Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Ministry of the Word”

What’s Your Speaking Fee?

Kingdom leaders are often given invitations to teach and preach the Word of God to others. This is a humbling and sobering responsibility. “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God…” 1 Peter 4:11 NIV

There may come invitations to speak to groups outside of your normal ministry audience. How do you process those invitations? How do you respond to the question about speaking fees? Below are some guidelines that have helped me over the years regarding speaking invitations.

  1. Receive the invitation graciously and with thankfulness. Respond promptly so the event planner knows if they need to keep looking for another speaker.
  2. If you already have another commitment, say ‘no’ graciously and if desired, suggest another speaker for the event.
  3. Never accept or reject an invitation to minister the Word of God to others based upon the size of the audience or the amount of the honorarium.
  4. If choosing between different invitations on the same dates, select based upon most alignment with your personal mission statement.
  5. When asked whether you have a ‘speaking fee’ here is how I respond.
    • “I would hope that you will be able to pay for my travel expenses (flights, rental car, personal car mileage, meals, lodging).”
    • “Beyond these expenses I don’t charge a fee to speaking. Whatever your event budget allows is fine. All honorariums are gratefully accepted.”
  6. Because I don’t make a living from my speaking ministry, all income from this is ‘extra’ income. Our donor base generously supports our personal ministry and should I accept additional speaking engagements outside of our regular ministry responsibilities, any income generated is extra.
  7. Should you be making a living from your speaking and writing (i.e. you are an author and are invited to speak re your book contents), then it seems a speaking fee could be appropriate. Just be sure that the amount charged for speaking is appropriate for the audience. Religious non-profits don’t have the same budgets as corporate enterprises.
  8. Entrust your provision and reward to the Lord. He will provide for you and your family whether you have a ‘speaking fee’ or not.

Remember the lesson from the leadership of Nehemiah who entrusted himself to the Lord –

But the earlier governors–those preceding me–placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. … I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people. Nehemiah 5:15, 18-19 NIV

Kingdom Leaders and the Word

Study it through, Pray it in, Live it out, Pass it on.       Leighton Ford

Jesus reminds us that it is the seed of the Word of God the Kingdom worker plants that springs forth in the life soil of an individual (Mark 4:14).  Peter reminds us that we have been born again by the seed of the Word of God –  “… since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…” 1 Peter 1:23 ESV

A mark of a Kingdom leader is that they saturate their life and leadership with the Scriptures.  Not in a proof text, Post-it note kind of way – “Ooops, I’d better add a verse to this so that it sounds more spiritual.”  Rather, they have so embedded themselves in the Word of God that it naturally flows from them as they live and lead others to accomplish mission for the glory of God.

Note in the above quote that the first three steps regarding saturating our life and leadership with the Bible are internally focused.  We study the Word, not in a purely academic sense, but rather, with an eye towards applying it to ourselves and then to others.

Next we pray over the Scriptures with a meditative, contemplative attitude, expecting God to speak to us personally.  He will speak to our current situations and challenges, directing our paths and helping us sort out His voices from the cacophony that that surrounds us.  In Isaiah 30:21 (ESV) He promises, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

Next in the ministry of the Word is that we have to apply it to ourselves before we share it with others.  It was Howard Hendricks who said, “If it does not work at ‘home,’ don’t export it!”  Hypocrisy is by definition not living what you instruct others to be or do and Jesus had much to say about hypocrites – none of it positive!

Lastly, having studied, prayed and personally applied the Word, we now share it with others.  We align our leadership with God’s ways and seek to bring glory to Him, knowing that we will give an account for our actions at the end of our days. Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” And James gives Kingdom leaders this sobering reminder, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1 ESV)

Thus, we do humbly serve the King and seek to advance His Kingdom by honoring His Word in our life and leadership.  Are you seeking to saturate your life with the Word?  Are you pursuing knowing Him and abiding in Him by meeting Him daily in the Scriptures?

Use the Word!

I can remember going to the house of my mentor as a young staff, lifting up the phone cradle (now you know this is a dated reference), and seeing these words taped onto the phone base: “Use the Word!”

As I reflect on the numerous phone calls with this person over the years that reminder has become a lifestyle – not only for him but also for me.  The ministry of the Word of God to me and others was never an afterthought or a superfluous appendix to our conversations.  Rather, it was an integral, woven, natural part of our friendship.  We shared the Word with each other and integrated it into our life and ministry together.

The following is some more elaboration a Kingdom leader’s ministry of the Word.

  • People that have Word gifts (a designation from Dr. Bobby Clinton – teaching, exhortation, prophecy, etc.) have the ability to use the Word in such a way that it impacts people strongly.  Though each uses the Word in a slightly different way, the impact upon people is strongly evident.  It is evident to me, just from watching how people listen when gifted people speak, who has these gifts and who has developed their gifts.

Regardless of your giftedness, all leaders are communicators and primary communicators of the mission and vision.  Be intentional about developing your communication skills, especially your ministry of the Word!

  • We all need to develop our giftedness for maximum impact for Christ.  We should look to take opportunities to minister the Word to various audiences on various topics.  Besides gaining much experience, always ask someone to critique your ministry of the Word at any opportunity.  Even young people can be valuable sources of feedback, if you limit and focus their critique.  For example, ask them to give you feedback on the introduction only – did it get their attention, was it clear where you wanted to go in the message, how was your appearance, diction, word choice, any weird mannerisms, etc.  Every time you speak try and get better in one particular area.
  • The ministry of the Word can take other forms besides speaking – writing is another way to use Word gifts.  Why not try and write some materials.  Start a blog, develop a bible study, pamphlet, or write an article on a topic you are excited about and share it.
  • Bring the Word to bear whenever you are leading:  1-2-1 times, team meetings, phone conversations, etc.  You will see God blessing your ministry.  It is the Word that the Sower sows that produces much fruit in its season.
  • In addition to more experience and critique, some purposeful development in this area can be a help.  Here are some ideas:  find someone who is a gifted communicator and ask them for some tips or ask them to train you if you have access to them long term; when you’re in meetings pick the brains of the speaker on how they minister the Word; read books on preaching, communication, public speaking, or teaching; sign up for a homiletics course at your local bible college or seminary; take the local homiletics professor in a seminary to lunch and pick their brain for ideas and resources.
  • Pray and ask God to use you with power as you minister the Word.  I read the biography of D.L. Moody some time ago and noted that he prayed for power as he ministered the Word.  Suddenly his ministry changed and God enabled him to speak in such a way as never before.  You can do the same.
  • Charles Spurgeon said, “Set yourself on fire and people will come and watch you burn.”  You will have to saturate your life with the Word so that it ‘oozes out your pores’ as you lead.  This takes a disciplined effort to get time alone with God and His Word.  It will not be easy and others will have no idea of the price you pay to get deep in the Word.  They will only be blessed by your ministry as you draw from the deep well you dig in the Word.  Jesus sees and He will reward.

Finally, remember Mike Treneer’s exhortation to us all:  Lead from the Word and into the Word!  May you sow the Good Seed as you lead!

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