Hershael York: I try to look where no one else is looking. I look at my own life and experiences. I read a lot, and I seldom use common illustration sources.

In recent years Malcolm Gladwell's books and the two Freakonomics volumes have been worth their weight in gold to me. I listen to NPR's This American Life. I find books like Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes, about a Wycliff translator who became an atheist on the mission field and find a treasure of ways to apply that.

Of course the Bible itself is a great way to illustrate and teach biblical content to a congregation at the same time, although I obviously do not subscribe to the belief that we should avoid extra-biblical sources for illustrations. Good illustrations won't make a bad sermon a good one, but they do make a good sermon a great one.

Trevin Wax is a pastor, author and avid blogger at "Kingdom People." His recent book published by Crossway is entitled: Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals. Read our excerpt here. Visit his site for further information about his writing and ministry.

© Copyright by Trevin Wax