How Much Material Can Preachers Borrow?

Obviously having a preacher pretend that someone else’s thoughts are his own is a bad thing, and one obviously wants to avoid disasters like this. But, do preachers really need to spend 25 hours a week poring over lexicons and their Greek New Testaments? I feel this tension myself as most times I feel as if my sermons are nothing more than creative works of plagiarism. I always cite authors that I cull from, but I cull a lot. I rarely have an original thought when it comes to preaching. Is that a bad thing? James Jordan says no (apologies for not knowing where this is from).

Second, by no means are all pastors, teachers, and preachers gifted as exegetes or expositors. Pastors are curates of souls primarily. Teachers often are called to pass on the heritage of the faith, not rework it for modern times. One of the errors I encountered in seminary was the notion that all pastors should develop their sermons out of an in-depth exegesis from the original Hebrew and Greek. Virtually nobody ever does this, of course, but it was held out as an ideal. There is nothing ideal about it, however. Preachers need to pass on the heritage of the church to their people, with a pastoral eye to their psychological and spiritual situation. If they get their homilies by borrowing from Spurgeon, or from other people’s outlines — what’s wrong with that?

What do you think?

Update: I’ve changed the title of this post for clarity’s sake.