Today’s Illustration: Building An Analogical Illustration

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Analogical Illustration:

This is one of the reasons that Tony Evans is so effective!

Just listen to one of his messages and listen to how the audience is tracking and following him in responding vocally!


Step #1) Start out with some basic information on a possible topic . . . . 

For Example: Basic Information For Possible Use On Getting Better MPG:

There are five basic ways to get more miles per gallon . . . .

#1) Buy a car which is designed for more miles per gallon.  Buy a fuel-efficient or ultra-efficient car.

#2) Check your tire pressure.  Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency up to 25%.  You can drop from 40 mpg to 30 mpg just by not having your tires properly inflated.

#3) Maintain your engine’s operation.  The condition of the air filter and the spark plugs affect gasoline mileage.  A dirty air filter will reduce miles up to 20% and as the spark plugs age and no longer properly ignite the fuel in the piston chamber can reduce your mpg by up to 12%.  Those two together can affect miles by 32%.  That 40 mpg is now down to 28-27 mpg.

#4) Speed: Keep your speed somewhere between 55 and 60 miles per hour.  Once you go over 60 mph the aerodynamic drag increases exponentially and mpg drops significantly.*  ALSO — the cost of operation radically increases when you factor in a speeding ticket.

#5) Reduce Drag.  Having a car top carrier, a bike or ski rack attached to your car affects your mileage.  It increases the drag of the car.

#6) Lighten your load.  Don’t carry unnecessary items in your trunk or passenger compartment.  For every 250 lbs, a loss of 1 mpg results.

Gas Prices Over The Years:

See the source image

See the source image




Step #2) Begin With The “Secular” part of the introduction . . . . 

Gas prices are unpredictable these days.  As the cost inches upward I begin thinking about reducing the trips I take and/or ways to increase my miles per gallon.

or another way

In searching for a car, one of the considerations is what the sticker states as to “mph” — miles per gallon.  I know that a smaller car versus a minivan-SUV-pickup truck will give me more miles per gallon — but a smaller car is not always an option when looking for a vehicle.  Nevertheless, I am still looking for the best miles per gallon for the kind of vehicle I need.  So I go from sticker to sticker to see which one gives me more MPG or what the projected fuel cost is for the year.

I am told that there are several ways to help get better miles per gallon beyond buying a fuel efficient car — in fact — to even get the miles per gallon listed by the manufacturer on the car’s sticker. . . . . . . . .

or another way

If you are old enough, you remember when gasoline was around 30 cents a gallon — That sounds so strange today.  But in the days of “Jeb Clampett” you could fill up your tank for $3.00 – $4.00 . . . . . 

Of course that has all changed — and that has affected the kind of cars made by the industry — the models available which have different mpgs — the production of high power cars and vehicles which vary with the price of gas — and you will see more and more articles on how to save when it comes to your “gas dollar.”  . . . . . . . . . 

Or . . . . . .

[Whatever information you want to include from the above from a secular step #1 to set up the coming illustrative analogy]


Step #3) Pull Over The Analogy . . . .
[You do this by pulling in some of the words which carry the analogy — body, drive, drive around in, model, make, mpgs — and then the words “drag”- “inflated”- “load” – “maintenance. . . . . .]

For Example:

Now, you may not be able to do much about the body you have been given to drive around in for the whole of your life.  The make and model have been determined and designed by the Lord.

AND — with the Lord —  every make and model has been made totally unique.– whether you be male or female — tall or short — highly gifted or average — extrovert or introvert or in-between — cautious or adventuresome – etc.

Further Possible Content Development:
I will agree — some makes and models are much more efficient than others — most pastors are very average in appearance and abilities.  There are others, who are very successful businessmen, professionals, and the like who are impressive in stature and appearance.

But you cannot use how God molded and made you as an excuse, because the Lord has given you some very helpful means and methods for getting the most out of the model you have been given — and that will be the criteria of evaluation (Matthew 25 / Luke 19).  How you handle what you drive is in your hands.  What you do in life and living to get the most mpgs is related to your decisions and actions.

For instance — there are things which you can do to reduce “drag” — to insure the smooth flow of events which are found all around you.  In fact, even the world knows and understands that you have a much more likely chance of success if you get an education, do not have a child outside of marriage, stay away from alcohol/drugs, and have a marriage that does not end in divorce.**

“Keep your tires inflated” — poorly inflated, or even deflated “tires” don’t help you in life.  Hang around people who encourage you to be your best, to live godly — who you hang with matters!

“Keep your tires inflated” — poorly inflated, or even deflated “tires” don’t help you in life.  Make time for spiritual challenge and encouragement.  The world around us will take its toll on us.  The wear and tear are bad enough — but at least make sure your spirit is spiritually elevated and even bulging.

“Lighten your load” — don’t carry the extra baggage that you brought along with you before you came to the Lord.  Unload that from the trunk and keep discarding the things which weight people down in life. . . . .

And Maintenance matters — not only with your car — but in life and living.  We all know that in life — this isn’t new — that daily Bible reading — a time for prayer — reading Christian books — listening to good Bible-based messages — retreats — seminars . . . . all leave us better able to keep up the pace and operate in some high-speed lanes of life.

As soon as you leave the filling station — your tank begins to empty out.

How fast it empties out is related to your speed — your tires — your maintenance — you drag — what your have running in your car —

Your fuel guage will register full and continually move to empty.


Try doing that with another subject . . . . .

hydroelectric power development / dams
larger and larger tv screens — why?
the different car engines under the hood – power / untapped power
moving sidewalks – in an airport – move left
a fish — in and out of water
a policeman directing traffic / traffic lights / today’s traffic lights
various driving signage / changing road signage
a baby’s first steps
junk foods – why called junk foods
“The Grandfather Tree – The Black Walnut Tree***


√ Do a little google research at random — i.e. sailing / sails / ship tonnage / disasters / life of a sailor / commercial-pleasure craft / number of ships on the seas daily / navigation.
√ Read an article or two on a particular subject and learn something about that area / concept / law of physics / mechanical operation  / how it works /  theory / object / rule / sport / how it is made . . . .
√ Then identify some of the keywords or thoughts upon which you can develop and build an analogical illustration.
√ Then use it in a speech or a message.
√ Then refine it for the next time you use it.
√ Then leverage off of it for another way to drive a point or message.




Other Information & Links:


* For example, the “Toyota Camry returned 40.3 mpg at 55 mph, but that reduces to almost 35 mpg when the speed moves up to 65 mph and drops to almost 30 mpg when speeds reach 75 mph.”




*** Here is an idea I suggest to a businessman for a speaking situation at work.  Basic Idea (Google them):
We are planting shade trees under which we’ll never sit.
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

“Black walnut trees can grow to 150 feet if given open space and fertile, well-drained soil. The wood has a figured grain coveted by cabinetmakers, and it is so durable that during World War II many of the native stands were razed for making gunstocks. But you have to be patient to grow this tree. It will produce nuts after 20 years or so, and premium timber after 50 years.

”The Black Walnut” is a grandfather/ grandson tree,” …. The grandfather plants it and the grandson enjoys it.”

(Or you could think of it as the grandmother/granddaughter tree.)

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