Avoid Guest Speaker Nightmare

imprrh@gmail.com —  May 24, 2016


A while back I was speaking at a church. Everything was ready and I was excited. Then I arrived at the “hotel”.

I was met by: *A front desk with several varieties of condoms for sale.

*A restaurant that doubled as a discotheque (it can’t be called a club, the décor didn’t allow it)

*Shady characters in the hallways.

*Lights that went on and off on their own in my musty room.

After I was done with this event the inviter asked about the accommodations. How do you answer THAT!?

Since I hear so many horror stories, please allow me to share some helpful ideas. There are three principles that are overlooked or blatantly ignored:

  1. Clarity.

If you are a guest speaker be clear. Over-clear. Super-clear. Below I have included a detailed speaker form. That minimizes the hassle of condom selling, haunted, shady discotheque hotels. If an honorarium is expected, ask for it. I always make my own travel accommodations for this reason. Be clear. If you are inviting someone and plan to put him/her in a hotel you wouldn’t stay yourself, fly them Spirit and send them home with a tie or a plaque, then let them know. No bait and switch.

  1. Respect.

Don’t take advantage of the guest. This is especially true for young pastors. The difference between a shady hotel and a good one (not talking 5 stars, just a decent bed without bugs) is for sure less than $50 and often less than $20. Also, the 3 stop ticket, the wait at the airport, the staying with a family with kids that keep them up or the meals that serve crazy food can be avoided. Treat them with:



It doesn’t take that much! You expect third world accommodations in the third world. Not in the USA. If you don’t have the resources, wait a bit and do it right.


  1. Awareness.

Usually the church that invites is thinking about their event, their planning and their success. Put that aside for a moment. The pastor you invited is not paid to minister to you. He/she had to rearrange their schedule, spend time prepping, hire baby sitters, and be away from the family. Traveling isn’t glamorous believe me. No one I know is getting rich off speaking engagements, not in the Adventist church. Those reports you see with mansions and Teslas don’t exist here. More like townhouses and Hondas. Be aware of the other side. Put some respek on that profession!

Any nightmare scenarios you want to share?











Contact Information:

Name: _________________________________________

Address: ____________________________    City:  ________   State:  ____    Zip Code:  ______

Email Address: ________________________            Cell Phone#:  _________________________



Flight Information:     

              I prefer to make my own flight arrangements          

              *Please make flight arrangements for me (please fill in the following information below)

*Name as it appears on your ID: _______________________________

DOB: ______________________       Departure Airport:  __________________

Preferred Airline: __________________        Frequent Flyer # ________________________




Hotel Information:     

              I prefer to make my own hotel reservation              

              *Please make hotel reservations for me (Fill in the following information below.  Also, be sure to bring a credit card to provide for incidentals.  The hotel requests this.)

*Name as it appears on your ID: _______________________________

Preferred Hotel Chain: __________________            Frequent Traveler # ___________________




Car Rental Information:         

              I prefer to make my own car rental reservation       

              *Please make car rental reservations for me (Fill in the following information below.)

*Name as it appears on your ID: _______________________________

DOB: ______________________       Driver’s License #:  __________________  State:  _______

Preferred Car Rental Company: __________________         Membership # _________________





AV Needs:

Projector:                       Laptop:                           Microphone:                 (Type:  _____________)

Remote: ______________________               Other:  ____________________________

I use:                  PC                        MAC     Presentation Format:               Keynote            Powerpoint

Your presentation will be projected from                   Pulpit Connection                            Sound Room




Handouts:       I will bring my own copies/handouts               Please make copies for me

Resources:        Title:  ______________________       Cost:  _____________

Title:  ______________________       Cost:  _____________

Title:  ______________________       Cost:  _____________

Resource Set Up Needs: _______________________________________________________




Special Requests:        (Please inform us of any dietary needs, allergies, or other special requests below)





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One response to Avoid Guest Speaker Nightmare

  1. this is awesome Roger! thanks!!