I’m reflecting tonight on how the Lord used my friend @clayton_king @biltmore this weekend. I’m grateful for Clayton’s ministry and how he is good example of the guidelines a guest preacher should follow.
1. Stay within your allotted time. – If the host church says you have 30 minutes, it’s disrespectful to preach 45. There are a ton of issues to consider, especially in a church with multiple services or multiple campuses. Things like parking, childcare, etc can get majorly fouled up if you go way over. Yes, I know there are times when God is moving and you “have to” go on, but usually going way over is less about what the Lord is doing and more about what you are doing.
2. If asked to preach something, preach it. – If the lead pastor is in a teaching series, he might ask you to continue in the series. If you don’t have time to prepare from the text he asks, either ask if there is flexibility or decline the invitation. (Note: I usually try to work it where the guest preacher does not have to develop a new message- they are called “sugar sticks” for a reason.)
3. Familiarize yourself with the church’s culture and methods – Different churches have different methods and cultures. Make sure you know how they handle the invitation time, the dress, etc.
4. Don’t say stupid or inflammatory stuff – In today’s “shock jock” culture, occasionally communicators (even in churches) will use very questionable language or illustrations to try to be memorable or edgy. If you want to do that, don’t do it as a guest and leave the pastors in that church to clean up your mess.
5. Compliment the church and the pastor toward the beginning of your message. – Don’t overdue it but a few initial kind comments about the church and/or pastor can go a long way.