In 2008, I attended a conference at Milwaukee Wisconsin as I sat and listened to a very powerful speaker, I mentioned to a friend who attended the conference “this will be the last time this man will speak here. He will not be invited in future”.
My friend laughed it off saying that won’t happen pastor. What made me, in spite of the fact that the host of the conference does have great respect forthis speaker and they are visibly close, make such a statement; this man was breaching protocols as he preached.
I knew in me that even though his sessions were quite impactful he would not be coming back anytime soon. This is 2016 and he hasn’t still been invited back even though all other speakers at that meeting that year have come back at various times through the years.
What have I learnt about ministering on the platform of others?
KEEP TO TIME
When invited to speak, if not indicated, ask for the allotted time and make sure you do not exceed that time even by a minute. Do not say when you are up on stage and your time is up, “the Spirit has impressed it upon my heart to do so and so”.
The only reason why you are saying that is this, your heart is beginning to tell you, you are crossing boundaries here, stop. The spirit of every prophet is subject to that prophet Paul taught and in the context of what he was saying he meant even if the Holy Spirit has impressed something in your heart, for the sake of decency and order, hold your peace. Keeping the order is more important than your revelation or prophetic utterance. 1Cor 14:30-33
AVOID TRYING TO SOUND LIKE YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE SET MAN.
Even if you notice something “wrong” in that ministry, the pulpit is not where you start trying to correct it. You are a guest minister full stop. You don’t go into a house where you have been graciously invited for dinner and start correcting the parents in front of their children. That is simply bad manners. Heard someone say the act of disrespect is something that takes long to reverse. Avoid the temptation of your 15minutes of fame, where you start criticizing either the theme of the meeting or the reasons given for holding the meeting. If you truly are not in agreement with the theme and the flow of the conference, decline the invitation.
DONT INJECT YOURSELF INTO LOCAL POLITICS
Don’t allow leaders or church members to whisper things into your ears and you in turn ask if they can meet up with you privately without taking clearance from your host. You must never be found injecting yourself into what is going on within that ministry without telling those who approach you that you will speak to your host about what has been said. Never betray the trust of the one who opened the door of his ministry to you. Within the local church you belong to, if you are given the opportunity to minister never use that as a platform to create your personal group or little camp. That is what Paul referred to as drawing disciples unto yourself and it is a character trait of a wolf. In all the local churches i attended and was a member, 3 in number, i did serve but never had the opportunity to preach publicly but i still got into ministry and God poured out His grace. You don’t set up your own ministry within another church, simply out of order.
WHEN YOU HAVE EARNED TRUST, WALK IN HUMILITY
If you are now being regularly invited to speak at a place, never take it for granted. Walk in humility. Follow all the protocols set down as though it was your first time there. Don’t start throwing your weight around. Don’t ask for the microphone to add your thoughts to what another speaker just said and such like. Remain humble.