A pastor was inviting various guest speakers, doing massive programs in his young and growing church. While he excitedly reported his “exploits” to his mentor, the response he got provided a timely counsel for every pastor today; “Don’t ever think you will grow that church with guest speakers. Be the guest speaker in your church. Be the one that people are coming to hear.”

Friend, you need to understand how the local church functions. As a pastor, don’t attempt to grow your church with guest speakers. I have been inviting guest speakers for programs for about two decades now, and I have been tremendously blessed by it. Guest speakers are important, but they must not take the place of your labours and responsibility over the local church that you are called to pastor (Jeremiah 3:15).

Just like the human body, the growth of a local church is organic, not cosmetic. We grow from inside out and not vice versa (Ephesians 4:16). As a pastor, dig the foundation of that church. Shape the culture. Determine the spirit that rules in the church. When a church operates with too many and frequent guest speakers, the pastor would unknowingly raise a bastard and confused assembly (1 Corinthians 4:15, Galatians 4:19).

Dear pastor, raise a family for God, and not a conference centre (Psalms 68:6). Hosting guest speakers must be done with wisdom. A guest speaker is coming to add to your work, so you should have serious work going on in your church (1 Corinthians 3:6). Develop your own gifting and calling. Develop confidence and mastery via constant ministrations in your church (1 Timothy 4:12-16, 2 Timothy 1:6-7).

You need to prepare the church for the ministry of the guest speaker to be effective. You will also have to work to properly administer the grace and teaching that he brings to the house (Acts 20:32). Sometimes, you would have lots of counselling to do after a guest speaker visits your church. A guest speaker can open the church to a new season, but you would need to ride and navigate the season.

Don’t invite someone you cannot take care of (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Maximize ministers at your level, too. Don’t only bring fathers and top ministers; also bring friends. Don’t invite guest speakers and be burdened with how to take care of them. Teach your members how to receive and respond to guest speakers. Beyond honorarium, honour the guest speaker, and you will partake of his grace.

Church members should not look down on their pastor because of the ministry of a guest speaker. They should not appreciate a guest speaker more than their pastor. As a pastor, stop jumping here and there. Let your members see that you are always with them. When a pastor is not committed to his church, members will also do the same (Luke 22:28, 1 Corinthians 15:58).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria