I posted this to my Illustrations and Preaching blogs:
I've only heard from one user of this blog, and I would love to hear from others. What do you find helpful? Where do you find illustrations?
It has been my experience that sometimes illustrations find you. For example, the illustration below this one was on NPR one morning as I was driving to the church that I serve. Other times finding the right illustration can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating pursuit. Here are some places that I have found to be helpful:
1. Homiletics. Homiletics is a bi-monthly magazine that is superb in the art of illustration. Sometimes (often?) their direction for a particular sermon is not quite what I'm looking for, but combing through what is now an online resource (homileticsonline) can be very rewarding. Homiletics is pricey, but it is worth it. These folks have been called the "metaphor guys" and rightly so.
2. sermoncentral.com I am a contributor and I find that most contributors whose work I look at are not good illustrators. However, if I'm stuck for one it is worth the time to look through the sermons there.
3. books, movies, television, radio, general culture - These can be the ideal source for illustrations, but sometimes they aren't as timely as you would like.
4. Your life - for some this is the best place. I personally try to keep a balance on this and I also make sure that I'm not the hero of all my stories.
That's my list, what's yours?