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The way some Christian churches and other organizations pay their speakers, it makes me embarrassed to be a member of the same faith.

A friend of mine is a gifted staff worker with a well-known Christian organization on a university campus. He is married with three young children and works hard and long at his job. Frequently, he is asked to speak at churches’ youth retreats or special events sponsored by other groups. Rarely is he paid well for what is, in fact, overtime work—for audiences other than the one that pays his regular salary.

One weekend, he left his family to speak at a retreat for more than 100 young people, each of whom paid to go away to a well-furnished camp for three days. My friend gave four talks and participated in a question-and-answer session—a typical and demanding schedule. But his work didn’t end there, of course. Retreat speakers are “on call” all weekend for impromptu counseling, offering advice over mealtimes and modeling what they preach on the volleyball court or around the campfire. Make no mistake: There is very little relaxing in that role, however restful the retreat might be for everyone else.

An isolated and extreme example? Not at all. Every professional Christian speaker has stories like these.So at the end of this tiring weekend, at the close of the Sunday luncheon, the leader of the group thanked him profusely at the front of the dining hall (he had gone over very well). Then he tossed the speaker a T-shirt emblazoned with the group’s logo while everyone clapped. It took my friend several minutes to realize that this shirt was his total payment for the weekend’s work. He got in his car, without even a check for gasoline, and headed back to his waiting family.

A widely respected author was asked to headline a fundraising banquet for a women’s organization. She prepared a talk on the subject requested, left her husband and children at home, drove herself in the family car across the city to the site of the meal, chatted with her tablemates, and then delivered her speech. Again, it was apparent from the applause and the warm remarks that greeted her when she took her seat that she had done her job well.

The evening ended, and the speaker was saying her goodbyes. The convenor then appeared in a gush of appreciation. “Your talk was just excellent,” she said. “Exactly what we wanted. Thank you so much for coming!” Then, by way of payment, she grandly swept her arm over the room and said, “Just help yourself to one of the table centerpieces.”

We Christians have two problems in this regard. One might be remedied by an article such as this one. The other can be fixed only by the Holy Spirit.

The former problem is that most people who invite speakers are not themselves professional speakers and so honestly don’t know how much is involved in doing this work well. So let’s price it out straightforwardly and consider whether we pay people properly in the light of this analysis.

A speaker first has to receive the invitation, work with the inviter to clarify and agree upon terms (usually this takes correspondence back and forth), and confirm the date. Then the speaker has to prepare the talk. Sometimes, a speaker can pull a prepared text out of a file, but usually at least some fresh preparation is necessary to fit the talk to this particular group and its context. (And let’s remember that the speaker at some time did indeed have to prepare this talk from scratch, so the inviting group does have a share in the responsibility for that preparation since they will be benefiting from it.) The speaker concludes her preparation by printing out her notes and perhaps also prepares a photocopied outline or overhead slides or PowerPoint presentation for the benefit of the group.

Next, the speaker must make her travel arrangements and then actually travel. Most of this time is not productive: Airports and airplanes are not designed to aid serious work (unless the inviting group springs for first-class seats and airport lounges—an uncommon practice), and driving one’s car is almost entirely useless time.

The speaker arrives and then has to wait for her particular slot. She finally gives her presentation, waits for everything to conclude and returns home. If she is out of town, normally she will have to spend at least one night in a hotel room, probably sleeping badly in a strange bed and, again, spending time in transit that is largely unproductive.

Count up all of those hours. Not just the forty minutes she actually spoke at the banquet, or the four hours she was actually in front of the microphone during a weekend conference, but the many, many hours spent in the service of the inviting group from start to finish. Divide those hours into the honorarium, assuming her costs are covered (as they sometimes aren’t—for shame!), and you have the true wage the group paid her.

One speaker I know was asked to speak at a weekend conference requiring of her three plenary talks plus a couple of panel sessions. She would have to travel by plane for several hours and leave her family behind. The honorarium she was offered? Expenses plus $300. Her husband heard of it and replied with a rueful smile, “I’ll pay you three hundred bucks to stay home with us."

