Evangelists

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor J, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Pastor J

    Pastor J
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    I pastor a small church of about 40 people. We do not have the funds to fly an evangelist in for a meeting so we have brought in either local evangelists or evangelists who were already going to be in the area. This has worked out very well for the last 10 years. About a year ago we booked an evangelist (not local) on this understanding. He has a meeting the following week not very far from here. We made it clear when we booked him that all we could afford is a love offering (the last evangelist received 900 for a week, but typically it is about $500). Two weeks before the meeting he sent me a 3 page letter. The first page was requesting a check for $125 for travel expenses. Page two talked about his ministry and how he traveled completely on what the Lord provides through churches. Page 3 explained the proper way of taking a love offering. Needless to say, I was very offended at first and would have canceled the evangelist and brought in one of our local evangelists if not for the fact the meeting was only two weeks away. The meeting starts this Saturday and I have decided to just pay him what he has asked along with a love offering. The question I have for you all is, "Should I talk to him about this or am I upset for nothing. If I should talk to him, Should I deal with it prior to the meeting or after the meetings?
     
  2. aefting

    aefting
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    Perhaps the man forgot the details of the arrangements that were made a year ago. I would contact him to remind him of your limitations and see if he still wants to come under the original conditions.

    Andy
     
  3. Pastor J

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    I should also state that we confirmed our arrangements a couple months ago with him to be sure that we would not be a burden to him or his ministry.

    The money really isn't the issue to me. I will pay the $125. I guess what really bothered me is that 2 weeks prior to a meeting he sends me a 3 page letter that was completely about money. I understand our need to take care of him and we will do our best to make sure he is.
     
  4. Gib

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    There are many good preachers out there that will come for a whole lot less or not even ask for money. Check with your state's convention or your area's association. Surely there is someone out there that can come.
     
  5. GODzThunder

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    I would deeply be leary of anyone who sends me a three page letter telling me that first they demand money, second they really need my money and third they proceed to tell me how to get the most money out of my people for them.

    This sounds like the televangelists who send letters telling me that God will bless me if I send them money but will curse me if I do not send them anything.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    It is true that some pastors just are blase about the offering and poor giving results. This brother has prolly been burned (and burns up himself when he hears the lame offering schpiel each night of the meetings).

    Most evangelists ask for a set amount of travel expense, figuring what travel costs for the year and dividing it evenly. $125 is cheap.

    Most evangelists have 38-40 meetings a year. Some are just a few days, other a full week. This works to $1000 a week needed just to survive and care for small family (or wife).

    Now I minister short term, with no talk about money. If it is small, then I just claim it as expense. If it is more than I expected, my wife gets it anyway.
     
  7. Pastor J

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    Dr. Bob,

    I agree and completely understand his situation. As I stated, it isn't about the $125. I am confident that the love offering that is taken will be far more than he expects (it always has been). My issue is about the timing of a demand letter. In 10 years of ministry, I have had two evangelists demand money. The first did it in our initial conversation. I thanked him and did not have him because his demands were more than we could handle ($1000-Love, $500-Travel) at the time.

    After much prayer, my plans are to let the meeting stand, give him more than he asked for, and then after the meeting discuss with him the issue I have with his letter. It is my hope and prayer that he will listen and I will be able to properly handle this situation.
     
  8. superdave

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    We do not take an offering during the meetings. It is taken before the evangelist arrives when the Chruch body is encouraged to provide generously for the evangelist, and than to invite people to the services without allowing for any money to even be a discussion. It removes any question as to what the reason for the guy being there is, and so far, no one has not been well provided for. I know it is an issus with some of them ahead of time when you tell them you won't be taking a love offering every night and begging for money.

    Travel expenses are common, but that should have been part of your agreement ahead of time, it works that way in any other business relationship, which is what we are really talking about here.
     
  9. GODzThunder

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    how true this is ohhhhh how true. I went to preach in Charleston, SC not too long ago and did three services in their revival. I received $250.00 in a love offering. Out of that offering I received $25.00. Where did the rest of the money go??? It was Christmas shopping time and my wife saw a walmart on the way home annnnnnndddd, well at least she did give me some gas money lol [​IMG]
     
  10. GODzThunder

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    When we do a revival we do not do a love offering at all! We plan the revival in our annual budget so that we are fully prepared to cover any and all expenses long before hand. The only time in a revival we take up an offering is Sunday Morning to help cover monthly expenses (regular offering). We just finished a revival and I am glad to say that there were three rededications and we have gotten a solid recommittment from two members who have not been to Church since before I was pastor there. [​IMG]
     
  11. aefting

    aefting
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    Why do a love offering at all? Why not include speaker expenses as part of the yearly budget?

    Edited -- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with this idea!

    Andy
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    We do allow love offerings for speakers (missionaries, college music groups) but have a budget set. Only if the offerings go ABOVE the budget will they go to the man.

    Otherwise a missionary coming in to a service (any service, AM PM or Wed) will get $50 travel and $100 honorarium. When God touches the hearts to give more, we have had $500 or $1000 come in for a fellow on one night.

