I was invited to speak for an event some time back. They requested I be picked up instead of renting a car ( a savings of $150). I was picked up by a family with a child that kicked my seat. Repeatedly. This is small potatoes compared to some horror stories I hear from the road, not only from the guests but from the inviting organizations.
If you are in ministry, at some point you will either be invited or invite someone to speak at your organization/school/church/event. Having been on both sides, let me spare you some pain and misunderstanding and help you make the process as painless as possible
I have written on this before, but I see my work is not done! Here are some practical tips to make everything run smoothly.
If you invite:
1. Treat them fairly. People make sacrifices to be at your event. Treat them with respect and eliminate the mindset that saves $100 by putting them up in a member’s home and flying them Spirit but guarantees they won’t be back.
2. Have reimbursement ready. I have no idea how many times I have made my travel arrangements, sent a expense report months in advance, only to be told after finishing the event that my check will be in the mail. Please don’t do this.
3. Invite early. The better the speaker, the earlier the invite. Last minute invitations are usually a sign of unorganized planners.
4. Don’t guilt trip. If they say no, respect it. Don’t shame them. Don’t slander or spread gossip on social media. Move on.
5. Be clear. Most invitations in our church come with zero understanding of what a suitable honorarium will be. It would be helpful if you told the guest ahead of time. Saves misunderstandings later. Once again, especially with young pastors, treat them right, don’t take advantage of them and don’t give cards to them with nothing inside.
If they invite you:
1. Please have a bio ready. This is not hard. Do it.
2. Respond, respond, respond. In our office we have stopped inviting people because they don’t respond. Like at all. Not a good look. Administrative assistants are hard workers and hardly recognized. Their work looks bad because you won’t get back with some basic information. Why would you do this?
3. Be clear on expectations. See #5 above. I never allow people to make my reservations for me because of really bad past experiences. For example: The kid that kicked my seat because the inviting organization didn’t want me to rent a car. They saved $150. I saved a spot for them in this blog.
4. Don’t agree to every invite. Prayerfully consider if God will have you go.
Hoping this gets better, fast.
What are some good experiences and not so good you have had?