Here’s yet another way to look at it. A speaker was asked to give the four major speeches at the annual meeting of a national Christian organization. He was also asked to come two days earlier than the staff meeting in order to address the national board twice. In return, he was offered travel expenses and accommodation for himself and his wife at the group’s posh conference center—of which they were extremely proud.

So the speaker asked for an honorarium of $2000 for the five days he would be away plus all of the time he would spend in preparation for this large responsibility. The group’s president immediately withdrew the invitation, saying he was charging too much. Is this good stewardship by a Christian nonprofit corporation? Or is it something else?

One wonders about the “something else” when one looks closer to home and examines the typical honoraria given to preachers who fill pulpits when pastors are on vacation. Most churches now pay $100 or so, although I know of many, including both mainline and smaller evangelical congregations, who still pay less.

Let us ask ourselves, before God, how we can justify paying a guest preacher a mere hundred bucks. He has to accept the invitation and get clear on his various duties from the person who invites him. He has to prepare the sermon—again, even if he is going to preach one he has preached before, he still has to decide upon which one to preach and then prepare to preach it well on this occasion. He has to travel to our church and take his place with the other worship leaders. He has to preach the sermon and greet people afterwards. Then he has to drive home.

Time it out, and it’s likely ten hours or more that he has invested in our church. We offer him a hundred dollars, and that works out to ten bucks an hour—a little more than minimum wage. He has to pay all of the taxes on that, so now he’s taking home between fifty and sixty dollars. Is that what we think our preachers are worth?

Let’s look at this from another angle. The average congregation isn’t large, so let’s suppose that about 200 people are to hear that sermon. By offering the preacher even $150 (which is more than most churches pay), we’re saying that his sermon is worth less than a dollar for each person who hears it.

The notion, however, that spiritual or theological or other “Christian” expertise should not be paid for is utterly foreign to the Bible. From the Old Testament requirements that generous provision be made for the priests to Paul’s commands in the New Testament that pastoral workers are worthy of their wages and should be paid such (I Corinthians 9), the Bible believes that people in such occupations are worthy of both esteem and financial support. Indeed, we show our esteem precisely in the financial support we give them. We think our physical health matters, so we pay good money for good physicians. How much does our spiritual health matter? Well, let’s see what we typically pay for it. We are, in fact, putting our money where our mouth is.

Thus, we encounter the latter problem, the one that only the Holy Spirit of God can address. It might be that we pay Christian speakers badly because we were unaware of all that is involved in preparing and delivering an excellent speech. Okay. But now that we know better, we should pay better. The latter problem of simply undervaluing such Christian service, however, is a problem in our hearts, not our heads. And the Bible is plain: We undervalue our spiritual teachers at the peril of undervaluing the divine truth they bring us. God frowns on such parsimony.

Indeed, God has threatened one day to mete out to each of us our appropriate wages for such behavior. And those wages will make even a T-shirt or a table centerpiece look pretty good.

John G. Stackhouse, Jr., draws on history, sociology, theology, and philosophy to explore the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary culture in North America and beyond. A graduate of Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Wheaton College Graduate School, Illinois and The University of Chicago, he is the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College.

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Arthur Lerma

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I am young to the faith, and I would think that preaching and ministry would be done from the heart, and not for what we can get paid. It's not about money but about souls. TRUST in the Lord, He is the ultimate re-warder. God Bless!

