Invite Ian to Minister
Everything you ever wanted to know…but were afraid to ask!
As the leader of a local church my goal was always to be as generous as possible when hosting a visiting speaker. That meant that I set the culture and practice of how to set an honorarium. How much we gave was my decision and my board only disagreed when they felt God was saying give more.
This was my thinking. When we invited someone to speak and minister, it was for our benefit. I expected to receive not only an amazing conference, message, and impartation, I expected him or her to leave a substantial deposit in our church. Even at times when we did a ‘favor’ for someone and hosted a speaker or worship leader simply to help someone out, I wanted to honor as much as possible and in my world, there was no honor with money!
I also believe that God loves families. Expecting an itinerant to be on the road 50 weekends a year, taking them away from their church, their family, and not allowing them to build quality relationships when at home, seemed anti-family. So, if the itinerant was hoping to have a good income that would look like abundance, a $500 offering for a Sunday simply would not work.
I know a lot of prominent minsters and therefore also knew that we were not simply giving to the minister themselves, we were also providing for their other expenses. Most have a personal assistant. All need health care. Websites cost money, all the admin stuff like email programs, registration, office supplies, office space, computers, graphics, design, and all the other bits and bobs that EVERY itinerant has to take care of costs money.
Then there is travel, accommodation, and fancy snacks. I wanted my minister to arrive fresh, to have time to pray, be alone, hear from God, and be healthy for the long haul. That meant good flights, at good times, and if we could fly them business, then that was ideal. I would rather they stayed in a good hotel, were well rested, and didn’t have to stay up until 2am chatting with a host family who are understandably thrilled to host their amazing guest. I have never had anyone request ‘only red M&M’s’ but it was important that if they drank coffee, we provided the best. If they needed protein bars, then that wasn’t actually a lot of work tp provide. For me, Diet Coke, chips, and cheese and crackers work every time!
However, those are my values and may not be yours. Or perhaps if you lead a church you and your leadership have never really talked about it or worked out how you think about it all. It would be a great idea to do just that. Often this is not simply the decision of the senior leader, there may be others involved in the decision, and really there can be a lot of confusion around how to treat the visiting speaker. In my experience as a church leader and guest speaker, churches want to do their best and itinerants want to serve no matter what. That’s why a ‘rider’ is helpful. I am not a huge fan of a mandated requirements as like all things, the details are best worked out in relationship, through a discussion but a plumb line of expectations is super helpful.
This is why I have put together a rider. You can download it here. It is a suggestion, not a requirement.
I love what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, check out 1 Corinthians 9 in The Passion Translation. Check it out here.
What I love about Pauls writing is that even if nothing on his ‘rider’ can happen, Paul would not stop doing what he was called to do. All the itinerants, apostles, and prophets I know have the same heart. Even if this cannot be done, when there is at least some open communication about it all, we still choose to do what we are called to do.
My hope is that this helps you as much as it helps me.
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