In a rather odd way, I have the opportunity to see into the world of two individuals who are on, what I call the speaker’s circuit. If you don’t understand that, it might be helpful for me to expand that out a bit.
Obviously, President Obama is not one of the people I know who are on the speaker’s circuit. But he might be on the top of the list when it comes to draw and the required fee. The rate to have someone come and speak varies greatly – but what has surprised me is that in the world of speakers who come to speak out of a Christian or Biblical frame also includes a consideration of these same things.
The more you are likely to draw a crowd, ie your personality or skill at speaking, the more you can attract for a speaking fee.
The two people I know who do this – as part of or in part a way of earning an income. Both of these folks are well known to the general Church population and are successful authors.
But here’s the difference.
One has been expecting and requiring a large fee for their service. In fact, if you review the website that holds their profile and contact information, you may see that it is not just the fee but expectations around flights, hotels, accompaniment on the journey, and the ability to sell books and publications. They have a steep fee – around $8500 last time I looked. Sounds like someone wanting to be a celebrity.
Now let me tell you about the second person who is as well known but I would add is a much more successful author having several best sellers.
This person has no required fee, in fact, often has lost money in attending and speaking at events. This person views the speaker’s circuit as a disappointing and rather empty industry that holds an empty outcome. They have decided to leave behind the flash, the applause, and “the show” to serve in an almost invisible fashion. In fact, that service is to individuals who have been lost even rejected by society and by family. That service is very much Jesus-like.
This speaking tour or circuit is like an industry designed to create revenue for the organizer and especially it would seem for the speaker if you’re willing to get yourself an agent and build a following.
But what about downward mobility, what about servant leadership, what about becoming less while Jesus becomes more prominent? What about that?
This past week one of those two people talked about how leaving the limelight has saved his soul and brought tremendous peace.