"From Massachusetts to Texas, preachers have been caught delivering sermons verbatim—and without attribution—that they purchased from online and print sermon services," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the paper's own purview, a pastor at nearby Central Presbyterian Church resigned after his congregation discovered he'd been cribbing from Tim Keller of New York City's Redeemer Presbyterian. Al Hsu, associate editor for InterVarsity Press, wrote in The Christian Standard of how, while looking for a church, he was inspired by a pastor's magnificent sermon. That same week, he came across the same homily, almost word for word, in a Max Lucado book. "Those involved in the proclamation of ideas need to acknowledge their sources," he says, but admits that his current church may take it too far: the weekly bulletin includes footnotes.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch story is available at Beliefnet.com.
Christianity Today's sister publication Leadership provides valuable insight and practical advice for preaching. In 2000, Chris Stinnett gave tips on how to credit sources without distracting your hearers.1