While one’s methods may be many and varied changing as necessary for the community and situation, one’s principles should be consistent. When I left the pastorate more than thirty years ago, I developed four principles by which I would do the ministry God had entrusted to me. Thus, though my methods may be many, my principles are few. Yet, those few principles carry M.A.N.Y. truths and convictions.
Ministry: When God removed me from the local church pastorate, He did not remove me from ministry. That ministry has moved now to the field of vocational evangelism, but though an evangelist, I am a minister. Thus, my first goal when I go into a revival is to be a minister to the pastor/church staff and their families. While others may disagree with me concerning this being the first goal, I feel that if we* can be an encouragement to the pastor and church staff and their families (first goal), we will be an encouragement to the church (second goal) and to the community (third goal).
Affirm: My spiritual gift is that of encourager. Thus, I aim at affirming more than condemning. If the pastor, staff, and church have not been encouraged by our ministry, we did not reach one of our major goals.
Never criticize the church, its methods, offering, or hospitality arrangements: We are guests of a family called “church.” When one is a guest at my home for a meal, that one has the choice of eating a particular food item or rejecting it, but he doesn’t have the choice to criticize it. We will not criticize the methods (this includes the music, publicity, and finances) or the arrangements that the church makes for us. We have preferences, but we are guests and will not criticize what is offered.
Yield not to pressure to produce results: I yearn to see people come to know Christ, but I believe the ministry of the church will be in the community a long time after I have left. Therefore, I will do nothing in the name of numbers that will hurt the long time ministry of the church to its community. This includes personal evangelistic efforts and methods during the invitation, as well as opportunities to do community events during the revival.
*Though I prefer to bring Wanda with me, I come with the understanding that she is my guest and responsibility and is not the church’s responsibility. Therefore, any extra expense involved with her being with me will be absorbed by us.
If these principles are acceptable to you, your church, or organization, we would be thrilled to schedule a revival, banquet, or conference with you. Once a date is set, we will honor that date regardless of other invitations that may come. However, there may be times in which we will check to see if there is any reason why a date could not be changed. If we do this, it is only an inquiry and never an attempt to cancel.