    No pressure to give -- and we can have in a number of speakers. We are in the middle of nowhere (route between the Midwest and California) so we get one or more a month.
     
  13. LarryN

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    One of the finest outpourings in a love offering I've ever witnessed occured last year at my own church.

    We had in to speak a preacher whose ministry deals with troubled youth (crime, drug/alcohol use, victims of physical or sexual abuse, etc.). He brought some of the young people with to share their testimonies of lives-transformed through the power of Jesus. It became known to the church during their visit that this ministry had a pressing need for a reliable, safe vehicle for use in the ministry.

    The special offering taken up resulted in the purchase for this ministry of a brand-new 15 passenger van. Praise God!
     
  14. Pastor J

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    I thank everyone for their ideas on love offerings. However, what I was looking for was advice in how to handle this evangelist who was begging for money with his 3 page letter.

    Thank you again for your ideas.
     
  15. HappyG

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    I am the son of an evangelist and traveled with my dad from age 5 until graduating from high school. My father is still a full-time evangelist to date...33 years and running.

    I grew up hanging around the children of Ron Comfort, Dave Baughan, and Neil Cadwell and others if that rings a bell.

    The concept of charging a traveling expense is not new...it has been around for....well...33 years. And $125 is cheap...I think that is less than most asked for back when I was traveling with my dad...and he wasn't making a "profit" on traveling in any sense of the word.


    My opinion in reference to what you should do? If you don't like the letter that he sent or when he sent it, certainly don't confront him about it before the meeting...you will probably make him as "uncomfortable" about being at your church as you were about getting the letter. I think that would defeat the purpose that you invited him for.

    I suggest you watch him throughout the week and if you think he is "money" motivated...don't have him back. If you find out he isn't such a bad guy, then maybe the letter will make more sense to you and you will see it in a different light.

    As far as what I would do personally in the same situation....I wouldn't have "evangelists" at my church. I think it is an ineffective way to reach a secular and post-modern culture. People have too many questions to come out to one service and "convert." That just isn't the way it works. People need "conversations" and an "evangelistic service" in my opinion isn't a very effective way for people to do that.
     
  16. Greg Linscott

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    As a pastor of a small New England church as well, I can identify with what you are saying. However, I would also agree with those who are saying that $125 isn't that much. Even in a small church, that is practically not much more than standard pulpit supply money. While we pastors aren't in it for the money, we would sertainly be lax if we did not specify to our respective churches what our living expenses were. Perhaps this brother found himself in a situation where he needed the $125 to even get there (or get out when the meeting was over).

    I think HappyG's advice is sound- see him through the week and find out what motivates him. You may find yourself making a big deal out of nothing, and maybe not.

    While we're on the bigger topic of Evangelists- here's a question for you pastors and churches who still have evangelists minister on a regular basis: How often do you have the same evangelist in? Right now, we are having our first special meetings since I have been the pastor here with Evangelist Frank Bailey. I'm hoping to put him in a three or four year rotation with some others (we already have Mike and Mark Herbster scheduled for next year). Do other churches do this?
     
  17. HappyG

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    Hey Greg...just an FYI my father is on a 2-3-4 year rotation with most churches that he goes too.

    One of the reasons that it works that way is because "traveling evangelists" usually try to clump meetings in a certain part of the country together for traveling expediency. So if a certain group of churches has an evangelist then the evangelist likes to get hit them at a certain time of the year in a particular year.

    So my dad would make a trip West every other year etc.

    Just an FYI
     
  18. Greg Linscott

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    Thanks! Setting meetings up is all new to me. I've trying to get the word out to other churches in my area who might be interested in our evangelists' ministries- we'll see how it pans out. I'm leaning toward younger evangelists, myself- I'm looking at it from the perspective of forming long-term relationships between these men, my church, and myself.
     
  19. Pastor J

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    Greg,

    We have had a 3 year rotation of evangelists in our church for the last 10 years. It has worked well, but I think a 4 year rotation might even work better.

    On the first note, I agree that the $125 is not a whole lot and that wasn't my issue. Every evangelist we have ever had in has either discussed this with us at the time of booking or has not mentioned it at all. My problem was the timing of the letter and the fact that he spent 3 pages doing it. It gave me a very poor opinion of him.

    As for what I plan to do. I plan on waiting until after the meeting and then discussing his letter with him. I do not wish to have the meeting affected over this. It just isn't worth it.
     
  20. HappyG

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    Greg,

    Your strategy of developing a long-term relationship with some "younger" evangelists, is a good idea.

    Like I mentioned previously I would not have evangelists at my church as we are discussing them. And in fact, even though it would have been easy for me to become one in the sense that I could have traveled with my father for a few years and then branched off on my own, I could never come to the belief that the most effective way for me to exercise my gifts of evangelism which is one of my gifts was by traveling in a truck and trailer and being at churches for a week and then hitting the road.

    But the least that "American evangelists" could do is form partnerships with pastors and stay in touch with them and share ideas and develop relationships that are beneficial year around. Paul and Timothy type relationships.

    If evangelists had interactive websites etc. they could easily accomplish this. Don't know if anyone is doing that but to me it would be the only way to go.
     

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