Pastor, Stop Copying

Reading books and studying other’s work allows us to learn, but the tension occurs on how you use what you've learned.

Mark MacDonald  ·  March 9, 2017

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Pastor, stop copying.

Here’s How..

In college my professors would explain the legalities of plagiarism.

And in the next breath, told us how successful people read, researched, and emulated other successful people. They explained that reading books and studying other’s work allowed us to learn from them.

But the tension occurs when you want to use what you learn. Where is the line that shouldn’t be crossed before you’re stealing? And when does “he’s reminiscent of this popular person” become “wow, he totally stole that clever concept”? And where are you in that continuum?

The Church is full of leaders who preach sermon series similar to other popular churches. Many also use the same tagline of another church in the next town.

Logos are practically the same. In fact, entire set lists are used locally when a worship pastor watches an online service from a “big” church.

Is it copying? Plagiarism? Illegal?

Ok, I’ll leave the answers up to your conscience and ethicists. I will say, however, that it’s a bit out of control. Just google “you belong church” or “sermon series joy” or “rooted sermon series” and you’ll see so many “similar” videos, graphics, and words. And most think they’re doing something original.

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Mark MacDonald
Is a Bible Teacher, speaker, best-selling author of Be Known For Something, and communication strategist for BeKnownForSomething.com and the 3000+ churches of the Florida Baptist Convention. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at BeKnownBook.com and amazon.com.
Contact Mark MacDonald: mmacdonald@ehpub.com ·  View More by Mark MacDonald

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