What would you do Wednesday!
Today, I’d like to find out what people think about pastors using sermon preparation companies like Docent Research. Docent will be used for illustrative purposes to show that a sermon preparation service actually exists and to show what they offer.
Always curious about what your pastor is reading you browse the books on his desk while waiting to meet him. While shifting one of the books in order to get the title of another book an envelope falls to the floor. “Oops,” you mutter as you bend down to pick it up just as your pastor walks into the office.
“I’ll take that,” your pastors says as you grab the envelope,”I’ve got to finish Sunday’s sermon.” Noticing the words “Docent Research” on the envelope you ask if he’s doing some sort of theological research. “Nah,” he replies, “just some stuff for my sermon.”
Your pastor quickly changes the conversation to focus on the purpose of your meeting.
Once home you do an internet search for Docent Research to find out about their services. On the homepage under “Research Briefs” you find a few bullet points.
- Stories, statistics, quotes
- Connections to culture
- Theological insights
- Exegetical analysis of Scripture
Another click of the mouse loads more bullet points.
- Desire to inform and transform an audience
- Need smart researchers who are well-read and well-trained
- Need stories, metaphors and statistics that connect with their audience
- Value visionary and skillful communication
- Require a team that will execute the Pastor’s specific ideas, questions and instructions.
- Speak to culturally savvy congregations
You wonder if it’s right for a pastor to use this service. As part of the process the site states, “Once we have learned from you how to best serve you, we recruit a specific, dedicated research team that is matched to your theological commitments and your style.” You also wonder why the company would match the pastor’s style if it is only providing research.
What would you do next? Should a pastor use this type of service for sermons?
- Nothing, it’s the pastor’s prerogative.
- Nothing, as long as the sermon is good it doesn’t matter.
- First, talk to the pastor to understand the service better.
- Confront the pastor explaining why he should do all of his own work.
- Blog that the pastor is a fraud; then mass email the blog to everyone you know.