My Response To An Invitation to Preach at My Church

I wanted to share a response to a letter that I received from a young minister. It’s telling on a multiplicity of levels and I hope this will help someone who is in ministry and eager to get to the top.

“Hello anointed Leader and Mighty Man of God. Pastor Houston, Thank you so kindly for accepting my Linkedin connection. I trust that you’re being blessed more abundantly. After you peruse my ministerial experience, I’m humbly asking for an opportunity to minister at First Baptist Church. Please consider an SERVICE, Perhaps a WEDNESDAY MID-WEEK SERVICE! I’ll pay my airfare to Frankfort to lift the faith of the believers. You can view my ministry on: YOUTUBE. Pastor Houston, Please grant this sincere request, just 3 NIGHTS! Feel free to call me .”

In this age of social media it’s important for us to understand that pastors needs to be firm in how they approach this or any invitation. This is my response:

“Thank you for your letter, but I am terribly saddened by it. I joined LinkedIn to keep in contact with preaching and professional colleagues across the country and in some cases, around the world. However, to receive a chain letter from a minister frankly deeply disturbs me about not only the preacher but the role of LinkedIn/Social Ministry and the future of ministerial relationships.

First, I would never and let me underscore never invite myself, whether it was in person, by letter, or internet to another man or woman’s church or pulpit. I have been in ministry, preaching around the nation, and I have NEVER asked for a preaching engagement and I have NEVER allowed anyone who asked for a preaching engagement to stand for me. Your letter is disturbing for that reason alone.

Secondly, it’s a form letter. Several pastors that I know on LinkedIn have received the exact same letter and frankly, how in the world would you know what my people, who the Holy Spirit have assigned me to, need a Wednesday Mid-Week Service when we don’t even have a Wednesday Mid-Week Service and we don’t even have an airport in Frankfort – which says to me, frankly, you don’t care about my people or this community, you care about making a name.

Also, I don’t know ONE THING ABOUT YOU. If you walked past me in DFW airport, I still wouldn’t know who you are. And in this era of sexual shenanigans, misuse of funds, etc., a YouTube clip does not equal an endorsement. Anybody can put a YouTube clip up and it does not mean MOST PASTORS would let you walk in the door and I’m further insulted because my church is not cheap and we always provide for OUR GUESTS.

Needless to say, this will be the last communication between us. I’m unfriending or de-linking us and I pray that you will at least consider this response in your future interaction and the form letter method needs to be reconsidered.”

I pray that pastors and ministers ask the Lord to be the one to open the doors.

6 responses

  1. Pastor Houston,

    I want to thank you for taking the time to bring correction to this young minister’s perception of what ministry is all about.

    It is my prayer that he and others who are in pursuit of opportunity, fame, fortune, etc… will settle down under the leadership of a man or woman of God for proper ministry training.

    Your words of wisdom and direction should be amplified in the ears of so many of our preachers who are in pursuit of being popular, famous and rich.

    May God help us all to once again reflect on the importance of the Gospel message and the requirement that the messenger be called and sent by God.

    I am blessed by your efforts to correct improper attitudes about ministry. May your gesture bring clarity to all who read your post.


    Elder Kevin M. Jackson

  2. Thank you Pastor Houston!

  3. Thank God for correction. Pastor Houston you told this young minister exactly right. It shows that you care for the people you shepherd. I am a young minister, and I would like you to take cheer in knowing that this would never be my approach. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without God’s sending. Furthermore, just because you are a minister, doesn’t mean you have seek pulpits… It’s unfit to think popularity, fame, and money when it comes to ministry.

  4. Ernest T. Davis II | Reply

    Thank you so very much Pastor. While I do travel to locations upon assignment from the Lord who opens the door of opportunity, I abhor all who think they have to hustle their way into the pulpit. In addition, I am saddened by the “preaching circuit” as well. It, too, limits God’s movement. And, I have always warned young ministers to be careful accepting offers. All invitations are not assignments……

  5. Pastor Robert L. Jones | Reply

    As a new Pastor trying to do God work not about Fame and Fortune; Jeremiah serve the Lord for 50 years before he was rewarded at a older age, I would have ask if I could mentor the young minister before speaking at my church and to the congregation. The scripture says if you have a word let it be heard; You must be obey the Holy Spirit and not dictate to God anointing; There a better way that you can uplifted the young minister ,I do not see a merciful god in you ? where is God in your thinking

  6. Patrick the Evangelist | Reply

    Could this gentleman heart been in the correct place? Who can show in scripture that this young minister of the Gospel approach was incorrect? After sixteen years in the ministry and starting off at the young age of 20. I have never used this approach but should we stone this young mans approach? You are correct when you stated that we live in a society of deception and manipulation. Behind and in front of the pulpit to be frank. However, does a young man in his journey start his ministry? Open doors. Prayer. Fasting. Study. Connections. But what was the spirit behind the letter. I have not found no where in scripture were we can discount this. However, I can find the late Apostle Paul recommending men for ministry at certain ministry church plants BY LETTER. Let us not look at trivial matters but the heart behind the letter with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    Patrick the Evangelist

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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