Having just completed five meetings in four days across four counties, namely a modest, yet wonderful, house group, Methodist ladies group, men’s breakfast, evangelistic outreach and Pentecostal service I do have a certain concern. It isn’t bombing with my message, being repetitive, boring people or even burning out, it’s becoming ‘a speaker’ rather than an achiever who speaks, or worse still, a dreaded International Conference Speaker. In the bible some of the best churches were small groups and some of the best preaching was out in the community at large, yet it’s the christian conference that holds most kudos today. Infectious and lunatic titles abound, but we’ve resisted ‘Internationally Acclaimed Jedi Knight and Ten-Fold Blessing River Flowing Conference Speaker’ with ‘the Most Anointed Blessed Woman of Power for the Hour.’ We just settle for Paul and Marian, the Classic Combination, a gentle play on the motorbike & sidecar.
Years ago evangelistic crusades and gospel campaigns were common. Sadly these have long been replaced by conferences and the old evangelists and bible teachers have been pushed so far out of vogue I suspect some of them have starved to death. Some conferences are of course very good with well proven pastors, world changers, achievers and anointed teachers. Unfortunately though too many conference speakers really are just speakers and aren’t even embarrassed to be known as such. The most surreal examples are the denominational officials who don’t actually do anything significant at all, there are of course office holders who are achievers and worthy of respect, but too many are just career pastors with managerial sounding positions. To demonstrate just how outrageous, grandiose and absurd these types of speaker are I’ve watched men who have closed dozens of congregations and cashed in numerous church properties shamelessly promote themselves as internationally renowned, world-class, sought-after, anointed and profound international conference speakers. It’s not funny any more, is it?
Be discerning dear reader, ignore the glossy fliers and find out what each conference speaker is actually achieving. Have they got a ministry, not a title, a ministry? Support the folk who are really doing something and whom God is doing something in. God called pastors, evangelists, apostles, prophets and bible teachers (Ephesians 4) to equip you so find them and reach the international communities around you yourself!