Fred Ledbetter

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Brother, I don't want you to be damaged by what you may read across these postings. What myself and the other pastors are sharing is an observation regarding the church's lack of faith, disobedience, insufficient response to God's word, and ultimately a noticable unappreciativeness toward the ministers of the gospel. Remember, our spirit is willing, but indeed our flesh is weak. I submit that many pastors who have been found guilty of mismanaging church funds or plain theft would have not done those awful things if they were rewarded for their service. While I realize that there are pastors who do it to amass filthy lucre, many of us do it for the right reason which is Jesus Christ and saving souls. Ministers of the gospel are no different from anyone else who work tirelessly at their vocations. We have families to take care of, bills to pay, and ultimately a life to enjoy while serving the Lord. Please don't get me wrong. I in now way depend on my church congregation or conference attendees to take care of my every need, but I do expect them to consider what goes into watching over, speaking into, and praying for their souls. We all must trust in the Lord because at the end of the day, He is our provider, but it is highly encouraging when the church responds to the message we carry and share through their giving. Here's where I am. If you would like to talk more about this and explore the scriptures, you can email me at motivator812@yahoo.com I'm extending this to you because you expressed that you are young in the faith, and it is easy to take things out of context when discussing Kingdom business. I encourage you to email me, and I would love to hear your heart further on the matter. Your heart is correct to trust in the Lord, and perhaps their may be some encouragement we can take from you, but please understand that just because we preach the gospel it is not a license to disregard us. Amen

Richard J. Shannon

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Very well put, sir.

Bryan Thompson

commented on Oct 21, 2014

The same could be said for any job, brother. What if the person in question is a teacher from a Christian school who is asked to teach a summer class? Should we pay them fairly or toss them a t-shirt and say, "Thanks! God bless!"? If the church treats those it employs unfairly it suggests a lack of care and support. Can we truly claim tobe Children of "the ultimate rewarder" if we do not follow His example?

Gerald Graham

commented on Oct 21, 2014

On the money Brother!

Anthony Dubose

commented on Oct 21, 2014

That is true. I have traveled many miles to perform a funeral for families (some former members and some just acquaintances from a previous pastorate, and not paid one dime. It is sad, but Arthur, you are right We should depend upon the Lord to provide and He has. I have been paid much more than deserved at times. One time I got nothing for my travel and one day of service and not paid anything, but there have been times, I was paid double what I normally get for a wedding or funeral, say $100. One time I was paid $500. So, churches and people need to be able pay something for the ministers service, but if the don't God will make up for it some other time. I have experienced it.

Chet Gladkowski

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Our faith has been infected with the cultural norm where we expect to receive the best but pay the least. We want to be first in line at the church potluck so we can chow-down on the meat but bring the cheapest and least inconvenient dish (preferably a bag of potato chips or cups.) We want great, new and shiney worship centers with 21st century technology but only have to put a dollar in the collection. This was brought to mind when we were in a Bible study and preparing to give clothing to a homeless shelter. While everyone was talking about pulling out something that they no longer needed, one godly person suggested that while we should certainly share from what we no longer needed that we should each additionally buy one new item. After all, she said, God gave us His best - His Son for us. From that time forwarded, we have always included at least one new item every time we give. When we go to a potluck, we something that we would prepare if someone special was coming to our house for dinner. Jesus grace and love delivers a response worthy of being called His.

Christopher Bea

commented on Oct 21, 2014

What does it mean 'depend upon the Lord ?'. His word is clear ; 1 Tim. 5/18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox treading out grain, and, "The laborer is worthy of his reward. I totally agree it's about souls, but let me add it's about THE WORD OF GOD. A T-shirt for a paid conference, let's be serious. What do we expect God to do in that case ? It's our responsability to pay that speaker, not God's. He does it through us. I'm not surprised to see why ministers' children hesitate to follow their paths.

Doug Lapointe

commented on Oct 22, 2014

Good points. Do we think it is more spiritual to not talk about money and just depend on God? No. Depending on God will mean we talk about money and expect to be paid what we are worth.

Kevin Baker

commented on Oct 21, 2014

For many years before becoming full time in a church position I traveled around our state as a pulpit supply. I often recieved the typical 25 or 50 dollar check. A few times no check at all. I always paid my own travel expenses. I often took the low pay as an opportunity to preach and Learn. When I landed at my current church I immediately changed our honoriam from 50 to 200 dollars. A weekend speaker revives 1000. During revivals we take a love offering which usually runs 3000 to 4000 for a week long revival. My philosophy is you can never be to generous.

