Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tempted to Copy

Recently I watched a preacher who stylisticly performed a perfect impersonation of Andy Stanley. It was an uncanny duplication of mannerisms, phraseology, and presentation (seated on a stool, notes on a table next to him, etc.). It was impossibly close…but I think I’m the only person who noticed.

Then, there was the message. Turned out to be a re-preaching of a popular Tim Keller sermon…all presented by the speaker as his own material…but I think I’m the only person who noticed.

An Andy Stanley impersonation of a Tim Keller sermon. A good combination. Great message. Everyone loved it…but…something is wrong with this.

Are we not creative enough to be ourselves? Is it the result of a lack of time to prepare our own sermons? Does anyone have a problem with this but me?

I believe this is inauthentic and grieves God’s heart. Can we rely on the Holy Spirit and the Word when preaching? Study is good, but let’s not plagiarize.

We must be free to be ourselves – if we try to be someone else we will fall short of our created potential.


Tim said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. While each pastor will probably bear some of the marks of their mentors and teachers, it is sad when there is wholesale imitation of style. Even worse is the plagerizing of material. Skye Jethani even posted about pastors who are now outsourcing the preparation! There is a link to that on my blog - http://bit.ly/91KBPS

patrickdbergman180 said...

I think there are two (2) things we get to explore here...1. God'd Word is God's Word. How many times have I heard a "top leader" re-preach the same message even when the Theme of the (retreat, conference, etc.) is totally un-related. But the Spirit still moves. Thankfully. 2. Plagiarism....I've heard some preachers out there that should have plagiarized. Yikes. "some are prophets, missionaries, Pastors, teachers, etc....."!

Matt said...

Tim: Thanks for the link! Great article. Interesting to hear the dialogue from those that are offering "outsourcing services" for sermon writing.

Patrick: Great hearing from you!!I think many people agree with you. God does use His word, regardless.

nach said...

The pastor of my home church during my college years plagarized sermons. They were better than his normal stuff, for sure, but he was still up front for four years!

Russell said...

I agree. Unfortunately the pastor at the church I grew up in plagiarized, and as a result was asked to leave. Thankfully God is merciful and forgives and he is still using his gifts in ministry today!