You’ve decided that you would like to have someone other than you speak on your next retreat, but need some advice on how to go about doing it. Well, before you book Rob Bell, here is some advice:
She may be an awesome teacher and preacher, but if she can’t communicate to youth you will be disappointed in the end. (I would argue that a great preacher should be effective at relating to youth, but they may not always be the case.)
If you have never heard him preach, then how can you be sure what you are getting? Better than hearing him preach is hearing him speak to youth. Folks who speak regularly often have recordings or videos on their websites that you can listen to.
The Church is divided in wide varieties (denominations) and theological understandings. If you are going to spend money to bring someone in to inspire, teach, or preach to your students you want to make sure you will not spend the weekend trying to correct his theology. When you attend a youth event, you may not have any control over this (other than doing your own homework on whether the event is a good fit for your group), but when you book someone you are responsible.
I personally had to give someone the hook at a large event, because we trusted a friend’s opinion and experience without doing our homework. I don’t recommend it and I had to pay him anyway.
Speakers come in a wide variety of price ranges. Most of you will not be booking someone famous, but you might book a sought after youth speaker. I believe $150 a day should be the minimum that you pay someone. Most veteran youth ministers who speak are going to expect to be paid $1000 to $1200 for a weekend event and $1500 to $2500 for a week. A recognized speaker for a weekend could cost $3000. Keep in mind that you should pay the speaker’s expenses including transportation to and from the retreat and room and board while at your event.
Folks who speak regularly will have a contract that they send you that simply outlines the agreement. If they do not, you should make one. It should include:
Don’t neglect the most important part: communicate with your speaker about the following:
I recommend giving your speaker a detailed order of worship for each worship time on the retreat. At the retreat set up a meeting at least an hour prior to worship to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is happening.
A great speaker can really enhance everyone’s overall experience. Make sure you do your part to make sure you find someone who will be great for your group. A lot of this advice comes from learning the hard way. Click here to read the companion to this article, How2 Book a Worship Band.
What have you learned about booking a speaker?
CYMT is excited about its newest endeavor, Theology Together. Theology Together educates both teenagers and youth workers as they engage in theological reflection, spiritual practice, vital service, and vocational discernment. The Theology Together process produces reflective action that is embedded in the fabric of youth ministry in all of its contexts. We believe strongly that youth are theologians and belong at the center of tough, life-changing dialogue around faith, relationships, and life. We place teenagers in the driver seat alongside their youth pastors and leaders, equipping each individual to think differently about youth ministry, to provoke a sense of awe and wonder: a WOW moment.
Youth theology is theology built upon the simple doctrinal principle of the priesthood of all believers, and takes that principle right down to its natural conclusion: that all believers, including youth, teens, adolescents, etc. are theologians. It is theology that values all youth as theologians. Here we will share with you how to engage with youth theology in your own ministry.
A few weeks ago, we shared the launch of Theology Together 2.0. Today, Dwight (the director of Theology Together) will be sharing with us one experience […]