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A number of varied sources recently have led me to learn that some well-known preachers and speakers are preaching sermons they, in effect, did not write and use research they did not do themselves. I know some names and I’m not afraid to use them but I won’t do that in this post.
Before I get to the problems with working extensively using the research etc done by others for pay, we need to dip into other considerations.
Congregants - Congregants - Sermon - Person - Preaching
What do your congregants expect? The congregants listen to a sermon thinking the person preaching is preaching his or her own sermon. The average congregant doesn’t ponder Where did the pastor get this or that sermon? They expect the pastor to be preaching her or his own sermon. This leads to a second question that pops up from the pastor who uses resources for substantive material in one’s sermons.
What do your congregants know? Here’s the point à does your congregation know that the Bible research in your sermon is done by someone else, someone more professional than you? Does your congregation know that the introduction to your sermon was written by someone else? Do they know your illustrations were found by someone else? Which leads to this: Do they know that what you are passing off as yours is actually not yours?
Someone - Speech - Person - Words - Someone
When someone stands up to speak, I expect that speech to be that person’s words. I expect someone’s sermon, someone’s talk, someone’s speech – if it comes off as first person or as someone’s sermon, talk or speech – to be theirs and not someone else’s. Most people in your congregation, if not all, expect the same. Many would be scandalized to learn you are not the author of your sermon or your research. Some would leave were they to learn this.
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