Evangelist Gordon Silcox

Proverbs 11:24-26: "There is that
scattereth, and yet increaseth;
and there is that withholdeth
more than is meet, but it tendeth
to poverty.   The liberal soul
shall be made fat: and he that
watereth shall be watered also
himself.   He that withholdeth
corn, the people shall curse him:
but blessing shall be upon the
head of him that selleth it."

On The Care of The Church's Visiting

In Proverbs 11:24-26, we see a Biblical
principle on giving.   There is a way of
giving that will enrich the giver.   There is
also the contrast taught here of the one who
withholdeth and the consequences of
withholding.   The generous giver is rewarded
and the giver who withholdeth shall be
impoverished.   The liberal giver is like a
sower who scattereth the seeds of kindness
in all directions.   The other keeps back
what is needed.   The one who is caught up in
greed and miserliness is always the loser.
The liberal soul shall be made fat.   The
Bible speaks much about the covetous.   These
verses in Proverbs tell us that every effort
or influence has a reaction.   The scattering
increaseth, the liberal soul gets fat.
Generous men and churches are rewarded with
many blessings from God.   It also brings
wealth of soul.   Luke 6:38 teaches the same

Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be
given unto you; good measure,
pressed down, and shaken
together, and running over, shall
men give into your bosom.   For
with the same measure that ye
mete withal it shall be measured
to you again."

To withhold always tends to poverty and most
often to moral poverty.   The man or church
who receives but does not give liberally
will gradually sink into spiritual poverty.
God loves a cheerful giver.

II Corinthians 9:7: "Every man
according as he purposeth in his
heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for
God loveth a cheerful giver."

To withhold when there is a need brings a
curse on the head of the one who withholds.
There is an old proverb which does apply to
churches and pastors who are generous in
their care of visiting evangelists and
speakers.   It goes like this:

"The truly generous is the truly
wise; and he who loves not others
lives unblest."

Galatians 6:7-8 tells it plainly.

Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not
deceived; God is not mocked: for
whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap.   For he that
soweth to his flesh shall of the

flesh reap corruption; but he
that soweth to the Spirit shall
of the Spirit reap life

Churches need to learn this principle of
divine giving.   That is why we feel led to
write this message.   "The liberal soul shall
be made fat[.]"
  With the above text in mind
we will consider the proper care of the
visiting speaker in the church of divine
origin.   The church of divine origin is an
independent Bible practicing Baptist church.
It is the church that Jesus built in
Jerusalem during His own personal ministry.
It is the church that He promised perpetuity
to in Matthew 16:18.   This is the kind of
church that all the apostles built and
preached in during their own ministries on
this earth.   In Ephesians 4:1-12, the
apostle Paul is writing to the church at
Ephesus.   He encourages them to walk worthy
of the vocation whereby they were called.
He wanted them to continue on in the life
they had professed in Christ.   To Paul it
was a divine call for these saints to
continue on serving the Lord in the
particular office which the Lord had placed
them.   He then encourages them to keep the
unity of the spirit.   He reminds them that
there is only one body, spirit, hope, Lord,
faith, baptism and God and Father of us all.
In Verses 11 and 12, he mentions some of the
offices of the church and reminds them that
these particular places of service are for
the edifying of the body of Christ, which is
the assembly of the saints.

Colossians 1:18: "And he is the

head of the body, the church: who
is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead; that in all things
he might have the preeminence."

Ephesians 1:22-23: "And hath put
all things under his feet, and
gave him to be the head over all
things to the church, Which is
his body, the fulness of him
that filleth all in all."

One of the offices he mentions is the office
of evangelist.   The evangelist is a
missionary who goes from place to place and
country to country edifying the churches and
establishing churches.   Paul writing to
Timothy in II Timothy 4:5 encouraged him to
do the work of an evangelist.   There is
little difference between an evangelist and
a missionary.   They are messengers of good
news, they proclaim glad tidings.   They
preach, teach and evangelize the churches
they are invited to.   The work of an
evangelist is a scriptural work and the
evangelist must be under the authority of a
local church which sends him.   Some churches
have staff evangelists and missionaries who
go out under the authority of that
particular church.   We believe this is the
scriptural and proper procedure that is
found in the New Testament.

