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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, Oct 24, 2004.
How much do your borrow for your sermons?
I have borrowed/gleaned outlines (like from Speakers Bible or from great expository commentaries like John MacArthur's). Occasionally a story.
Seldom credit an outline since it is usually just 2-3 points and often from a blend of sources. Stories or developing ideas, always credit.
Had a visiting preacher READ a Jack Hyles sermon, illustrations and all and claim it all as his own. That man will never preach for me again. Don't need a liar in the pulpit.
Maybe it really WAS his sermon!
I have illustration books, several cdroms full of them and find I seldom use them. Most illustrations come from experience and stories I've been told from other peoples lives.
I recently ran across some Ray Stedman sermons and now and then use one of his illustrations giving him credit.
When I listen to sermons/lessons I almost always take notes but as I take them I adapt the points (because the preachers seldom have good point titles). I usually add my own notes and comments.
If I ever use the notes to form a sermon/lesson I always tell the listener that this is where the bare bones thoughts came from.
Nah. He had the pages of Hyles book enlarged and used as his notes. I talked to him afterward and he showed me.
And I knew it was a Hyles message since it had no substance and all tear-jerk illustrations.
But the pastor was unashamed. Said it was a good message and he preached it so it became "his".
I preached from John 4 on the healing of the nobleman's son tonight. I did an introduction showing the context of the story and tracing John's argument concerning true and false faith from chapters 2-4. Then I did a first-person narrative from the nobleman's perspective to present the story itself. In the conclusion I summarized the nobleman's faith using points from a Warren Wiersbe outline via Erwin Lutzer's quotation of that outline. I gave attribution for the outline.
Do I sometimes take an outline which matches my own conclusions and present it as a summary? Yes. However, I don't preach entire sermons constructed from other's outlines. I get more out of a sermon if I study the text myself and I'm pretty sure the congregation does too!
Someone told me early on that when we imitate or copy another preacher, we generally copy their errors. Prolly more truth than fiction.
I firmly believe that one cannot preach over 50 years and not borrow ideas from someone. If one reads constantly, as a pastor should, information gleaned from those books is often absorbed in your own thoughts. Certainly this information becomes part of our own sermons over the years. I am not clever enough not to borrow information.
"There was an old Baptist named Spurgy,
Who didn't like our liturgy,
His sermons are fine,
They sometimes are mine,
And also some more of the clergy."
(Can't remember where I got that.)
Dr. Bob, the pastor did the "copying thing" at the church me and my husband went to. We found the originals in the copier all the time and after service we would see his LARGE copy on his pulpit. We were so ashamed. We couldn't ever invite anyone to that church because we knew that pastor was not praying about his messages. I can understand once in a while, but this happened every service!!
I can't imagine it happening ONCE. That is lower than low.
What's even worse is that he read it word for word. Old statistics and everything. He didn't add any of his own meat.
His messages were comparable to someone buying Hamburger Helper for a dinner party and when it is served there is no Hamburger.
I had a pastor friend who brought all of J. Hershal Fords (I believe that is his name) sermon books...."Simple Sermons on Power" etc., and then used them regularly. I never attended his church, so I don't know if he credited them to Ford.
I won't say I have never used another's outline, but if so I have given credit. After 30 years of pastoral ministry I have several thousand messages, and I can probably count on one hand the outlines that belonged to someone else. It is just a whole lot easier to work up my own.
I've borrowed ideas before, but never whole sermons. I remember last year when I preached baccalaureate, I had to give credit to the rite doctor Bob, of Casper, WY! (Thanks again!)
But it was only a passage, a general idea, and three supporting points (basically, an outline). I was not excused from doing my own study and preparation!
I get quoted MANY times, brother, but usually not in a good sense!!
Usually it's "a certain so-called doctor in Wyoming alledged blah blah blah, but even a deaf and blind drunk with the intelligence of a bag of hammers would know this is baloney. Not bologna. Baloney."
And those are the nice people.
Sometimes other people come up with the best outlines. An outline is not a sermon. It is easy to study for hours and come up with the same thing others have. I try to think of my own illustrations, but sometimes it's good to use those stories that other respected Pastors have used. It perks people up in the middle of the sermon if they hear a familiar name.
I write many of my own sermons but not all. And I do borrow stories, poems, ect. and give credit when known.
Me, I'll be listening to a message. Then a point will hit me, so I'll take off with a message of my own. That's how I developed a messge from Jerimiah, not my usual neighborhood.
I milk many cows but make my own butter. If I use something from someone else, I cite the source in a way that is not too wearisome for the listener.
One thing that is often overlooked is this: one can haphazardly use their own "material" and yet somone could theoretically prepare well using someone else's.