“Sermongate” – Should I Preach Another Man’s Sermon?

“So, why should we avoid merely borrowing a ready-made sermon even with attribution? First, sermon preparation allows the preacher to personalize the text. As I work through the passage and discover its flow, it become personal to me.” - J. Straub

(HT: Proclaim & Defend)

698 reads

There are 6 Comments

Mark_Smith's picture

does not have any citations. He does have links to articles, but those aren't citations. Does that mean he is asserting every single word in that blog is an original idea from himself?

 

dgszweda's picture

Jeff states, "Third, merely borrowing someone else’s sermon could be a sign of laziness."  I have often struggled with pastors who reuse their sermons.  This is more common in scenarios like travelling evangelist.  But if are repeating one of your sermons, are you showing the same sign of laziness?

Bert Perry's picture

Now perhaps I'm biased because I know Jeff personally from my time at 4th (of course I am!), but what strikes me is his argument that study personalizes the text for the preacher in a way that will help him in his sermon.  He also mentions one of the chief issues with churches today; the perceived need to "hit a home run with every sermon".  When a pastor feels he needs to do that, he's far more likely to put on the fancy bling & bells and whistles, and far less likely to read the text carefully and present it faithfully.

As a cycling "addict", the picture that comes to mind for me is that when a pastor studies the text faithfully, the result is akin to a good mid-range Giant or Trek--perhaps nothing spectacular, but it'll be something that will serve well for its intended purpose.  The pastor who aims to hit a home run, on the other hand, is prone to putting a lot of color, doo-dads, and stickers on the bike, but forgetting to pay attention to the basics of how a bicycle out to be built--and thus ends up ironically with a "Wal-Mart bike" of a sermon.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

As a cycling "addict", the picture that comes to mind for me is that when a pastor studies the text faithfully, the result is akin to a good mid-range Giant or Trek--perhaps nothing spectacular, but it'll be something that will serve well for its intended purpose. 

Why can't it be a nice Colnago or Tarmac SL7?

Bert Perry's picture

Easy.  If the sermon's going to be a Colnago or Tarmac, that requires at least an MDIV or equivalent, and a lot of pastors have just a Bible college BA.  :^)  (just kidding, Bible college grads, I remember that the apostles and Spurgeon didn't have an Mdiv, either)

Seriously, we might re-adapt the analogy to suggest that most pastors' first attempts are like that Wal-Mart bike (if they're really good, it doesn't have the stickers), their early pastorate is like the Giant, and if they keep learning, yes, they're going to get to the level of a carbon fiber frame with Campognolo components, simultaneously helping a lot of people around them to up their game as well.

(light side note; I once did a ROI analysis for a $10,000 bicycle from Time--so if you need "ammunition" to justify that Colnago, there you go)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

A Look Alpe d'Huez rs is my dream bike. Can you run an ROI for me so that I can explain it to my wife? I am always quick to remind her that I save $8000/year in ferry and gas costs commuting by bike. 

Personally I would have thought that the Trek would be more akin to the pastor stealing sermons since their business practices are so shady :)