Charles Koller’s book How to Preach Without Notes is a goldmine of homiletical insight in a short amount of space. Not only does it attempt to teach how to preach without notes, but it also provides information on how to preach any kind of sermon. In this post, I will begin discussion of Koller’s sources of preaching material. The first and primary source is scripture.

The First Place For Illustrations

Preacher’s must read it every day. This reading should be not just for sermonic content, but also for devotional and spiritual purposes. In addition, the preacher should use the Bible for illustrations. One of the most neglected places to look for sermonic illustrations is the Bible itself. There are many narratives in the Bible both well known and not so well known. I sometimes wonder if part of the reason that there is so much Biblical illiteracy is that preachers don’t use the Bible and its narratives as much as they should.

Tools to Help

Koller suggests that we first use cross references and the like to find sources in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, to illustrate the sermons. In addition, I would suggest using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible which is still on sale at and/or the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge. Both are tools that provide a wealth of Biblical references to the preacher.

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