Wednesday, April 08, 2009
So I've been in "negotiations" with a very nationally known Name to come to our church to speak some time. He is so known that I would never have even imagined the possibility of him coming to Dartmouth to speak in his area of expertise. Did I mention he is Known, man, Known. Last week I heard from his scheduler that a price of $5000 would be needed, as it turns out, for him to come. Plus expenses. My reactions to this were somewhat scrambled. While I understand, I guess, that Known Names like this tend to "Get" that kind of honorarium--he's in the big leagues. And while I understand that Known Names like his "need" big honoraria (cool word, eh?) because they fund their ministry organizations by their income, I guess. And while I understood that it was a long shot anyway, still I was kind of stunned. Five G's, whoa. So while I could probably pull it off if my life depended on it--it does not--I just couldn't bring myself into betrayal of my own sense of New Testament servanthood to play the game. So I have graciously declined further negotiations, unless at some point (and I'm not sure I have the energy for this) we can "put ogether" a coalition of local churches who want to put up 5 G's on the expectation that this Name would make that much different in people's lives for a weekend of speaking. I felt better about it all today, when after my sharing about this in my area pastors' group (which includes Not One Known Name--but which DOES include several hard-working, long-suffering, enduring and biblically articulate men--some of which hold earned doctorates) one of them said to me--"Neil, I think you should call him up and ask him what HE would be willing to pay you, for the privilege of coming and speaking the truth in a dark place (See this week's Newsweek article by John Meecham.) I laughed and the confusion in my emotions cleared. God bless my brothers.
Posted by Rev. Dr. Neil Damgaard at 5:07 PM