About Us

Learn more about visual preaching & teaching and object lessons.

What is the "Eyes that See Ministry” all about?

Learn more about our background, history, and how to use our visual teaching and preaching lessons to reach a variety of audiences.

Visual Preaching and Teaching

I spent sixteen years doing children’s and youth ministry in Akron/Canton area before moving into a preaching ministry role in August of 2017. I was under the impression this new position would require a shift in my communication style, so I put away all the games, props, toys, tricks, and videos I had been using and set out to deliver more “grown up” messages.

In March of 2020, two things coincided to change this philosophy. The first was the COVID-19 pandemic. For several months we met as a church, but without children’s programming. After all, if our schools weren’t letting kids hang out in classrooms, maybe we shouldn’t either. This meant on any given Sunday my “audience” for the sermon ranged in age from 18 months to 92 years old. I had to figure out a way to preach the gospel well while also making sure the kids in the room (including my 3 year old) stayed engaged.

At the same time, I was finishing up my graduate degree and taking my final preaching course. One of the books we had to read was The Power of Multi-Sensory Preaching and Teaching by Rick Blackwood. One of the main takeaways from that book is that if you can describe something, you can also show it. Why just talk about God’s knowledge of the future, when you could perform a magic trick that demonstrates what it looks like to know the future? Why simply describe transformation when you can turn red water into blue water? Why merely tell a story about comfort when you can bring an oversized teddy bear on stage with you?

So I dug out my old youth ministry brain and started teaching with visual aids. Lots of them. Batman masks and balloons. Remote control cars and pitchers of water. And you know what? My congregation loved it. They connected with it. The remembered the visuals and the application. They responded in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and I’ll never go back to the old way of teaching again. Our kids are back in class now, so I don’t have to keep adding these elements in week after week, but they’ve proven to be so effective (and fun) that I plan to keep heading down this road.

Object Lessons and My Superpower

I have a superpower. I can’t fly, change shapes, or shoot lasers out of my eyes, but I can make an object lesson out of just about anything. Calling it a superpower might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s definitely a God-given gift honed over twenty years of teaching and preaching.

A yellow and purple jar on table

We are called to be the light of the world, and even though many of us are broken, God can still use us to light up dark spaces. (Matthew 5:14)

Hair rollers?
All sorts of products are sold to change the outward appearance. Makeup, hair rollers, and nail polish are just a few of these items. Scripture tells us that Jesus can also change us, but it is an inward transformation, not an outward change. (Romans 12:1-2)

Halloween Masks?
A hypocrite is literally someone who wears a mask. There are so many applications. (Matthew 23:25-28)

My brain is just wired that way. When I’m watching The Avengers with my family, I’m thinking about all the scenes I could use in my upcoming sermon series. When I am riding my bike down the towpath, I’m pondering all the ways bike riding connects to our faith journey. This website is the product of 20 years of my weird brain connecting movie clips, magic tricks, science experiments, and everyday objects to the Christian faith.

How can I use these teaching illustrations?

I imagine there are at least three good ways to use these ideas.

Sermon Illustrations

You can use them exactly the way I did and work them into a sermon for your congregation. I think you’ll be surprised at how much the adults get into some of the activities included on the site. Be bold. Be silly. Have fun. An engaged audience is more receptive to the truth you have to speak, so use a silly object to get their attention, and then lay the gospel message in front of them.

Youth Ministry and Children’s Ministry

We started using these ideas as a way to engage kids, so many of them have been crafted with a younger audience in mind. Most of these object lessons and activities will easily transfer to youth group or junior worship. The nice part about doing these in small groups is they can become interactive. The kids can write on the mirror or build the sandcastle instead of you doing it on the stage.

Homeschooling and Family Devotions

A lot of these activities could also be done at home as part of a homeschooling curriculum or family devotion. Many of the science experiments could become hands-on learning opportunities for you and your kids. There are a lot of ideas connected to Easter and Christmas, so if you are looking for something to talk about with your kids during Lent or Advent, you are going to love these lessons.

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