Wednesday, April 20, 2016

7 Questions every Pastor must ask before Inviting a Guest Speaker

1. What is my purpose for inviting a guest speaker?

            Do not be haphazard about inviting a guest minister. Just because you met someone at a conference, or received a letter in the mail, or a phone call is not a good reason for inviting a guest speaker? What is their area of expertise?  What is their anointing? What do I want them to deposit in my congregation? Most pastors receive far more requests for their pulpit then they can possibly fulfill. You must be selective and purposeful in your choice.
            Do people in your church need healing? Do they need encouragement? Do they need teaching on tithes and offerings? Do people need training to be soul winners? Do your families need advice on parenting? Do you want to have a training seminar for business leaders?
            What area can your guest speaker help your church? Don’t bring in a guest minister just because you like them or because you feel “led” or because they are going to be in your area. Be purposeful about who you invite.

2. Do I have a proper blend of the five-fold ministry gifts ministering in my church.
            Paul mentions five ministry gifts in Ephesians 4:11; the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the teacher, and the pastor. Every minister has a dominate gift they flow in. No one walks in every gifting. Yet, every church needs to be exposed on a regular basis to a variety of the gifts.
            What does your guest speaker offer that you do not possess? Some are financial deliverers. Some are anointed to heal the sick. Some are great at teaching on faith.
            Every congregation has needs. One person cannot meet all these needs. Marriages must be strengthened. Physical bodies need healing. A passion for the lost must be imparted. Solid exegetical teaching should be given.
            The typical church has between 104-208 services every year. The pastor will wear himself out trying to study for so many different sermons. The pastor does not have the time to become an expert in every subject area the congregation needs to hear.
            One pastor told me, “If my congregation needs to hear a message, I’ll preach it to them.” There are many different areas of expertise. A traveling minister has the opportunity to become an expert. They can devote a lifetime to studying one subject. They can preach the same sermon repeatedly until it is perfected. A pastor cannot hope to reach the same level of expertise on a subject in only a few days of study. 
            No pastor can say everything. God gives individuals life messages. My best sermon that I have preached 500 times is guaranteed to be better than a pastors average sermon that he studied for a few days between Sunday and Wednesday.
            As an evangelist, I am gifted to motivate people to be passionate about soul winning. I speak from my years of experience and from a well of passion. I am also gifted to get people healed. I have seen thousands of miracles in countries all over the world and I know God wants to heal the sick. If you need a seminar on “Leading the Lost to Christ” or a Healing Revial, give me a call. But, if you want teaching on end-time prophecy, call someone else.
            It is smart for the pastor to bring in guest ministers who offer a lifetime of value. I think pastors should sit down at the beginning of the year and make a list of who they want to bring into their church and what subjects need to be covered over the course of a year. Put dates on the calendar for guest speakers.
            Dr. Rutland shared a story about a farmer who has hundreds of acres of wheat. Every year the farmer rents a combine harvester in order to bring in the harvest. It does not make sense for him to own a combine because the machine is so expensive. A traveling evangelist is like a combine harvester.  The church does not need him all the time, but the church should bring him in for special harvest times.
            A general practitioner doctor does not hesitate to bring in a specialist to consult on a patient’s case. Pastors are like doctors with a family practice. They are good at prescribing medicine for common ailments, but they should invite outside speakers to come from time to time who are specialists in certain areas.

3. Can I afford to bring in this guest?
            Jesus said a wise man must count the cost before building a tower (Luke 14:28). What will be the expenses of inviting a guest? Can you cover travel expenses? Honorarium? Will you take up an offering? Does your guest need to be guaranteed a certain amount? Can you put money aside over a period of several months in order to bring in a higher caliber of guest minister?

4. Can I afford NOT to bring in this guest?
            Does my congregation need to hear what this guest speaker is preaching? One pastor was struggling to get people in his church to tithe. After he brought in a minister who specialized in teaching about Biblical finances, tithing in his church increased by 65%. The guest minister was able to say things credibly that the pastor was not able to say himself.
            Guest ministers can say things the pastor cannot say. They can say things in a way that pastor cannot say them. Sometimes guest minister can say things in a different way then the pastor can say things. Variety is the spice of life.
            Quality costs. You get what you pay for. Some ministers may require a bigger investment to invite to your church, but in the long run they are worth their weight in gold.  
            Evangelists are anointed to cause churches to grow. If an evangelist visited your church and gave you an offering of ten thousand dollars, would you have him back. Well, if ten people get saved in his services and start tithing, the church income has grown by much more than $10,000.

5. Do I trust this guest minister?
            The wrong minister can mess up your church. Thirty minutes of bad preaching can take years to fix. Does this minister have a proven track record? Do they have integrity and character or do they just have a nice brochure? Will this person give or take from my church? Will my church be better off or worse off after their ministry?

6. Can I advertise properly and motivate people to attend the services?
            It is disappointing when no one comes to a service. Most often this stems from a problem with the promotion of the event. Have you properly informed everyone of the dates and times of the services? Have you made it a special occasion or does it just sound like church as usual? Have you emphasized the guest minister’s qualifications? Why should anyone from your congregation take time from their busy lives to come hear this minister?
            A guest speaker is an opportunity to promote the church big in the community. If you turn it into an event, more visitors will come out of curiosity. In one church, the first time they ever had an overflow crowd was when a guest minister came.

7. Who do I need a relationship with?
            God wants us to build relationships with other men and woman of God. One of the greatest dangers in ministry is isolation; not having someone who can speak into your life. Who can you call for encouragement? Advice? Correction? To talk about an idea? To vent about problems?
            No minister should be an island onto himself. Sometimes a guest minister should be invited more for the pastor then for the congregation. Ministry can be lonely. We need the encouragement and support of other ministers. Inviting a guest minister is a great way to build a relationship.
            Churches need to sow seed into other ministries. How can you ask your people to give if the church does not give to another minister? Your harvest is dependent on the seeds you sow.