It is, therefore, a special office of
edifying churches that God gives to certain
men.   It is, therefore, vital that both
parties conduct themselves in an ethical and
scriptural manner in their relationship to
each other.   The visiting speaker, whether

a full time evangelist, a foreign
missionary, a youth evangelist, or a
conference speaker, etc., must conduct
himself in a proper and ethical manner.
Likewise, the churches which host these
speakers must also be ethical and scriptural
in their care of the visiting speakers.   The
apostle Paul commended the saints in
Philippi for their good care of him.

Philippians 4:10: "But I rejoiced
in the Lord greatly, that now at
the last your care of me hath
flourished again; wherein ye were
also careful, but ye lacked

It has been this writer's observation that
many churches and visiting speakers do not
understand what proper care and conduct is.
It is because of this lack of understanding
that this writer has been prompted by the
Holy Spirit to write on this subject.   The
visiting speaker needs to leave a good
testimony behind when he leaves town after
the meeting.   The church also, if it is to
have the blessing of God upon its ministry,
must learn to properly care for the servants
of God that the Holy Spirit leads to their
church.   The liberal soul will be blessed of
the Lord.   The law of sowing and reaping
does apply.   We will look at several areas
that concern both the church and the
visiting speaker.

The Invitation To The Visiting Speaker

It is always important that any invitation
to a speaker to come to a church be bathed

in prayer.   No invitation should be extended
without both parties being led of the Holy
Spirit.   Only prayer can determine this.
The pastor should ask his church to pray for
him as he seeks the Lord's will in what
missionary, evangelist or speaker of any
kind he is considering.   The more prayer
that is given the better the speaker and the
meeting will be.   The pastor may call the
speaker he is considering and set up the
meeting.   He, however, needs to also send a
letter of confirmation to the speaker.   The
speaker should then, before he replies in
the affirmative, pray also about going to
the church.   This is especially important in
the area of revival and missions
conferences.   Then the speaker should send
a letter, not a phone call, of confirmation.
There have been some embarrassing moments
with some churches and speakers when dates
were different or the speaker came at the
wrong time or did not even show up.   Both
parties should not be slothful in these
business matters.   No church should ever
cancel a speaker when a more famous one
becomes available.   If prayer has been made
and the Holy Spirit has led, leave it as it
is.   No speaker should cancel a meeting in
a small church where the honorarium will be
small for a larger church which will give
more.   If God led in the selection, then the
church and speaker should leave it that way.
Sometimes a call comes like this, "Hello
brother, I have been planning a revival
meeting in our church and I have called
several men and none are available.   Can you
come these dates?"
  Special prayer is needed
before the speaker says yes or no under
these circumstances!   No evangelist really

wants to be "the only one we could get."   It
is more important that it be "the Lord led
us to bring our brother in for this

Preparation For The Meeting

The evangelist needs to begin early seeking
the leadership of the Lord in his selection
of messages.   Prayer and meditation is very
important in this area.   This writer does
not want to know the condition of the church
as he selects his messages.   The church
should also begin having prayer meetings
long before the speaker arrives.   Even
before the invitation is extended to the
visiting speaker, the pastor should
determine if the church can afford a
meeting.   No speaker should be brought in
without proper prayer and preparation for
his care.   Some pastors bring in speakers to
take care of unpleasant things they
themselves refuse to speak on or deal with.
No visiting speaker wants to be the
disciplinarian for the week of meetings.
The expense for the meeting should, if
possible, be raised before the meeting
begins.   In a lot of churches the last one
to get paid is the speaker.   He often gets
what is left over.   Most churches have
little understanding of the expense a
traveling speaker has.   His travel expense
should be paid to him in advance of his
arrival.   If he flies to a meeting, he often
must purchase the tickets in advance to get
the lowest fare.   Sometimes he must pay the
travel agent or the charge card banker.
This can mean extra charges including
interest.   If he drives to a meeting, he

