When you men find a good sermon illustration that was used by another preacher do you mention your illustration source when using that same story in your exposition? How do you approach this topic?
John Kitchen’s response was so helpful (see comments section) that I am including his reply in this post below.
I have concluded that if it is a non-personal illustration that my people understand (whether consciously or not) that I must have gotten the information somewhere outside of myself. If it is a quotation I give the name of the person who said it. If it is a personal story from someone’s life (not mine) I do the same. But if it is simply a story which someone else repeated from somewhere else I might simply repeat it without verbal footnote (knowing my people will assume I heard/read it somewhere else) or I might say something like: “The other day I heard/read …” That lets them know it is not original with me.
I think that we need to let the people know when material is not our own. Yet in some cases that is obvious. In others we can indicate that fairly simply, as I’ve outlined above.
I think that the standard for “verbal footnoting” is somewhat different than when we are writing. The common denominator is that we need to acknowledge when material is not our own. But in the oral experience of preaching the precision/detail that we would use in a written footnote unnecessarily encumbers the communication process. In such cases we need give enough information to acknowledge when material is not our own, but I do not feel the necessity to give full bibliographic information. I should keep that information in my sermon file, but should not encumber the preaching event with that information.
I just finished the book of Revelation, and I’m thinking of preaching Colossians next. Any good commentary recommendations?
I just finished the Gospel of John, and I’m thinking of preaching 1 Thessalonians next. Any good commentary recommendations?
I recently read Expository Listening: A Handbook for Hearing and Doing God’s Word by Pastor Ken Ramey. If you have been looking for a book that highlights this topic look no further then here because this is the help you have been waiting for.
Expository Listening (EL) is written by a senior pastor who loves the Lord, the Word of God, and the local church. The author of EL recently received his D. Min degree from the Master’s Seminary. The content of this book is the fruit gained from the author’s many years in the ministry trenches. In this reviewers opinion EL is a tremendous tool to use in either a small group setting or in a home bible study group.
I was able to read this wonderful new book in a couple of hours as it is only 127 pages long. The size of the book will be particularly attractive to laypeople who do not normally read healthy Christian books.
The book is divided into the following 8 easy to digest chapters. Introduction: Welcoming the Word. 1. Biblical Audiology: A Theology of Listening. 2. Hearing With Your Heart. 3. Harrowing Your Heart to Hear. 4. The Itching Ear Epidemic. 5. The Discerning Listener. 6. Practice What You Hear. Conclusion: Listening Like Your Life Depends On It.
The goal of this book “is to create a congregation that share this passion to honor God by being discerning hearers of his, diligent doers of His Word, and devoted lovers of His Word, preaching fanatics, even, who come to church like a thirsty man craving something to drink and whose hearts fervently long to hear the Word preached because they know that in it God speaks to them.”
With many new titles published every year on biblical preaching it is great to find a book that highlights the other side of the coin (biblical listening). I highly recommend that you preachers buy a copy of this book for your own soul and that you also buy a case of these books for your congregation. This pastor plans on doing just that.