This is a subject that so often is not discussed because of embarrassment; however it has at times been the cause of blessing and sadly also personal financial cost to visiting ministries. I do believe that I am in a position to open up this subject having been a Pastors Kid, Elder, and a Trustee in a church.
If churches always heeded Scripture, pastors and ministries constantly would be able to devote themselves to their office. The apostles, burdened by administrative tasks, summoned the full number of the disciples and said, It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables . Pick out from among you seven men whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:2-4)
Likewise, adequate financial support enables pastors and ministries to focus on their ministry without worrying about supporting themselves and their families. God commends (and commands) this practice in the Church. Paul wrote, Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. For the Bible says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain, and, The labourer deserves his wages. (1 Timothy 5:17-18) In Galatians 6:6, he said, One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.
As a pastors child we lived as a family well below the average standard of those who attended the church. To take one instance when I was first married I was ill for sometime as I began to experience eating habits and food that had never crossed my lips before. Was this right; was this the way to treat a man of God and his family? In no way do I criticise those who were responsible as at the time I believe they were sincere. This was many years ago and perhaps things have changed in most situations and in some cases gone to the extreme.
Guidelines for visiting speakers Honoraria.
If they are travelling a distance enquire their cost and send finance to cover their travel.
- If a collection or returning to an airport, train station etc is required pick them up in comfortable clean transport with a courteous driver.
- Enquire courteously and not to cause embarrassment all their out of pocket expenses for travel and the duration whilst they are with you.
Arrange comfortable quite accommodation where they have available a quite area for preparation.
- On their arrival give them space to relax and prepare.
- Enquire if they have any needs or requirements for their stay and occasion.
- Treat them with respect and allow them time after and between events to relax. Keep a watch and protect them for unnecessary intrusion.
Have a generous fixed minimum that you pay visiting speakers. Taking into account the duration they are with you and the number of times they have spoken.
- Take up an offering after they have spoken, specifically for them
- If the offering exceeds your minimum amount give them the total offering. The offering was specifically for that visiting, ministry and is why people have given their gift.
- Those responsible should be open to God for His direction as He may tell you to increase your gift.
- Before the pastor or ministry leaves give them the total of the honoraria plus the total reimbursement of their out of pocket expenses.
Would you expect a boss to instruct an employee to use his own vehicle and related costs to go on a journey and be told neither will you receive any remuneration? That would be absurd to expect that wouldnt it? Pastors and ministries should not be treated similarly but blessed. There are consequences of blessing. The first section of Deuteronomy 28 gives us clear instruction on how to walk in the blessings of God and what they are :-
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
And these blessings will come upon you and overtake you because you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Verses 3 to 14 continue to list the blessings. Take these verses, modify them to todays terms (i.e. cattle increases refers to increases in your investments etc), and see if you have the full blessings of God.
Be faithful and generous towards Gods servants, they are not your servants.
This blog is my own personal opinion and experience, and I am open for comments and correction.