“[T]he purpose of an illustration is to help your friend remember the point you are making. When the conversation is over, your friend will take with him or her the illustrations you used. Jesus knew this and utilized the power of illustrations. Memorable words were especially important in biblical times, when people in the marketplace weren’t exactly taking notes on their laptop computers or Blackberrys. The next time you read through the Gospels, pay attention to how Jesus illustrates his ideas. The lamp under the bushel (Lk 8:16), the city on top of a hill (Mt 5:14), the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) and the camel and the eye of the needle (Mk 10:25) are enduring illustrations. Two thousand years later we still remember and use Jesus’ vivid examples. It’s easy to forget an idea, but stories have a lingering effect. The more we sprinkle our conversations with well-crafted illustrations and examples, the more memorable our conversations will be…

No one likes to be lectured to. Any parent knows that children will quickly become fidgety during lengthy parental speeches. Yet if you tell them a story about you growing up and how you encountered similar challenges, your children will be more apt to pay attention. You will be making the same point as in the speech, but it will be repackaged. The same principle is true for apologetic conversations.” — Excerpts from The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith by J.P. Moreland and Tim Muehloff