the Watergate scandal. He disgraced both the office of the President of the United States and the United States itself in the eyes of the world. When Hubert Humphrey, a former US vice-president died, Nixon attended his funeral. Dignitaries came from […]

Categories
Courage Faithfulness Martyrdom Sermon Illustrations Witness

Polycarp’s Martyrdom

In the year 156 an 86 year old man was brought before a Roman official and asked to renounce his atheism. He was no atheist by our standards. Rather he was the devout Christian bishop Polycarp. To the Romans however he was an atheist, for he refused to worship the emperor as a god along […]

Categories
Courage Discrimination Faith Fear Growth

Fairy Penguins and Fear

Philip Island, in Victoria Australia, plays host to one of the greatest nature experiences possible. On the shores of Philip Island are the burrows of thousands upon thousands of fairy penguins, extraordinarily cute little birds that stand only 30cm or so tall. Every morning the adult penguins head out to sea to catch fish. At […]

Categories
Courage Sermon Illustrations Servanthood Service

Enyon Hawkins

You’ve probably never heard of Enyon Hawkins. Enyon was a Welsh miner, born in 1920 and dying in Wales in 2001. Yet you probably should know about him, for Enyon characterises much of what an unknown person can do through simple acts of love. During World War Two Enyon was an able seaman aboard the […]

Categories
Choices Courage Sermon Illustrations Servanthood Service

A Drowning Girl

One wet and miserable morning in Ohio Ray Blankenship was making breakfast in when he looked out the window onto the open stormwater drain that ran alongside his house. What he saw terrified him – a small girl being swept down the drain. He also knew that further downstream, the ditch disappeared with a roar […]