Fred Ledbetter

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Brothers, I acknowledge, agree, and comprehend all of what you are saying. Recently, I left a job paying me six figures as a financier to pastor my church full time. For almost 7 years of our church's initial plant, I was bivocational. I didn't take a salary, and still don't, because it wasn't justifiable if I want the infant sized church of 70 to grow. I only took a housing allowance which was still very small, and I only accepted that in order for the accounting to see the increasing stress test of paying a pastoral salary. Over the past 7 years I have increased that from $500 to $1200, and there are sometimes where it has fluctuated due to the "faithfulness" of the congregation. Therefore, the first point I want to set forth is that the faith of believers is not where it should be. Most imdividuals are coming for you to tangibly show and give them something. Our nation is so visibly and physically engaged that everyone needs to literally "see" what you're saying, or be able to "touch" it.Secondly, I would like to address the speaker invitation conundrum regarding honoraria and why it seems to be the way it presents itself. Today, many organizations looking for speakers have not done the needed value assessment of what they need to have spoken to their crowd of attendees. I am an MBA, and what I've learned about business is that organizations who are interested in growth, education and the empowerment of their employees, pay top dollar to the person who conveys their theme or message best and effectively. Because I have realized this, I will always work out the honorarium details before I take any engagements outside of normal Sunday or Sabbath day operations. I don't deem these events to be considered the same as a congregational day of worship due to the business and conference nature. Most likely, the conference or event host is looking for a big return on investment, and they are planning to use you to help them get it. It is because of this reason, we need not be foolish regarding compensation for our time, and God's anointing upon us. Education, information, motivation, and inspiration cost. As brother Stackhouse said, "Most people who invite speakers are not professional speakers themselves, and don't know what is involved in the process." It is because of this, we have to educate them on the importance of our message, the effect of our message, and ultimately the value of our message. The last valuable instance is the unique way we convey the message. Each speaker has a unique way of communicating, and when we are asked to speak, we are assuming that you want us because of the way we communicate the message. What I have briefly shared here is my suggestion to approaching non-pulpit events. Anytime I preach at a church, I consider the followimg factors: size, current building projects/ goals, leadership competence of the pastor, and the spiritual maturity of the congregation. If all of these are in positive alignment, then I expect to see generosity and consideration for the servant of God. If these are somewhat unaligned with special attention given to pastoral leadership, I speculate that the honorarium will "match the mess" I've witnessed. What we have to remember is that everyone does not operate with a spirit of excellence like we all should. Therefore, we have to teach people how to treat us. Thank you gentlemen for sharing, and special thanks to brother Stackhouse for being courageous enough to discuss one of the most controversial subjects for the church----- MONEY. While we are not trying to store up treasures on earth, we certainly deserve to support our families and have an acceptable quality of life that encourages us to continue the powerful spreading of the gospel through anointed preaching!

Richard Scotland

commented on Oct 21, 2014

For pulpit supply I receive a fee of ?55, roughly $80. I travel for up to one hour in my usual rotation and do not normally get travel expenses. I have had churches, one of which just recently paid out over $700,000 on improvements not even bother to hand over anything to me! Am I a doormat for allowing this? I do believe the Lord provides all I need and this has proved true numerous times. However it does make me think about accepting new invitations to these churches. So far I have not refused!

Keith B

commented on Oct 21, 2014

The first church I ever preached in while I was in school, I got $50. It cost me roughly $40 to drive there. Then, I'd take my wife and 2 kids out to dinner...so it cost me money to go. But I would have done it even if they didn't pay me--I got the chance to preach the Gospel! In the coming weeks I preached there several more times....giving various stinker sermons. I am grateful to that church for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Dapo Ogunsina

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I agree with Pastor John on this article. It is unfortunate how many organizations think they do you a favor by bringing you to come and get peanuts. Personally I do not like to comment on honoraria, but I have actually been disgusted a couple of times. However, we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to do the work of repair. Thanks.

William Hamilton

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Great article. But true. No excuses. Keep informing the Kingdom. Thank you .

