(Actually, I didn’t. Someone else did. I didn’t even write that joke. I saw it on Twitter. I’m horrible. Forgive me. Hold me. Love me.)
You know how there are some things you’re sorry for because they’re wrong, and other things you apologize for because you get caught?
How does that flesh out with your teaching?
A friend of mine was busted on this and recently shared a raw confession about being a lazy preacher.
I should have seen it coming but I didn’t.
Just that morning I had stood in front of the church and I preached my guts out.
I pointed to the road ahead.
I called the people to live with a different mindset.
I unpacked the text.
I invited them to love God more.
I was eloquent. I was funny. I was motivating.
There was just one problem. One extremely large problem.
It wasn’t my sermon…
And then something happened that stopped me in my tracks. I got called on it.
(You can, and should, read the rest of his post here)
It’s common in ministry to use curriculum and sermons that someone else wrote to share what you feel should be said. It’s another thing to make it sound like your own and not give credit to your own journey. To use my friend Chad’s description of it – we take part in a sort of “homiletical karaoke” when we’re stealing someone else’s sermon.
Then again, couldn’t you use another person’s material and make it your own somehow? Musicians often cover each other’s material – can people in ministry do the same thing?
What’s your spin on this?
When is it okay?
When does it cross a line?