I just said, and meant, that pastors need to listen to other pastors. To refuse to do so is (probably, if unintentionally) arrogant and short-sighted, and ultimately to the profit of neither ourselves nor our hearers.
However, there is at least one drawback.
M'man Phil Johnson's sermon on Psalm 17 is a nice and recent example of the drawback.
"What's wrong with the sermon?" you ask.
Nothing. Not one thing. In fact, it's a fine sermon: good exposition, personal, challenging, hearable, memorable. I found it personally helpful and encouraging, and I needed both. (In fact, I've had opportunity to make personal application.)
"So what," you ask, patience waning, "is wrong with the sermon?"
What's wrong with it is it's so good that I doubt I can preach it without seeing Phil's outline! His outline is good, memorable, and arises from the text. Now, unless I forget it, if I ever go to preach that psalm, I'll think of Phil's outline.
I hope by now you see, as you suspected, that the title is a joke. But it can be a real issue. Let me 'splain.
I am not thinking of those pastors who don't know what to preach, and just rip off others' sermons. I have no respect for such. For such, I have four words: give me your pulpit. If you don't have anything to say in spite of having opportunity, I have tons of Bible yet to study and preach from, and little opportunity. So we can solve each other's problems. Give me your pulpit.
However, it can be a problem when a really fine sermon so impresses you that it's hard to see the text afresh, with the perspective God meant you to have.
I was very conscious of this once, when I was preaching a two-parter on Deuteronomy 6:4ff. I loved the passage and had studied and thought about it for years. Nevertheless, I was really having a problem getting a handle on it, as to how to turn it into a sermon.
In my studying, I saw that Spurgeon had preached on it. Now, you all know I love Spurgeon, and have for years. But for that very reason, I didn't dare read his sermon. I was afraid it would so powerfully impress me, that I'd preach Spurgeon's sermon, in effect — I'd see the text through Spurgeon-eyes.
(For whatever it's worth, I think that is the only time I've gone this way. And in case you're interested, you can find and hear the results here and here. When I did read Spurgeon, he went a whole different way, and probably would not have messed me up.)
Now this isn't a tragedy by any means. When I do find an outline compelling, I just credit the source in my sermon, and go on. In a recent sermon, I found another preacher's outline very useful, but I took it in a very different direction. I credited him when I did so.
And so if I do come to preach Psalm 17, do my studying, and Phil's outline still seems the best, I'll use it.
And I'll credit that darned Phil Johnson.
With a smile.