The Value of Using Metaphors in Preaching

By Randall K. Cook

“Illustrations, like windows, let light into the chambers of the mind. . . . Mere bald statements are soon forgotten, but an apt illustration sticks to the soul like a hook in a fish’s mouth.” —Charles Haddon Spurgeon

A good metaphor casts light on the subject at hand. Light reveals, brings out subtle colors, and adds glorious sheen. Light reflects additional images, penetrates hidden depths, enhances shadows, and adds perspective.

Further, a good metaphor helps solve a time problem. Every preacher is in a constant battle with the clock. If he has prepared as he should, he has far more to say than the allotted time will allow. By the end of a week’s preparation, he has to struggle with what can be left out without weakening the sermon as a whole. The use of metaphors in preaching is a valuable means of solving this problem.