Speaking Engagement Proposal Forms and Honoraria

Mar 2nd '16

This page relates to the "mechanics" of how to ask me about coming to speak at your church, conference, camp, or whatever.


The standard form that I ask everyone to complete who is proposing a non-local speaking engagement (an event taking place outside the Lower Mainland of British Columbia) can be found in PDF format at the foot of this page.  You can also email me and ask for a Word version.  This is what you should also do if the event is local (there is no PDF available for local events).  The appropriate speaking engagement proposal form should be submitted with the first invitaton you send me about the proposed event - but only after you have read the material below on honoraria.  These forms help me to make informed decisions about whether to accept invitations, and they also help me to organize my schedule easily, rather than having to trawl back through countless emails. 


The question of appropriate recompense for Christian work is a vexed one on all sides.  Discussion of it (or a lack thereof) can lead, on all sides, to embarrassment, guilt, or anger.  I would like to avoid either experiencing these things or inflicting them on others.  So on this page I lay out a really clear "ballpark" fee structure for those who are thinking about inviting me to speak at an event - and who would expect me to spend time preparing properly for that task.  

I've thought about this structure carefully, and I've also consulted colleagues about it.  I think it is fair, under normal circumstances.  "Normal circumstances" means that the people inviting me have no genuine difficulty in paying a fair honorarium, and the only question to think about is what 1 Timothy 5:18 means when it says that "the worker deserves his wages."

However, if you would like to invite me as a speaker, and you can explain why I should do this for a smaller honorarium than the one in my "structure," I am very open to hearing what you have to say.  I am not in this Christian public-speaking "business" because I am motivated to make money.  All I ask is that before communicating with me about this issue, you read the excellent essay on my friend John Stackhouse's blog, "Fair Payment for Speakers."  The fact is that it is only by receiving fair payment from those who can afford it that my wife and I are able continue to minister to, and support, all sorts of other people who have significantly fewer resources.

Under normal circumstances, and not including possible expenses like meals, overnight accommodation and travel costs, my speaker fee is $500 per “session” (Canadian dollars in the Canada; US dollars in the USA; others please contact me).  For example:
*    a sermon or a single talk or lecture (an event up to 2 hours long) would be $500;
   a sermon plus an afternoon lecture in a church would be around $1000, and this would also apply (say) to an event taking up a whole morning or afternoon (e.g 1 -5 pm). 
*    for a weekend conference, we would be thinking of around $2000-$2500, depending on exactly what you would like me to do.

The precise details would need to be worked out in each case, but I hope that you find all of this helpful as a guideline.