I consider it a huge privilege to be God’s mouthpiece on earth. I pretty much like that I have to learn from Him and the capable others he has planted in my life while passing on this knowledge to others as He wills.
Being His mouthpiece means I have to travel, meet people, and go to places are like or not like (yes sometimes you don’t feel like being somewhere). This exposes me to a whole lot of information and helps me build valuable relationships.
I’ve been a guest minister to many in the last twelve (12) years of my life. Pretty much since I was a teenager. I’ll like to share with you a few things I believe young people should never do when they are out as guest ministers.
1. Don’t Isolate yourself from responsibilities
There are times when the host might place you in their home or someone else’s rather than a hotel. Most young people tend to cross their legs and wait for breakfast in bed like the anointing would lift if they picked up a pin.
When you’re placed in a home rather than a hotel, please take up responsibilities.
It is okay to ask how you can help but hosts like to show respect so their response would definitely be a no. However, I strongly suggest that you be observant and figure out where and how you could be of help.
One time I stayed in the home of a couple whose pastor had invited me for their youth conference. I got up the next morning and began to sweep the house and was about doing laundry for her kids (she didn’t let me do this one).
My host was more than impressed she said, “Many young ministers have stayed here but none have done this”.
Needless to say, she loaded my wallet when I was about returning home; not to mention the wonders Christ did at the meeting that evening.
Please we are not to take up responsibilities because we want money. We are to do so because we are good examples in character and anointing. #Winks
2. Don’t grumble about the honorarium
Having to run a faith-based NGO, coupled with my personal needs, you sure can bet I know how important money is.
However, I’ll like to clarify something here. A fee is a prefixed payment attached to the value/service one is giving while an honorarium is a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge1.
That been said, we can tell that the difference between a fee and an honorarium is this; honorarium is a willfully decided (by the host) payment or package (I hate to call it a payment though) while a fee is a prefixed, predetermined (by the speaker or singer) payment or package. I hope that isn’t too difficult to understand.
If you did not charge a fee to go minister at an event, please do not complain about the honorarium. Take whatever they’ve given you with a happy heart and thank them sincerely for it.
Please do not count your honorarium in front of your host. It gives the impression that your mind was on it all the while. I know we need money but we have to be honourable about it.
Never call your host to say, “Guy wetin be this now?”Una no try o”. Translated in English, Guy what is this? This isn’t good enough.
This is one truth we must know, it’s great to charge fees if the Lord “truly” permits you to do so but if you wouldn’t, bear in mind that He takes care of His own. Most times where you’re expecting to be paid from won’t be. He will just use an entirely different or unrelated channel to meet your needs. So focus on the size of the task not the size of envelopes.
NOTE: I’m aware that some hosts can be terrifically unbelievable. They will invite you on long distances and send you back with the sign of the cross at your expense. Here is how I handle such situations.
I never charge churches or ministry related events to speak or sing. I definitely charge other cooperate organizations (Smiles). So for churches or ministry related events that are far away, I request that they cover my transport fee and I make it clear that I do not care about an honorarium if it will be an added burden. That way, they understand that I’m willing to come be a blessing at no “profit” and definitely at no added “expense” to my already piled up bills (smiles).
A little note on requesting they foot your transport bills Please be considerate. Be sensitive to the size of the church. Don’t ask a young church to pay for an air ticket when you know they may not afford it. We have to be willing to go by road sometimes. After all, Jesus used to trek long distances to preach and many other missionaries don’t have the comfort of buses yet they serve in ministry. If they can afford to put you on a plane, Glory to CHRIST! Enjoy your flight but if they can’t, PLEASE go by road or add your money to whatever they can afford and hop on a plane.
My point is, We must never forget that this thing is for Christ and we signed up for better or worse (well, except you didn’t but I DID).
3. Don’t be Stingy
There are times when I didn’t know much about my hosts’ personal life but one thing I often try to find out before hand is if they’ve got kids.
