1PointPreacher Ep. 2 - Preaching another Preacher's Sermon

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1 Point Preacher
Episode 2

Show Notes:

Once upon a time . . .
At the last minute, I was “asked” to fill a slot in a pastor’s conference.
Each preacher was preaching a segment from the same biblical book.
The pastor in charge gave me his notes to preach from.
Plagiarism, with permission.
I didn’t use them. I did my own study.
As I listened to the rest of the pastors, I recognized that they were all preaching that pastor’s notes. Not their own sermons.

Apparently this is common in Calvary Chapel. People would use Chuck Smith’s material all the time.
He would laugh.

Why is that wrong, on so many levels?

First, you (pastor) didn’t study. You should show yourself approved in rightly dividing God’s Word.
Doing your own study is an expression of diligence. It allows people to assess how they can learn from you.
Neglect of the gift that this man has been given in the pastoral office.

Secondly, it’s lying. It’s deceitful.

Is this man able to preach at all? It’s hard to say.

For a pastor to hand out his sermons for other preachers to read from in the pulpit, we wonder if he’s even qualified to be a pastor.
What other kind of compromise is there?

Mere regurgitating. Not preaching.

Why are you preaching that text if you didn’t study to preach it? Malpractice.

The man was there—he could have preached the whole conference. They were his notes.
But it appeared as if many men were preaching.
But they were just reading. It was not true preaching.

It also implies a lack of trust in the other pastors.
A lack of discipleship, laziness in training other preachers. It’s easier to hand them your notes.

It is fundamentally disingenuous and insincere to preach another preacher’s sermon.

It was fake. Men pretending to have studied—exegesis and application.
But they were just mouthpieces. The whole conference was scripted.

We’re not saying you can’t learn from others: books, lectures, and sermons.

Pastors that read other men’s sermons are not acting as a pastor.

Many men are so eager to preach before learning and studying.

The pastor who gives his notes to be read by other preachers is prideful. How?
“Trust me. I don’t think you can do the job, pastor.”

Where’s your integrity? If you were even asked to preach another man’s sermon, how can you agree to that?

The pastor and those who agreed, and any who plagiarize sermons, do not trust God.
And for the hearers—they are made to only listen to that man’s thoughts.

It’s sin. It should not happen.

Instead:
You should study.
You should pray for help.
Find someone to disciple you in that.
It’s hard work.

Back to the story: the sermon notes could have been wrong; wrong interpretation and wrong application.

Is it wrong to learn from other preachers’ sermons? No. It’s like using a commentary.
Commentaries are written, and sermons are spoken. That’s the only difference.

Plagiarism gets a lot of press when exposed. And that’s as it should be.
But the fact that some pastors even encourage and promote it adds more guilt.
It’s a manifold sin.

Elders should lead well. To encourage plagiarism is bad leading.
And that’s a snapshot of that pastor’s life.

Preachers preaching other preachers’ preaching notes is always sin.
Any pastor guilty of such should repent and seriously consider whether they are pastors, at all.
Either they don’t have the gift of teaching, and that’s why they preach other men’s study.
Or they do have the gift of teaching and have been neglecting the gift God gave them by the laying on of hands.
Repentance either way. Take a break and give serious thought to whether you are taking this office and the pulpit ministry seriously.

And God forbid that you are a pastor telling other men to preach your sermons. First of all, they are pastors, and it’s disrespectful to them. And it causes them to neglect their gift, or perpetuate the illusion that they are able to teach and qualified to be elders.

More importantly and more seriously, you are dishonoring God by faking preaching, and lying regarding your office and the integrity of the pulpit.
It is a grave sin and irresponsibility, an abuse of the pastoral office, an abuse of the pulpit, and an abuse of God’s Word.

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