will have a great deal of expense also.   See
that the expense check arrives on time so he
can properly prepare for the meeting.   If he
has a secretary, he has that additional
expense also.   The traveling speaker also
has a tremendous phone bill, much more than
a pastor of a church.   His car expense
incurred does not cover it all either.   Cars
do wear out.   A church may pay for his gas,
oil, meals, motels, etc., but what about
that expensive car he wears out in three to
four years of driving 40,000 miles per year?
Many times I have been handed a check at the
end of a meeting.   This check was to cover
the expense and the honorarium.   When the
expense were paid, little or nothing
remained.   No speaker will long survive
under those conditions.   Sometimes a pastor
will say at the close of a meeting,
"Preacher, this is all we have at this time,
but we will send more later."
  Then he never
sends it.   He has more speakers in, but he
should never bring another one in until the
first one is properly cared for.   I have
been in meetings where the check did not
cover the expense of getting to the meeting.
Remember the visiting speaker has expenses
at home to cover in addition to the ones he
incurs on the road.   I realize that
sometimes last minute problems can occur
which hinder the church in its giving.   Yet,
in time that should be corrected.   I once
held a meeting in a church and drove 150
miles to get there on a Saturday evening.
I had to drive home that night to be in my
own pulpit the next day.   At the close of
the service an offering was taken for the
visiting speaker.   I overheard the treasurer
ask the pastor what to do with a check put

in the offering made out to me.   He told the
treasurer to have the person make out
another one to the church and they would
give me one check.   That is fine and proper.
However, upon leaving the pastor said, "We
will send you a check."
  I never received
one.   Will God honour such a practice?   No.
That preacher is out of the ministry and
ought to be.

The Honorarium

Some prefer to call it a love offering.   I
personally feel a more accurate title is
honorarium.   The love offering is a gift.
Any speaker who gives his best earns his
honorarium.   The laborer is worthy of his
hire (Luke 10:7).   It is in fact his pay for
that week.   The traveling speaker has
expenses that few people think about.   His
expenses such as postage, phone, gas, etc.
must be paid on time also.   If he has two or
three small honorariums in a row, he has
great difficulty paying these bills.   He
must go home once in awhile and those days
or weeks he does not get paid.   He will also
have last minute cancellations which are
often to late to fill.   Sometimes he is
asked to preach at preacher fellowship
meetings where many speakers attend - none
of which get any love offering.   However,
the visiting pastors are paid that week but
the visiting evangelist is not.   It is
impossible for an evangelist to attend very
many of such conferences, he can not afford
to.   It is a blessing when some pastors give
an offering to the traveling speaker to help
defray his cost of coming to the meeting.

So, what is a good honorarium?   This can
vary depending on the location of the church
hosting the meeting.   However, a good
criteria is as follows.   In the last church
I pastored for 24 years, we began in 1966
giving $25.00 for each time the visiting
speaker spoke.   We also paid his expenses.
When I resigned that pastorate in 1990, we
were giving a minimum of $100 for each
service preached, plus expenses.   That is
not any too much.   At this writing, I
believe it should be even higher.   If a
church has a pastor of another church in who
does not give up any salary to come, the
amount may be lower.   The traveling speaker
does need a higher amount in his honorarium
than a visiting pastor will need.   Yes, I
believe a God called evangelist should be
properly cared for in the honorarium.   Yes,
they could be paid too much.   If that were
the case in all of the churches there would
be men in evangelism who were not God but
financially called.   I do think we who
travel as evangelists need to exercise faith
in the area of finances as well as other
areas.   However at the time of this writing,
there are not as many evangelists as there
once were and part of that situation results
from poor financial care by the churches.
Evangelists should be properly and
prayerfully paid.

No visiting speaker should ever receive or
keep money from members that has not first
of all gone through the offering plate.   If
someone slips me money, I always go
immediately to the pastor, tell him and give
it to him.   It is unethical for an
evangelist to not only keep such money

without the pastor's knowledge, but also
taking anything without the pastor's
knowledge.   No speaker should write to
members of other churches without the
pastor's knowledge.   Tape ministries have
also caused much distress.   I do not sell or
give my preaching tapes to members without
the pastor's knowledge.   They need only one
pastor.   I am not that pastor.   Tape
ministries improperly conducted have caused
countless problems in churches across
America.   No evangelist should ever leave a
church with a mailing list of the church's
members.   No tapes, books or tracts should
be sold, sent or given to church members
without the pastor's approval.   Some
evangelists sell tapes, books, etc. from
necessity.   It keeps them in the ministry of
evangelism because of the income it
generates, but it should never be done
without the pastor's approval.

