This guest post is written by my friend Blake Appleby. Blake is a student pastor, but also has a successful speaking ministry at other churches, camps, and youth events. I asked him to write this guest post as a way to help other ministry leaders build a successful speaking ministry for themselves.
I am no expert in the field of itinerate speaking. However, God has provided multiple ways to publically communicate His truth. The following are some beneficial principles to review before launching. These principles cover the basics, and should allow you to start off on the right foot.
1. The Call: If you’re interested in launching a speaking ministry, understand that it is a calling. Make sure you know God is calling you to this area of service. If you’re in it for the money, fame, or your namesake, you’re traveling a dangerous road. Ask God to purify your motives, and don’t just do it because you like to preach.
2. The Communication: Communicate with the Father privately, before communicating with others publicly. If God has called you to this, He will see you through it. He will provide opportunities for you to speak and minister in powerful ways. You won’t have to ask people for opportunities; God will lead you to them. Trust Him!
3. The Connections: Let people know you’re available. However, resist the urge to be pushy about it. Take every opportunity to meet church leaders. Seek to establish a friendship, before establishing a speaking engagement. More than likely, people aren’t going to Google your name, and book you on the spot. If you build a friendship, you’re better off.
4. The Conflict: Most itinerate speakers, don’t hit the road once they’ve built a website and posted a video of themselves preaching. They are typically found serving in a local church. But, this is where conflict arises.
It’s difficult to travel and maintain a ministry in a church. Your pastor might not understand your motives, and your church might not understand the reasoning behind your absence. Therefore, communicate your heart, and submit to the leadership in your church. God will bless you for your submissive spirit and obedience.
5. The Courage: If you’re confident God has called you, be courageous enough to move forward. Contact someone with experience in this area of service. Allow people to find you and connect with you easily (i.e.: website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Take a risk. Be bold. Share your heart.
6. The Conduct: I was speaking with an itinerate speaker last week, and he encouraged me to do two things. First, be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. You don’t have to have the trendiest clothes or the slickest website to make it. Second, preach the hard stuff. Preach what nobody else is preaching. Stand out from the crowd.
I pray this information was a blessing to you. If you have any other questions, or would like to discuss this topic more in depth, contact me at www.blakeappleby.org.