The most common and obvious question I receive from pastors and ministry leaders who invite me to speak is in regard to financial compensation for ministry. What do I charge? What are my expectations?
The answer is very simple. All I ask is for simple travel and lodging to be covered. If food can be included, that’s a blessing. I do not have a set amount of money that I require from a church before I will minister. Anything you provide beyond food and lodging is a blessing that helps provide for my family so that we can continue devoting our lives and time to ministry.
If the church or event is within a half-hour of my home (in Canton, Michigan), I do not need any compensation for travel. If traveling by car, I will usually come with my wife and boys. If the church or ministry cannot afford lodging for all four of us, then I will be happy to come alone. The current “business” rate-per-mile is preferred.
If distance requires air travel, then I’m happy to travel alone. Economy class is fine–I don’t need any special treatment. If I do travel by air, I’ll need someone to receive me at the airport and provide for my return. Since my nearest airport (Detroit, DTW) is a major Delta hub, I try to fly exclusively with them in order to accumulate air miles and perks that make a life of travel a little more comfortable. Feel free to shop around for the cheapest airfare on the proper dates (other than Spirit Airlines, due to hidden fees), send that amount, and I’ll book with Delta and cover the difference out of pocket (since it’s usually a little more expensive). Please do let me know where you found your flights, though, because occasionally they’re the best option.
My wife works 6 months of the year, during which time I almost always need to travel by air so that I can help at home as much as possible (except where driving is within 6 hours of Canton, MI). Those months are late April through August and also October. The rest of the year, we are often able to travel even long distances together as a family (by car), though we may need lodging along the way (We try not to travel more than 6 hours each day for the sake of our kids).
If the church is within a one-hour drive of my home (in Canton, Michigan), then I’m happy to commute for each day of meetings. If, however, distance requires lodging, I am happy to sleep on the floor of a tent in the church’s backyard. Anything beyond that is a blessing! I do not have a problem staying with a host-family or sleeping at the church. I would, however, like to be able to shower so as not to offend the visitors!
I can be happy with peanut-butter and jelly, three meals a day. Anything more is a blessing.
While some of these statements may have seemed like humor on my part, I truly do mean them. I care more about ministering and representing Jesus than I care about my own personal comfort. I regularly minister in the bush of Uganda, traveling each day on muddy roads, sometimes with three of us on one motorcycle or 20 of us squeezed into a van. No electricity. No running water. And I love it there! My desire is to love the Church rather than be a burden to my brothers and sisters.
If a church or ministry wants to receive a love offering or provide some other form of honorarium, I consider it an honor; but again, I do not have any set requirements as these are concerned. I minister at churches based upon the leading of the Holy Spirit–not based upon the size of the congregation or the potential income.
Finally, if your church cannot afford any of the above requests, simply let me know. If I sense the Lord directing me your way, then I will try to raise the money another way. Do not let finances be a reason for not inviting me–I truly want to serve however I can.
If you’d like for me to minister at your church or event, please fill out the invitation form.