Accommodations For The Visiting Speaker

I do not recommend putting the visiting
speaker in a home of any of the members of
the host church.   There will be times when
it will be necessary, but it is not always
the best way to house a speaker.   The
speaker needs privacy.   He does not always
get it in a home.   He is constantly before
churches and people.   He needs a break from
the constant hand shaking, questions,
calling, preaching and teaching.   Some
pastors keep him up late asking questions
and fellowshipping.   So, he needs a place
and a time to rest and catch his breath.   In
a home he often may share a bath, put up
with cats, dogs or other pets.   Phone calls

sometime need to be private and in a home
that is not always possible.   Putting the
visiting speaker in a home often puts him
between problems in the church.   I do not
want to run the risk of staying in a home of
a member of a church and end up being in the
middle of some controversy or having some
problem develop later with that family and
then be accused of starting it when I stayed
in their home.   Many years ago visiting
speakers did stay mostly in homes because
that was about the only place they could
stay.   Today, however, we see a totally
different condition of our churches and
families.   I do not recommend putting the
speaker in the member's home in these days
in which we live.

The visiting speaker should be put in a
decent, clean motel or hotel where he is
comfortable.   Just because a motel is cheap
does not assure his comfort or cleanliness.
Wherever he stays, put him in a good bed.
Roll-a-way beds are killers.   The couch bed
is even worse.   He changes beds a lot and
needs a good one.   Sometimes I have stayed
in homes where the pastor gave up his bed
and private bath for us.   That is nice, but
the pastor needs rest too.   There is one
good advantage of staying in a pastor's
home.   The speaker and the pastor and his
family will know each other better.   Often
this leads to more prayer and better
meetings.   If he does stay in a home, make
sure it is private, quiet, clean and large
enough (get him a small desk), and what any
member would be proud to stay in themselves.
Some pastors work and must leave early.
That means the speaker must get up early and

leave with the pastor.   Some pastors never
think of the testimony of trying to allow a
speaker to stay in a place where a wife or
daughter is home alone with the speaker.
That is pure ignorance and ought never to
happen.   Always check the speaker's dietary
needs ahead of time.   Honor his requests as
to the type and volume of food he can
partake of.   No special week of meetings
should develop into a cooking and eating
contest with the ladies of the church.   Put
a fruit basket in his room and give him some
spending money so he can go out to eat with
his wife in private once in awhile.   The
thoughtfulness of those who have done this
for us has meant much and added to the
blessing of the meeting.   If the speaker
flies to a meeting, provide some
transportation for him, either some member's
extra car or a rental car.   Some churches
have what they call missionary apartments,
most of which are very inadequate.   It is
either up a long flight of stairs, has no
bath, or is so small you have to fold the
bed up during the day.   Often there is no
desk, no windows, no phone and a very lumpy
bed.   Few missionary apartments are fit for
more than an overnight stay.   I recommend
that all pastors whose churches have
missionary apartments stay in their own
missionary apartment for one full week with
their family.   This, I think, will improve
many such apartments.

The Visiting Speaker's Ministry in The

The visiting speaker is there to preach and
teach.   Some pastors work him to death.
They call with him all day and then give him
little time for study, prayer and rest.

Some pastors appear to be trying to prove to
the speaker what a great door knocker they
are.   Give him at least his mornings or
afternoons free.   He is not there to do the
work of the pastor.   He is the evangelist.
He may help you do some worthy things, but
do not wear him out.   Give him time before
the evening service to rest and prepare.
Traveling is a very tiring thing and he
needs to be fresh for the preaching
services.   I enjoy calling and helping the
pastor, but I am not able physically to go
from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. week after
week.   My teaching and preaching is the most
important thing I do.


No evangelist should council any church
member without the pastor's approval and
presence.   Personally, I would never use any
evangelist who had not had some pastoral
experience.   He must always have the pastor
and his church in mind in whatever he says
or does.   The vineyard should be better
because he was there.   The pastor's position
should be enhanced and the church edified.
He should send a thank you note for each
church he speaks in.   These are God's
churches and God's shepherds.   They must be
treated properly.

May the Lord bless this writing to improve
the relationship between the churches and
the visiting speakers.

Evangelist Gordon Silcox

Larimore, North Dakota   58251

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