SermonCentral.com is encouraging preachers to take the following pledge:

I will make the Bible my primary resource in sermon preparation and preaching.

I may use other resources such as commentaries and web sites to enhance, not replace, my personal interaction with Scripture.

As I study I will strive to accurately understand and honestly apply God’s Word, allowing Him to uniquely proclaim His truth in a relevant way through me.

As preacher, let me say to others who preach that if you were not already studying the scriptures for yourself and writing lessons based upon your studies, STOP PREACHING. If you needed this pledge to wake you up, then you need to step down and find another line of work. You were not meant for this work. I say this not to be mean, but hopefully to prevent the destruction of your soul. How good will it be to stand before God and your contribution to the kingdom of God was pawning off internet sermons as your own and plagiarizing others’ works? For the preacher, studying the scriptures must never be a weariness (see Malachi 1).

To go to the internet on Saturday for a sermon to preach on Sunday is simply cheating and stealing. You are stealing other people’s material and you are cheating yourself from the joys of studying the scriptures. You are cheating the congregation from listening to fresh information found from one’s own personal journey in the scriptures. Listening to a person preach another’s material is like eating cold leftovers. We want fresh spiritual food.

You are cheating God because you are not living up to the calling of being a teacher of the scriptures (you are teaching other people’s thoughts from the scriptures). You are cheating and stealing because you are being paid as if you are working, when in fact you are stealing the work of others and presenting it as your own labor.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1; ESV)

Do the work of preaching and teaching right, with joy and zeal, or don’t do it at all.