Terri Inman

commented on Oct 21, 2014

If you think it is difficult for ministers and pastors who are invited guest speakers, you should try being a full time ministry worker (not an ordained minister) and be asked to use your technical skills for free. My husband is a media director - and a talented one - who works full time at a church. I cannot tell you the number of times church members or friends of the church approach him and ask him to do projects for free. What they don't understand is that his job alone is full time - any added projects are time stolen from his family. I often feel that we have misplaced the priority of ministry focus. He has been asked to video and produce weddings which takes two nights - one for the rehearsal and one for the event, and then will be given $50. Yes, God has blessed us and supplies our basic needs, but there is no extra. We try to use our talents for the Lord, but it is very difficult when demanding church members feel you are at their disposal just because you are church staff. They will expect church staff to do for free what they'd pay a secular business the going rate. This is not scriptural and it is very discouraging and is shameful how we treat others in the body of Christ.

Adrien Thorne

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Great article! When I came to our small congregation seven years ago our church was very "tight? Fisted" so to speak. It took a while to model generosity to those in our community and especially to our guest speakers. Now, as a result I have preachers that come to our church and tell us "you pay me three more than most of the churches I preach at that have five times as many people!" As a result, we were able to do $150,000 worth of remodeling in the first three years I was here without taking one offering! Coincidence? I think not. You reap what you sow and we should so double into those who so spiritual things into our lives.

Mr Ed

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Pastors often don't get paid to do funerals or weddings; both of these take a lot of extra time, and often travel expenses. I was asked to do a wedding across the country, and had to say I couldn't do it because I couldn't afford the airfare/accomodations. The couple ended up paying airfare and I found lodging with friends of friends, but I was not paid anything for the preparation, travel to and from rehearsal and wedding, wedding itself, etc. People don't seem to realize these things, while often considered part of what a pastor is to do, is over and above what still needs to be done to prepare for Sunday, shepherd the congregation, etc.

Mark Drinnenberg

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I think there are two sides to this coin, and they are both present in the comments made about this article. On the speaker side of the coin, I have always appreciated being compensated for my time as a guest speaker, but at the same time, I would do it for free because an opportunity to teach the Word is a privilege in itself. But from the recipients' side of the coin, it is right for us to treat a speaker in accordance with the fact that a workman is worthy of his wages.

Patrice Marker-Zahler

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Thank you for your article Richard, it is so true.

Tony Bland

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I dare any of you to say...my fee is $XXX for your event, will that be ok? they will be livid and will talk about you, never invite you again and every one will agree with them. sad...

Ronald Johnson

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I spoke at the men's retreat at a church and when I went to the host home they put me on the couch! I hardly slept all night! Then I remembered Paul singing praises in the middle of the night in a dungeon in Philippi! But really , put the guest speaker on a couch? In addition, I was told is was a men's retreat but half the men brought their boys to it and I had one message that dealt with some matters on porn and other sexual sins using Samson! I told the pastor and he at least took the boys out for that part.

Steven Landers

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I am the pastor of a small rural church, running a little under 50 people at times. I have always given a guest a minimum of $150, and then only if they were someone local who I knew well. If I have someone come from outside of the area, I always do more AND cover lodging. I have always believed that the way we treat others is a reflection of our faith in God

Mark Hicks

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Just wanted to add to your comment Steven. I too pastor a church of 40-50 on the central west-coast where Sunday's a big work day for many in my congregation. But, we have a set minimum amount of $200 for local speakers, plus whatever comes in for the "Love Offering". So the church itself adds $200.00 to the love offering. And we make sure all costs are covered. I've found in over 30 years of full time ministry, that you cannot out give God. However, I never have in anyone who 'demands' a set amount. I have spoken many times receiving $0 from people, but God always provides, because He is my source, not people's wallets.

Mark Hicks

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Forgot to say-That's per sermon. Not for a full weekend, or retreat. Before I came there was only given what came in. Which in the church at that time with about 6-8 people 10 to $15. I am always upfront with the size of the church with no 'evangelasti-sizing', so they know up front, this is a small congregation. Much appreciation to all of you who will come to a small work. May God richly bless your ministry. We are turned down many times due to size, or just forgotten. That's fine. God keeps the books, not me!

