Copy Right?

I do my very best not to copy other people’s sermon stuff. In fact, I avoid some sites that offer their sermon series and graphics. I don’t care if others do it. Go for it. But for me, I just don’t feel that is for me and our church. It’s not that we think we are original by any means. It’s just that I want to hear from God directly as to what He wants to say to our church.

We are doing a new series called “Junk In The Trunk.” It’s basically about getting rid of the junk that holds us back from being free in Christ. It’s a basic sermon series. It addresses common issues that have always caused people to be held back from their God given potential. And I haven’t seen this title around anywhere as it relates to sermon titles. Maybe there’s a good reason for that, but that’s another issue.

So I get an email today from one of the men in our church ribbing me about copying Ed Young’s stuff. So I do a search and find a reference to it but not a sermon title. And it kind of wigs me out a bit because, like I said, I try to be somewhat original and work very hard at not duplicating stuff.

Anyway, the point is, I just don’t know how I feel about the proliferation of sermon materials being sent all around where all the study work, design work, and preparation has been done and little is required of the speaker. I am not trying to take a shot here at those who use the stuff. I just wonder if it’s just too easy. I know for me, God expects me to understand the word He wants me to deliver, and to study so that I am well versed and immersed in that message. And I usually find that whatever it is I am to deliver, I also have to conform to that word so that I do not expect what I am not living myself.

I find that my posts lately have been more questions and wonderings. I think I am in a pensive swing. This is one of those pensive posts where I am thinking on this subject.

One Response to Copy Right?

  1. Chad Wright says:

    I think like anything there’s potential for good uses and potential for abuse.

    If I wanted to launch a church today I could probably have the entire first year’s worth of sermons done just by spending two days searching online. I think that would be pretty abusive and I’m pretty sure God would shoot that down.

    I know a lot of larger churches have opened up their resources for smaller churches and I’m a pretty big fan of this. Assuming smaller churches don’t abuse it.

    How it should work: Every pastor should pray incredibly hard and spend time with God to hear what He has for the church. Once you get that word and begin to study it I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing some online research to see what you can find that supports that word. Is that any different from the videos we sometimes use? Most new churches don’t have anyone on staff to do a good job with graphics or video.

    As long as you combine a healthy dose of hearing from God along with others supporting resources I think it’s ok. If you use others stuff in place of time with God and original thinking, that’s where I have a problem.

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