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No-Sweat Sermons? No Thanks.

Many tools offer to make preaching prep easier, but struggle is the point.
No-Sweat Sermons? No Thanks.
Image: Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Source Images: Envato

I'm regularly targeted by ads for overworked pastors. The algorithms know I minister in a small church in a small town. (Face it: It’s 2019, and the robots know everything.)

Recently a video cued up on my Facebook timeline in which a spokesman characterized the plight of the weekly preacher in this way: “No other place in the world do you find people having to work a full time job and prepare more than 40 research papers a year.” It was an ad for an online tool meant to simplify sermon preparation by supplying readymade sermon outlines, talking points, series graphics, and pre-written illustrations.

A tool that promises to speed up sermon writing sounds like a godsend, especially in a small-church context with limited-to-no staff. After all, wouldn’t the experts do a better job than I would at outlining the passage?

If proper exegesis were the only goal of weekly preaching, it would be hard to turn down this tool. But it’s not. In a pastor’s study, ...

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