My parents were sitting in their large mega SBC church not too long ago, when their pastor - to make a point - began to tell a story that happened to "himself", only to realize they had read that VERY same narrative in a book of a well-known Christian author!
Seen in a comment at this place.
At another very popular blog (in fact, one of the most popular), there is a comment thread where nearly everyone is fine and dandy with preachers plagiarizing sermon material.
Awesome. The Church is in great shape. :-)
What do you all think about the preacher's use of himself in messages? I'm assuming you think truthfulness is a non-negotiable.
What are your feelings about personal illustrations/examples?
One of my all-time favorite preachers routinely uses himself and his family as illustrations. In fact, that's pretty much all he uses. And they are 98% positive. At some point, I want to say, "Okay, I get it. You're an awesome dad/husband/pastor. We should all try to be like you."
It's annoying, but he's still one of my favorites. It's not a reason to stop listening to him and stop profiting from his preaching.
I refer to myself somewhat occasionally in my messages, but I am pretty conscientious to use "negative" or self-deprecating illustrations/stories. I don't feel like it's my job to set myself up as an example of what my folks should be like, but when I reference myself or something I've done/said, it should be to communicate something I learned from screwing up or to communicate that I'm no better than anybody else. In that sense, my personal illustrations are more confessional than "inspirational."
But I also sat under a preacher who talked about how he used to be a drunk and wanted to commit suicide at least 3 times a month. He was being confessional, I guess, but at some point, it started to smack of self-indulgence. It grew tiresome.
Would love to get some feedback on this. I know some people think a preacher should never use illustrations from his own life.
What say you?