The right way to recycle a sermon

Is it OK for a preacher to pull an old sermon out of the files to present to a new congregation? The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein at her Beauty Tips for Ministers blog says no:

I don’t believe that an old sermon, left mostly untouched, comes with enough of your life and spirit force to feed the congregation you serve today. I believe that we cheat ourselves and our congregations when we take an old interpretation of the Word, when the Spirit was talking to us in one particular way — and apply it to a new and different time and place.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t use beautiful sermons that you love and that have traveled with you to various worshiping communities and ministered to all of them. Of course you should use them. What I’m suggesting is that you use them as an actor and director use a Shakespeare play: with love and respect for the author’s talents, but with an understanding that the words need and deserve fresh energy, rehearsal and interpretation for the current audience.

Read more here.

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