Sam Martin

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I am not a money preacher but it is very sad the way many preachers are paid. I know Pastors who are expected to work full time for a part time salary. They can barely make ends meet and people are pulling them ten different ways and then they get upset when they feel they have got 100 of their time. I have preached many funerals and Weddings that I was never given a cent. I didn't say anything but it hurt. The sad part is the people who are financially well off give less.

Gerald Graham

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I have to say that I am so baffled by this discussion and the content of the article.Di our own Lord not say "Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven" and "you can not serve both God and money". We don't just have a job, we have a message, and that message was already paid for in blood. I am all for being supported but to say "it isn't enough" is like telling God, "I'm sorry but I'm much more important than this". Not to mention it is no wonder small ministries and churches can't get people to come because they are such money grubbers that the churches can't afford to here what GOD has to say through them. What ever happened to sacrifice? Did that cease after Jesus' sacrifice or weren't we told to follow HIM, the one who had no where to lay His head?

Gerald Graham

commented on Oct 21, 2014

To be clear about the dirty truth of honoraria is you should be content with what you get and have faith for the rest. Or is that too a passing biblical idea?

Stephen Belokur

commented on Oct 21, 2014

There is much truth to this article. However, on the other end of the spectrum are speakers who will only come for a set fee that can range as high as "starting at $33,000." This is not something I heard on the grapevine but found on the speakers page. Now, I realize that with fame comes demand and demand drives pricing but there must be some balance between abusing speakers and such excessive pricing. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2) And, there we will find the balance between how churches treat speakers and how speakers set their fees.

Matt Worstell

commented on Oct 21, 2014

You have not...because you ask not...the problem isn't the people really though, it's the pastors that have built the culture of pro gratis work. We're a dime a dozen because we've allowed ourselves to be...we've muzzled ourselves so to speak

Ruede Rule

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I would like to agree with brother Ledbetter and ad that as preachers of the Gospel, we are responsible for teaching God's Word which includes not robbing God with our tithe and not muzzling the ox.

David Hodgin

commented on Oct 21, 2014

Lots of good comments here. When I first went into ministry (1992) I pledged in my heart, before God, not to "charge" for ministry events like funerals, weddings, pulpit supply etc. Over the years I have been paid nothing and well beyond what I thought was fair. Once after been promised my expenses would be covered and no check came. I worked up a "bill" for $50, called the family and asked for my expenses. They sent me $250 and apologized because each thought the other had paid. Over these 22 years I have provided many "free" services, but God has supplied money to us in many incredible ways. One family pays nothing, another pays double, another sends money "just because God put it on their hearts". The result is I am humbled and reminded that God sees me, knows me and provides for me. I stand amazed. I'm not saying this is for everyone, I'm just telling my story and Hoping the guy who paid with the t-shirt reads the article and ponies up the money he should have paid--shame on him.

Anonymous

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I presently serve a church of 100. I have also pastored a church for 12 years which I planted. Prior to that I served on a staff as an associate pastor at a church of 2000 where I led a Friday-night young adult worship/fellowship event weekly, among other duties. As an associate pastor leading a young adult ministry I was frequently booking and planning for speakers and guest ministries. I put in many extra hours preparing for these events (searching for speakers, ticketing, working with speaker schedule, advertising for the event to ensure a good crowd for the speaker, graphic design, booking a facility, planning meetings with leadership team, etc. etc.). I'm sure it was at least as much additional time as the speaker put in. Not surprisingly, the church that employed me never offered me additional pay for the additional hours of work. It was part of the job and I was serving the Lord besides. Come on. Let's not forget what it means to be called. We are not hirelings. We are compelled by Christ's love to serve, and to serve with grateful hearts and with joy. Yes Paul taught that a workman is worthy of his hire. But Paul himself, never expected or insisted on compensation for his ministry work. In fact, on occasion he voluntarily refused pay from, for example the Corinthian church, and worked with his own hands to support himself for the greater good of the Gospel. For the last seven years I have voluntarily taken between 12 and 15 thousand dollars less per year than what I was hired for. I do it for the good of the church. It has helped make it possible for us to hire additional part-time and full-time staff to help serve and grow the church. Is it a sacrifice? Yes. (I could use a new roof on my house right now). But it is one I gladly make because I am so grateful for all the Lord has done for me in saving me and allowing me the privilege of being partners with Him in His work in the world. In almost 30 years of full-time pastoring I've done my fair share of weddings and funerals and guest speaking. I've never expected anything financially or otherwise-- and sometimes that's exactly what I've gotten. I never thought twice about it. The reward presently was and is in serving God and people. I'm content to wait for any additional reward in heaven.

