Right about now, some 300,000 preachers are preparing 300,000 different sermons for church services around the country. Stop and think about that for a moment. Does this make sense?
I have three questions:
1. Does the country possess 300,000 excellent writers who are capable of writing 52 outstanding scripts every year? (That’s over 15 million new literary pieces per year.)
2. Are the 300,000 congregations so different that they require a customized sermon that is entirely different from every other congregation?
3. If we started over today with a network of churches from coast to coast, would we deem it necessary to craft a different sermon for all 300,000 locations every week?
Imagine if the movie business operated in a similar fashion. What if every local movie theater felt the need to write and produce its own original films every week? Does every neighborhood possess excellent screenwriters capable of turning out 52 great scripts per year?
Sometimes people say, “But only our preacher knows how to preach to the unique needs of our congregation.” Would that type of we-are-totally-unique thinking also hold true for your community’s tastes for movies, books, television and thousands of other products?
Every week 300,000 preachers spend an average of 20 hours per week preparing original manuscripts. What if we found a more efficient use for those 6 million hours of labor per week? What if most of those preachers used the scripts of gifted writers, and redeployed their 6 million hours to direct face-to-face ministry? Imagine how God might use those reclaimed hours to touch lives.
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