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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

When Has a Preacher Crossed the Line into Plagiarism in His Sermon?

Carson on Pastoral Plagiarism

When Has a Preacher Crossed the Line into Plagiarism in His Sermon?

Well I should tell you then that that title came from this link

I was reading Google Reader here here and the issue of plagiarism came up.

Have you notice that every good thing is copied? When Coke comes up with an new drink so does Pepsi.

One good TV show will bring another two shows just like them.

So should a preacher uses another preachers sermon to help develop his own? Am I wicked when I use John MacArthur's messages? Am I wicked when I uses more than 20 references when studying a sermon or lesson?

To say every word that comes out of my mouth when I am preaching is totally original! Every thought was totally original and I was the first person to ever have that thought? I must admit that would be cool. But it is not true.

But I have to say as I have said for 40 years, I study a lot from others and I use what they say a lot. I only wish I could say it as good as those who I study say it.

Yes I was taught in Seminary that preaching is just allowing the Holy Spirit fill your mind on Sunday and just say it. Well you know there are a lot of preacher that do just that. They wouldn't think of studying.

After explaining his answer, Matt gives this encouraging takeaway:

Just be free about letting people know the sources of your ideas and where you have learned things. This doesn’t diminish your credibility at all, and in fact benefits your listeners and the church by letting people know about other helpful teachers and resources. And it gives them confidence that you are always learning from others, rather than a solo shop. Let your default be to tell your congregation what you are reading and where you have learned things.