Sermon Illustration Library

Bill Goes to Church

Illustration Information
Bill Goes to Church
Signs of the Times, November 1999; via October 2005 Signs of the Times Email Newsletter
Submitted By
Scott Severance
Submitted On
February 27, 2006
Last Modified
February 27, 2006

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a church, the members of which are well-dressed and very conservative. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to visit that church. He walks in wearing his jeans, T-shirt, wild hair, and no shoes and starts down the center aisle looking for a place to sit. The church is completely packed, and he can’t find a seat. The members look a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes that there are no seats left, he just sits down on the carpet.

By now the members are really uptight; tension fills the air.

Then, from the back of the church, a deacon slowly makes his way toward Bill. Now in his eighties, the deacon has silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch. He’s a godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane, and as he heads toward Bill all the members are saying to themselves, “You can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and background to understand a college kid on the floor?”

It takes a long time for the old man to get down the aisle. All eyes are focused on him. The church is utterly silent. The minister can’t even begin preaching until the deacon does what he has to do. When he reaches the front, the congregation watches as he, with great difficulty, lowers himself and sits down next to Bill so he won’t be alone.

When the minister gains control of himself, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.”