Our Thoughts on Plagiarism

Dear friends in ministry,

Just a quick word to those of you who are thinking about subscribing to Homiletics, and those who are already a part of the Homiletics family.

I know the issue of plagiarism is on your mind. And I want to speak to this for a moment.

Those who plagiarize their sermons have a problem with how they prepare their sermons. Truth be told, they don’t prepare.

With your subscription to Homiletics, you will find that all the ingredients for an effective sermon have been laid out on the table — commentary on the text, animating illustrations, a cultural metaphor and interpretive idea — but you have to do the prep time, mix, stir, and put it in the oven.

  • The sermon starters in each issue are not complete sermons — they are complete sermon ideas — but not complete sermons.
  • These ideas are written with you, the preacher, in mind as the end user, not with the congregation in mind.
  • Often, we’ll suggest that certain verses in the text be elaborated in more detail by you, the preacher.
  • The material rarely exceeds 1,500 words — not nearly adequate for the sermon you want to actually preach from the pulpit.

In short, you don’t need to worry about plagiarism with your subscription to Homiletics, because you are doing the work. We’ve done the grocery shopping. You’re doing the cookin’.

By the way, if you do want to quote verbatim some part of the Homiletics text because you really like the way it was expressed or there’s a cool turn of a phrase, you can simply attribute it to Bob Kaylor, our Senior Writer, and Senior Minister of the Park City United Methodist Church in Park City, Utah.

A thousand blessings,
Timothy F. Merrill
Executive Editor