Friday, January 09, 2009

Is it O.K. to outsource sermon preparation?

In a recent blog post, noted pastor of a U.S. Megachurch thanks one of the staff members of The Docent Group, among others who has enabled him to teach more and more hours and pages of content. A quick look at the Docent Group's website raises some real concerns for me.

I quote from their home page:

We provide pastors with customized sermon research briefs generated fresh each week. The research is conducted by a team of seminary trained researchers.

We do not write sermons. That is the pastor's job. Rather, we provide research briefs based on the pastor's specific instructions.

Where does theological exegesis and reflection end, and 'sermon-writing' begin?

A quick look at their "How we work" page raises more concerns: 'annual contracts', 'research briefs', 'clients'. Is this the model of teaching and pastoring we want to pursue? Should I outsource my exegesis to the third-world, to encourage them to read the scriptures, and spend my time on communication and rhetoric?

Honestly, it's a little disturbing.

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