Useless Illustrations

I have been speaking for many years.  I have studied education and the different learning styles.  I have studied developmental psychology and identity formation.  I understand the importance and value of a well placed and timeless illustration.  But there are so many lame ones.

If I was a bridge operator and my son was playing at the bridge and there was a train full of people coming toward the bridge – there would be a whole river full of dead or swimming people.

I first noticed it a few years back – after being a youth pastor and teaching youth ministry – that this one youth pastor was talking to jr. high kids – about faith or something like that (I couldn’t remember the story I was so flabbergasted by the lame story).  He proceeded to talk to the 12 year old about moving his family across the country and how hard that was – LIKE A 12 YEAR OLD CAN POSSIBLY COMPREHEND HAVING A FAMILY AND MOVING ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR A POSSIBLE JOB.  It bothered me then, and it bothered me today when the speaker at chapel session to 8-12th graders was telling them about 34 years of marriage; crying as he talked about his daughter that he adopted in Cambodia.  Now don’t get me wrong – it was a great story, but what 17 year old can relate to 34 years of marriage.  He can’t.

I beg you please – don’t ever use illustrations that students can’t relate to in my presence.  I know that you won’t stop it – because you so want these teenagers to get your point, but use illustrations about your teenage years or some experience that they can relate to.

You got any useful illustrations?

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