Pinch Speaking … Many Mota (Mota … Mota …)

On most Sunday nights I’ll share something from our service that morning at Forefront. This blog is on the theme of evangelism/outreach, so I’ll still stick to that theme.

So … this morning we had a guest speaker. (When I say “guest speaker” I mean someone from out-of-town.) We’ve been doing Sunday mornings for nine and a half years, and this is only our second guest speaker. I am not a big fan of guest speakers.

Now I am a fan of a preacher not having to speak 52 Sundays of the year, so if the only way you can get a Sunday off is to have a guest speaker – then, sure, have a guest speaker.

But, still, I am not a fan of guest speakers. Why? Well, they aren’t a part of, and don’t get, your culture. Every Sunday morning is critical in connecting with and growing regulars, and especially in connecting with and drawing in newcomers. If your guest speaker blows that, well, that sucks big time. And if he does connect with and draw people in, well, that’s cool but those people are now connected to the wrong person because that dude ain’t coming back.

Also, I hear of a lot of churches who bring in big name guest speakers: “This Sunday we have Ed Young Jr.!” “Next Sunday we have Craig Groeschel!” “We have scheduled Bill Hybles for the Spring of 2019!!” – Now don’t get me wrong, I love all those guys and would be excited to hear them speak, but that’s the point: I love those guys. Why? Because I am a Christian, and I am a preacher. But we’re not trying to reach Christians, and we’re not trying to reach preachers. And so if we announce that Erwin McManus is speaking next Sunday, hopefully everyone in our churches would say, “Who?” and “Who cares?!?” and “We’d rather listen to you!”

In fact, all this week I had people asking me, “I’m not sure if I should invite my friend this Sunday because I don’t know who this guy who’s gonna be speaking is…”

So I’m not a fan of guest speakers … but I am a big fan of developing other people on your staff’s ability to speak. I only preach about 38 times a year, and most of the reason is to get guys on our staff growing in their preaching ability. One huge reason for this is because I’m praying that our staff people will leave Forefront and start churches of their own. Getting up several times a year to preach helps that happen. By next year we’ll have four former staff members who have started new churches, so it seems to be working.

With all that said – our guest speaker today did a great job. But the only reason I had him was because he’s the lead guy at a church we helped plant last year. And our first guest speaker sucked – because he didn’t get our culture. … I am just not a fan of guest speakers.

Next time I’ll share a bit of my story. Until then … scream for me Long Beach!

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