Lane Sebring

commented on Oct 21, 2014

I always agree on an amount upfront. Regarding the two examples the author gave at the beginning of the article I think the speakers should have made sure their compensation was in writing before the event. A speaker needs to ensure in writing in advance what the expectations are. I have always made sure my expenses are covered and that the honorarium is fair for both me and the hosting church/organization. I do this before I agree to come. The "whatever you can pay me" method is fine if you have unlimited time and energy to invest. For those of us with competing responsibilities, money is a factor.

Glenn C. Peck

commented on Oct 21, 2014

At 73, I have received a hug and a handshake as honoraria for a number of ministry events. However, on other occasions, I received several hundred dollars for conducting a funeral for a person not affiliated with the church I pastor. Things have a way of evening out. What joy to serve Jesus!

Doug Lapointe

commented on Oct 22, 2014

Part of the problem has got to be that the inviting group thinks you are having a relaxing good time like everyone else. You are not! You, as the guest, are hard at work! Thanks for the good article. If you want to know what to pay a guest speaker who has earned the right to speak to hundreds of people in a powerful way, see what business pays for that...thousands!

Chet Gladkowski

commented on Oct 22, 2014

and part of our role/responsibility is to talk about, teach, encourage and prod the people God has brought to us about money. If we don't bring up the subject, who will and what will they say?

Chaplain Shawn Kennedy

commented on Oct 22, 2014

"A speaker first has to receive the invitation, work with the inviter to clarify and agree upon terms". Sounds like this due diligence was not done. Set out the terms and then decide- saves a lot of aggrevation.

Russ Painter

commented on Oct 22, 2014

I have always been treated fairly. Many times I specifically ask for no monetary gifts, especially small churches. Never expect any compensation for funerals, even out of town. I do mention up-front for weddings as they are much more time consuming. Overall my motto has been "I preach for food" and its worked well.

Mr. Carman Lee

commented on Oct 22, 2014

Carman Lee Every preacher or speaker should read The Crucifixion of Philip Strong by Charles M. Sheldon. This will help us all understand the the hearts of the receivers must be for the Lord and the minds must be educated in the word of God. Then let the HOLY SPIRIT DO HIS WORK. NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY STRENGTH, BUT BY MY SPIRIT SAYETH THE LORD. AMEN?

Philip Songw

commented on Oct 22, 2014

I think as a preacher, one is called by the Lord to service. God has a way of taking care of His servants. The first thing I think we should address is the issue of professionalism. Professional preachers will charge for their services but called preachers will depend on the one who called them by faith. The Lord owes non of His laborers. I write this out of 17 years of ministry, and have never had a fee, asked for honorarium and have experienced the Lord's provision in diverse ways.

Godwin G Quainoo

commented on Jan 8, 2015

It is extremely important for us to remember that the one who has sent us will also test us before he blesses us, like he did to Abraham Genesis 22. Much as it is important for servant to receive what is due him, we shouldn't forget that it take real sacrifice for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to thrive and triumph. If our sacrifice would give the gospel wings to fly and hit its targets, we can not put monetary value on what the Master would give us on that day. May we be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who equips us to serve, and honor Him. We should be satisfied with His honorarium, no matter how little. He knows how to give back to us when we give from a pure heart.