Please don’t go to your hosts empty handed especially if they have kids. Giving a gift helps break the ice and make them see you as a warm person. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that says I thought of you while I travelled down to meet you.
This gift giving wisdom could be allowed to slide if you’re not sleeping over in a hotel or home but please if you’re spending the night, give something!
4. Don’t brag about your home church or pastor
The moment you are on someone’s platform, please forget how more anointed your “papa” or “mama” is.
Honour the people whose pulpit you are on.
This is not the moment to tell us how God used your pastor to cure ten lepers last week at your convention.
It is also grossly unacceptable to share your church or ministry stickers to the audience.
Deliberately look out for things to sincerely compliment your host about. The key word is SINCERELY. For example, if the hosts’ wife isn’t pretty to you, then don’t call her pretty. Look for something else that you admire genuinely about her and compliment that.
Your focus is to make the people there know, appreciate and value their pastors or/and anything else they have/own, not to make them think you are better or that your pastor or church or choir is better.
5. Don’t advertise your products without due permission
Haven written seven (7) books at the time of this post and published three (3); you bet I know how important it is to make sales on books I’ve authored. After all, publishers don’t accept “GOD BLESS YOU” for payment. However, another person’s platform is not your market. If you need so badly to sell your album, books or anything else? Kindly host conferences or seminars and compel (if you can) the attendees to buy.
When invited to speak or sing, ask your host if you can come with your materials for sale. They usually would say yes. In some cases, they will like to see the content of your album or book. This is the time to give them a free copy. Never ask them to pay you for it. If they pay, decline.
Here is what that kind gesture will do for you; if they approve of the content of your album or book, they will convince the audience to buy. Remember, that the audience came most likely because they approve of your host. So when your host endorses your product, you will have more sales except the crowd didn’t come with money (LOL). In which case, you should just give God praise and continue to seek sales elsewhere.
Read: Books by Anne Atulaegwu
6. Don’t Exceed Your time
I know you must have heard this but you probably still do it. It’s really annoying when the anchor stands by or sends you a note and that ‘s when you claim to be about to drop the latest revelation God shared with you or the song the Holyspirit dropped in your heart while you were bathing last week by 4am. Please spare us this drudgery. We love you but it’s time up! Make it a habit to leave while the audience is paying apt attention or are flowing with your songs.
Personally, I sometimes prepare a copy of my message in advance when I sense I might not finish up within the slated time. I hand the copy to my host after the message, requesting that they mail it or print copies for the attendees. Other times, I make copies myself and the audience pays a token for it and that’s only after I have gotten the approval of my host, way earlier.
Read: 7 Shades of Folly
7. Don’t give your number randomly.
It’s a big taboo to publish your phone number on someone else’s stage or platform. Please don’t ever do this no matter how much the audience appears to love or need you.
I’m mostly asked to speak at youth and teen events. There’s hardly anytime that young people don’t come to say, “Please I’ll like you to be my mentor.” They always want to have my number and want more with me afterwards.
Here is what I do. I refer them to my host. “Tell your mama or papa to give you my number”. I only give my contact when my host had earlier said, please I need you to help with my girls or teens or youths.
If there was no initial “freedom” to connect, Please refer them to your host.
This is why you shouldn’t start connecting with your hosts people randomly.
· To avoid jealously. You may not know, but God might have used you powerfully in forty minutes than He has used your host in forty years. As humans, no one is immune to envy. Therefore you must never create room for your host to feel like there’s a competition between you both.
And may I add, please inform your host about the conversation between you and their “member”. I mostly deal with counselling related issues and so I understand the need for privacy and I respect that. However, if the “member” starts calling you more frequently than they call their pastor or leader please let your host know to avoid “stories that touch the heart”. In plain English, be careful not to convert other people’s followers to yours! Instead, help build bridges between the followers and their leader.
Are there other mistakes you think we are making as invited guests? Please share in the comment box.
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