Isaiah 52:7 (NKJV)
How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
The proven answer through centuries of Christian service is a resounding “Yes”.
There are benefits to both the preacher and his people. For example:
- A well-timed and well-prepared for revival can literally change the entire direction and atmosphere of your church.
- Guest speakers can give a fresh perspective on the “vision of the house”. Varity is the spice of life—no matter how well you preach or teach, sometimes a new voice will help the people “get it” and also prepare them to better hear your voice.
- Assuming you will stay with your regular study schedule, a guest speaker can also help you to prepare ahead a little in your preaching—allowing you to have more depth.
- Finally, allowing others to speak in your place allows opportunities for you to cultivate the preaching/teaching gift in the lives of other God-called preachers and teachers.
These are just a few reasons that I would encourage you bring in guest speakers from time-to-time.
Now here’s my advice when doing this:
Schedule your special meetings for a specific reason (this is huge).
In my younger days I often scheduled meetings because “we’ve always done it that way” or because I wanted to help a friend or to just stir up a little excitement. We’d have our meetings and then life would go back to normal but nothing had really changed. That’s not good. Use revivals and special meetings to compliment what God is leading you and your church to do at the time.
For example, in the earlier part of this year at FMCOG we were finishing up 40-days of spiritual renewal—I wanted to end on a high note that would propel us into the rest of the year. I scheduled my speaker according and thankfully the results were just what I had prayed for—we haven’t look back since that meeting. Looking forward to my fall revival that begins tomorrow the emphasis will be different. We will focus on what all the spiritual preparation was for: proclaiming the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost (the primary purpose of Pentecost). As a result I have scheduled dynamic speakers that are called and gifted in this area.
The point is this: the goal is not to just bring in your friends or some “hot shot” speaker that may draw a crowd but not build the church. Using a sport’s metaphor, the goal is the push the ball up the field. Invite speakers that can really help you with the mission God has given you and your people.
Here are few more “bullet point” hints:
- Prepare your people for revival well in advance. This is so obvious that we sometimes miss it.
- Pay your speakers well—don’t look for “deals”, the preacher is worthy of their hire. God will honor you and your church if you bless the man or woman of God that is your guest.
- Don’t allow your insecurity to keep you from getting the most qualified speakers—go with the best you can get to get the best results.
- Remember, revivals are not “silver bullets”. There is no substitute for faithful, consistent, and anointed week in and week out preaching of the Holy Scripture…and that’s your job.