Pastors, we are not anchormen; pretty faces with voices full of gravitas reading a gospel teleprompter full of pay per view wisdom from another’s scholarship. No, we are to be eyewitness reporters, delivering credible accounts of the Good News as we’ve experienced it, as His Spirit has revealed it.
Through His Word.
Not from someone else’s sermon notes and fruit of their study as our primary source.
Hayley and I have left two different churches, both of which where we loved the church families, when we were grieved at the discovery of regular and frequent plagiarizing or purchasing of sermon series in the pulpit. Yes, we sell books and encourage pastors to use them, even in a sermon series. But selling books that inspire a pastor to preach a sermon is not the same as writing the sermon out for them to pass off as their own.
To quote Thomas Young, preaching professor at Emory University’s School of Theology,
“Call me old-fashioned, but I think that if a preacher can’t find the inspiration he needs to preach the gospel without surreptitiously borrowing from the sermons of others, he ought to find another line of work.”
Pastor, in a world where every church member has Google in their pocket, do you really want your flock to know that your scholarship for the week consisted of downloading your sermon and memorizing it or practicing to “make it your own”?
It’s OK to not be Rick Warren, Ed Young Jr., Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll or whoever else you’re not.
It’s not OK if you’re not hearing from God a word for your church.
It’s not OK if, when you read and study scripture, inspiration and conviction and hope and comfort and grace doesn’t just jump off the page.
Pastor, you need help. Pray for it. Solomon didn’t pray for Google or that God would bring him a wise man he could mimic or a graphic designer that would impress his people.
Pastor, you are not an anchorman; a simple news reader. Be an eyewitness. Have a story. Your story of your time in His Word and His Word in you. Forget about eloquence and videos and powerpoint and props and lighting for the front of house. Live the Good News and take your flock by the hand and lead them into the depths of the Gospel.
Pastors, we are not anchormen.