My husband often says, "the word is still out as to whether Christian TV is a blessing to the body of Christ." Realize, sometimes Larry is on Christian TV, but he still feels that way. He says the pastor used to be "the voice" to the people - the one who had the word from God for the people. Today people are getting "the word" from hundreds, actually thousands of different voices. Is this really an advancement?
Not only does a pastor have a word for the people, but the pastor (even though many times not in close "personal relationship" with every person in the church) has a relationship with his/her church and speaks into the lives of those in that church with a specific anointing. The mantle that is upon them is different from someone famous who has no relationship with the people.
I just want to go on record if I haven't already said it enough that my very favorite people are everyday...normal...down to earth...local pastors. I don't think there is any finer group of people on the planet than those faithfully serving God's people right where they are at.
I personally wish pastors everywhere would decide to stop the insanity of going to whatever lengths necessary to bring in famous people to their church or to their latest event. A co-pastor friend of mine has a heart as big as all outdoors for people. Wanting to bless the body of Christ, she has gone into serious debt for several years, absolutely killing herself financially to bring in a big name for her conference every year. She's gone more in the hole each year and has seen very little fruit as a result of this big name, and instead only frazzle for her efforts. The fruit that has come from the conference has not been fruit from the "big name" but from other things that my friend has done, at the conference. In other words the success of the event cannot in any way be attributed to the "big name". So she's finally re-thinking her strategy.
This year she decided "NO MORE! I'M GOING TO STOP THE INSANITY." She's bring in local worship leaders and preachers who, while perhaps not famous, know how to get ahold of God, know how to preach the Word, and know how to connect with God's people. I have no doubt the power of God is going to fall in a mighty way, more lives are going to be changed than ever before, and my friend is going to come out this year in the black, not in the red. It doesn't take a big name to bring change...it just takes a touch from God.
A friend of mine and Larry's who pastors a 4,000+ member church gave us the wise advice last year that they never bring in big names and haven't for years. Guest speakers to their church include pastors and missionaries they personally know. I even asked, "If Billy Graham called up and said, "I want to come to your church and speak..." what would you say? The friend said, "if he came with no expectations, no minimum honorarium, perhaps but not unless." They also said that when they brought in big names in the past, they would get lots of local Christians coming over for the event but never lasting fruit. So they just don't do it. That gave us something to think about. So we made some changes in that regard that made things much better. Last year we had a several day campmeeting. We brought pastors we knew who did a fantastic job, preached the Word, flowed in the gifts of the spirit, and accomplished as much if not more as when we practically drove ourselves crazy getting well known people.
I've learned - as long as somebody is known by God - that's all that matters.
I have also learned that no one understands you like another pastor. Most will work with you closely as far as helping with exactly what you need and are looking for as far as what you want your congregation to receive.
For all of you ministers reading this, please realize there is perhaps no greater resource than other pastors. You don't need to have somebody famous in order to have a revival...only somebody faithful...faithful to seek God, pray, love God's people and live a life above reproach. Larry and I have discovered that not only can you see a mighty move of God by bringing in another pastor, but you also have a level of trust being that it is someone you know up close and not just someone whose reputation you know from TV or books, or a friend of a friend who had them in their church.
So, you're intent on bringing a big name? If you do bring somebody famous to your church or for your event, find somebody who wonders how in the world they got there. Find someone who says, "thank you so much for calling me and honoring me by inviting me to your church." Find someone who doesn't care about many requirements if any. Find someone who actually mixes with the people at your church or event, talks to them, and absolutely pours themself out during the time they are with you. Find someone who doesn't just slap a hand on people's heads at the altar and walk out with an entourage afterwards, but somebody who prays til' the last person is gone. Find somebody famous who is huggable. Find someone who asks you how they can serve you. Find somebody who is willing to talk to you or email you personally about what you are expecting/looking for in your meeting. Find somebody who is going to personally partner in prayer with you for your service/event. If you can find somebody like this who is famous...by all means go for it. You've found a gold mine. If you can't find them (which is a great probability...) then just...
STOP THE INSANITY. Call a local pastor.