I had the privilege to be with all of the camp speakers this summer. As part of this time they compiled their best talk illustrations. Many of them are time-tested ones many are familiar with. There were dozens of these. There were five that really stood out to me and I want to share them with you in this series of posts. I am also trying them in my club so I know how they work. I’ve used two so far, I’ll be using more soon.
In this illustration you use a ladder to illustrate how people try to climb to the top in life or in Christianity or really anywhere. You have a ladder in your club talk. This is how I used it last Monday…
I told a story about how my dad has been absent and has a lot to make up in my life. I then transitioned into Zaccheus (Luke 19). It worked great because he was short and had to climb the tree. When I read that part I climbed the ladder and talked about how all of Zaccheus’ stealing left him with a lot work on in his life.
Then I told them how a lot of us feel like being a Christian has to do with going up and down based on our actions. I went to church this week (climb two steps up), but I cheated on my test (climb two steps down). I went on Work Crew (climb three steps up), but this weekend I was out of control (climb three steps down), and so-on, you get the point.
I then continued the story and highlighted that when Jesus wanted to eat at his house, what Jesus wanted was a relationship. I noted that Jesus didn’t immediately ask him to stop stealing. An ongoing relationship with Christ is more important than how high or low you are on the ladder.
I also took a brief moment to say that the ladder only counted when Jesus went up high on a cross (I climbed to the top) and gave up his life for ours (I spread out my arms like being on a cross).
It had the potential to be an A+ talk but for some reason I felt like I didn’t do a very good job, maybe a C+.
Let me know what you think about this…
4 thoughts on “The BEST Talk Illustrations (1 of 5)”
This is a great visual illustration of how nothing that WE DO can help us reach God, Thanks!
Did you use this for the sin talk and the cross talk? Just curious….
Thanks a mil for all your great ideas on here!
Yes, I did use it while speaking at camp for sin and the cross. I knocked over the ladder and it made a loud “thud” as a representation of the effect of Christ’s work on the cross. I thought it went really well. Just like EVERY human analogy, some kids found ways to misunderstand it, but overall I felt like it was one of the strongest points I made while I was speaking.
Thanks for your comment!
Hey Sean! We just used this last week at club and it was one of my favorite club talks in a long time! One of our volunteer leaders, Matt, was speaking about Zaccheus and I found your illustration here with the ladder. Matt used the steps like you did while describing Zaccheus in the tree (it helps that Matt is a short dude). After that, he related the ladder to how we sometimes climb up in (metaphoric) trees when we don’t want to be judged or are afraid or ashamed. He then told the kids that because Jesus was God in the bod, and when he crossed social barriers by wanting to eat with Zaccheus, Jesus took the whole ladder out of the equation. Matt picked up the ladder (it also helps that Matt is a buff short dude) and moved it out of sight in the next room, assuring kids that God wants a relationship. The talk went so well! Kids were engaged and thanked him after and I had some good convos about it during car rides home. Thanks Sean!
Ricky, thanks for the feedback and that is a great tweak to the illustration… great idea!