The Post-Gazette has a WSJ article on sermons turning to the internet for insipration, message topics and outlines. Here’s a clip of the piece, since there’s some question as who to credit, if it takes out the work of the Holy Spirit and more. Interesting read at least – side note: is the WSJ covering more religious topics more lately? Sure seems like it.
The Rev. Brian Moon says he has come up with ideas for his sermons after water-skiing, while watching “My Name Is Earl” on TV and while working on his 1969 Buick muscle car. He also finds inspiration on the Internet, as he did in August when he preached about “God’s math.”
“People are drowning, drowning in their marriages, drowning in their careers, drowning in hurtful habits,” Mr. Moon told his congregation at Church of the Suncoast, in Land o’ Lakes, Fla. “They need someone to rescue them and bring them on the raft. They need people driven by God’s addition.”
Those words, it turns out, were first uttered three years ago by the Rev. Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. His Web site, creativepastors.com, sells transcripts of this and others sermons for $10 each.
Mr. Moon says he delivered about 75 percent of Mr. Young’s sermon, “just because it was really good.” That included a white-water rafting anecdote similar to Mr. Young’s in the original. Mr. Moon, who has now been a pastor for seven months, didn’t give credit to Mr. Young, and he makes no apologies for using a recycled sermon.
“Truth is truth, there’s no sense reinventing the wheel,” Mr. Moon says. “If you got something that’s a good product, why go out and beat your head against the wall and try to come up with it yourself?”
These days, a lot of preachers would agree. The sermon — an oration traditionally expressing the thoughts of the cleric doing the talking — has entered the age of reruns. Topics and transcripts are available on sites like sermoncentral.com, pastors.com, sermonspice.com, and desperatepreacher.com. In the old days, when a preacher wanted to pinch a sermon, he had to consult a book, a magazine or a sermon anthology.