This week the blog has been pondering issues of recycling sermonic materials and also recycling other peoples’ materials. Meanwhile we’ve welcomed a healthy baby daughter into our home and we are both thankful to our gracious Lord and very tired! So just a short thought to finish off the week.
I understand the challenge faced by many preachers with other work commitments and family priorities. I understand the feeling that some express, namely, that without borrowing the outlines and sermons of other preachers from the internet, they would never be able to preach a sermon on a Sunday.
Just as we close the week out, I’d like to offer an encouragement. Even if you are limited for time and feel unable to do the work of fully developing a sermon for your listeners, consider not taking the short-cut of outline borrowing or sermon lifting. Even if you are only able to develop what feels like an inadequate sermon for Sunday, try it anyway (how about next week?)
I suspect your listeners would prefer to feed on the real food of your Bible study in preparation than the canned contents of some internet repository. Your intro may be weak, your conclusion may be unsophisticated, your illustrations may be lacking, your outline may be undeveloped and your main idea might be just plain, well, plain.
But if your heart has engaged with God’s in prayer for theirs, and you have spent time with the Lord pondering how to present this text with relevance emphasised, then your listeners will be better fed than if you offer a sophisticated super-sermon that is not your own.
When we have guests, it is always hard to serve less than an adundant feast. But the truth is, visitors would rather have home cooked food than an abundant but canned meal.
You will also find that with regular practice, the process becomes more manageable, even on a very limited time budget. Let’s go for fresh over canned, for the sake of souls: both ours and our listeners’.