Randy Wheeler

commented on Aug 28, 2015

As a pastor who occasionally has guest speakers in, I appreciate knowing what their expectations are. If they are out of our budget range, we may choose not to se them, but we want to be fair. I spoke at a large church a few years ago and was astounded at their generosity. When I found out that is what they normally paid it made me rethink what we had been paying (which was over $150 :). I believe when you ask someone to leave their family and their full-time job to "put in overtime" to bless your church, you should take that into consideration. I always ask upfront. I usually hear "I don't have a set fee" but I follow with "What do you usually receive?" to at least get a ballpark. I want our church to be generous.

Steve Sewell

commented on Aug 28, 2015

As a speaker for over 25 years I really appreciate the values listed in this article. So many times these stories happen... and its hard to take care of your family when you get a t shirt or a table centerpiece. Its a hard subject no doubt - but one that needs to be addressed so all of us can learn. Thank you for making this available.

D Blansit

commented on Aug 28, 2015

I am not a preacher but an elder, song leader, Sunday School teacher, treasurer, prepare two worship services (songs, powerpoint, musicians, sound booth techs, etc) and receive no compensation. I should mention I also have a full time secular job and travel somewhat extensively. My wife and I tithe to our church (really tithe) and support a couple of other ministries. Our church pays a special speaker $200 minimum for a Sunday AM or PM service if local, mileage/expenses if not local. Question for all of you-if the speaker is from the congregation, should they be paid or should it be treated as "volunteer" work? I have filled the pulpit occasionally (as a few others have) and never received any compensation.

Dr. Ezra Aniebue

commented on Sep 1, 2015

Shalom! A good write up indeed! From my few years experience in ministry and in training thousands of pastors, in my own opinion, here is the best way to handle the offering issue: (1) Develop a strong relationship with GOD. Psalms 34:9, there is no lack in the lives of those who fear GOD. (2) Don't speak for people, do everything you do for the LORD.Col.3:23. Heb.11:6, GOD will always reward you. (3) When your relationship with GOD is solid, no human being has the power to withhold any blessing that GOD has predestined for you. John 3:27; James 1:17. (4) Make sure that as a pastor or a minister that you are a tither. It is hypocritical to collect tithes and not tithe yourself. Hebrews 7:9... (5) When you invite others to speak for you, make sure you treat them well. You can't mistreat others and expect others to bless you.2 Cor.9:6;Gal.6:7. The best thing to do is simple, establish a basic protocol for your transportation and accommodation. But don't charge anyone to share the Gospel. Leave your payment to GOD. You will always end up ahead when it is all said and done. Don't become offended because of offering, just make sure GOD sends you before you go anywhere. Do your best and GOD will bless you. Romans 8:14;Phil.4:19.

Dr. Ezra Aniebue

commented on Sep 1, 2015

Shalom! A good write up indeed! From my few years experience in ministry and in training thousands of pastors, in my own opinion, here are the best ways to handle the offering issue: (1) Develop a strong relationship with GOD. Psalms 34:9, there is no lack in the lives of those who fear GOD. (2) Don't speak for people, do everything you do for the LORD.Col.3:23. Heb.11:6, GOD will always reward you. (3) When your relationship with GOD is solid, no human being has the power to withhold any blessing that GOD has predestined for you. John 3:27; James 1:17. (4) Make sure that as a pastor or a minister that you are a tither. It is hypocritical to collect tithes and not tithe yourself. Hebrews 7:9... (5) When you invite others to speak for you, make sure you treat them well. You can't mistreat others and expect others to bless you.2 Cor.9:6;Gal.6:7. The best thing to do is simple, establish a basic protocol for your transportation and accommodation. But don't charge anyone to share the Gospel. Leave your payment to GOD. You will always end up ahead when it is all said and done. Don't become offended because of offering, just make sure GOD sends you before you go anywhere. Do your best and GOD will bless you. Romans 8:14;Phil.4:19.

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