Buying Sermons or Equipping the Saints
I’m no expert on the market, but apparently selling sermons is a growing business. Just google “sermon ideas” or “sample sermons” or the like and you’ll get the idea. Here’s the deal, I have no interest in making a pastor who’s already beat up and tired feel worse because he’s bought a sermon. But to all such folks and others who are tired and feeling the pressure of preparing a sermon week after week for sometimes years on end, I will offer another, more thoroughly Christ-like and exponentially more life-giving alternative: Start building and leading a team of people for the task. Every elder is supposed to be “able to teach.” Every one. Beyond that, it appears that Stephen (a mere deacon!) wasn’t so bad at it. And Paul urges Timothy to teach the truths of the faith to to capable men who can pass them on to others. So do that. Jesus sent out the twelve and the seventy to preach (and heal and cast out demons) after shockingly little training. Paul had to tell the Corinthians to limit the speakers to “two or three” at each meeting. Two or three at each meeting! Not counting guests from outside the congregation, many churches have fewer than that per month, per quarter, sometimes per year.
Equip the saints for ministry. I guarantee that few if any congregations have exhausted the human potential for teaching within their own congregations. Yes, don’t be hasty with the laying on of hands. But we’ve reduced the process of training to something slower than a crawl. Quit buying sermons from people you don’t likely even know and don’t know your church. Start building sermons in the folks right under your nose. Who knows, you might not only get a break, but you might even conclude you’re doing a better job.