Sermon Sharing or Sermon Stealing


copying

Is it ever okay to use other people’s stuff?

Pastor’s opinion vary on topic of shared sermons. Some believe for a pastor to use someone else’s work is plagiarism. They charge them with stealing and being lazy servants.

They further indicate that a pastor’s sermon is his or her own “intellectual property.”

Other pastors believe the message of God is for everyone and if the kingdom is advancing what is the real problem.

Although, I don’t advise pastors to re-preach another pastor’s sermon verbatim, many pastors base their sermons on the work of others.  In fact, on many occasions I have stumbled across web sites where pastors make their sermons available to others.

For example: www.sermoncentral.com, www.pastors.com, www.sermonsharingservice.com and www.sermon.net.

Not only do pastors offer their own sermon scripts, they also offer program suggestions such as music, skit scripts, and even video presentations. Some of these packages are for free while others are for sale for a nominal fee.

Why do some pastors offer these services?

A  simple answer is to share in order to help their colleagues. It’s their part in demonstrating another way in advancing the kingdom. Many pastors do not mind if other pastors use their stuff.  Some even find it to be the ultimate compliment.

Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church was quoted –

“If my bullet fits your gun, then shoot it!” …and if you have a sermon idea that might be helpful to me, feel free to share it! As pastors, we’re all on the same team.

Who are the pastors that use these services?

  • Pastors who respect the writing and teaching of their colleagues.
  • Pastors who acknowledge that this pastor is exceptionally gifted in teaching on a particular subject.  For example: Finance, stewardship, tongues, Revelations,etc.
  • Pastors who may have had a stressful week and were not able to allot adequate time to build a sermon from scratch.
  • Pastors who are in a spiritual rut often benefit from the teaching material of other pastors.
  • Pastors have to prepare sermons for every week of the year, yet there are times we get sick, have marital or family issues and or just stretched because we have overloaded plates.  Gleaning from other pastor’s work can serve as a useful aid in assisting us with putting together a sermon just in time for our Sunday service.

Proceed with caution

Of course using published prepackaged or canned sermons is not to be used as a permanent full-time solution.  Why not? Because we have been called into the ministry, so we need to be confident that on a norm, the Spirit will guides us in our sermon preparation.

Don’t steal

Using someone else’s unpublished material and preaching it verbatim (word for word) while pretending or citing that you came up with the sermon is just downright wrong. This is especially wrong if you tape your services and load it up on the Internet for the public to view.

If we are going to use someone’s material, citing the author’s work is always appropriate.  For example, Rev. Warren cited this example, or Pastor Bob shared this personal story.

All That to Say This

If you elect to use someone else’s material, use published sermons where the author is authorizing the use of his or her material.  If you hear a message where you want to use some of their stuff, be sure you are not preaching their material word for word for this is plagiarism, but be sure to disclose the author.

 

What are your thoughts about using other pastor’s sermons?

 

 

 

 

 

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Sermon Sharing or Sermon Stealing

  1. in a recent ressnope here, I think it’s important to be relevant while being faithful to the Lord Christ. And I think both are possible. We have to remember that the NT is not prescriptive about tools and methods but only descriptive (of course there are the basics of prayer and fasting and and..and ). As much as people say they want to get back to the NT church I hope they are not referring to the NT methods of ministry but rather the NT annointing of God. If we want to get back to the NT methods, there would be a LOT of things that would change and while it would be really funny to watch someone try to do that, I doubt any of us really want to go there. It’s been a long time since I have been down to the local synagogue to try to reason with them. Why? Because methods have changed. Going to the synagogue was relevant to the culture in the first century. It worked. I very much doubt it would work in my home town. But again, if you ever come to Moncton and are going to go and do it let me know cause I want to come and see that! I know some pretty cool and hyper-advanced and provocative churches who are very faithful to seeking God’s face, bathing everything in prayer, meeting in small groups, and bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.I believe there are lots of God-loving church leaders out there who pray, seek, preach etc. etc. etc. who will be held accountable for speaking Irrelevant to a culture who speaks Relevant. It would be like me speaking English to a man who only speaks Chinese I may have very pure intentions and love Jesus well enough, but unless I have the gift of tongues, he isn’t understanding me.Let’s keep our heads here.Peace.

  2. Only God can create ex Nihilo. If I start with nihilo, I end up with Nihilo. Rather than using others’ sermons verbatim, I use them for seeds-starters.