workworthIt was one of the hardest things I had to figure out but I saw it illustrated today during Black Friday Shopping. We have a broken couch and we need to get a new one. We were looking at several different models. Couches are pretty pricy. We turned a corner and saw a couch that was much cheaper than all the others. You would have thought we would have been overjoyed. My wife’s first question (which I echoed) was, “I wonder what’s wrong with it.” When one item is substantially cheaper than everything else, some people see a bargain, most people wonder what’s the problem.

I saw this in my speaking ministry. In the beginning, I was really hesitant to set a price for my work. I would ask for free will offerings and go anywhere I could. Some saw it as honorable but many people seemed to wonder whether or not my ministry was worth anything. I always would say things like I was letting God set the value of my ministry. To an extent, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t want to set the value of my ministry because I was afraid to. Someone challenged me on it and I got upset. I figured if I started to charge, people would stop bringing me in. That shows the value I had on myself and my ministry. It was a mistake.

Another issue with the freewill offering was some churches didn’t want to do that. They felt they asked their congregations for enough. They would have rather have me set a fee and pay me from the general fund. Eventually I set a fee. Now my expenses are always covered, and I am actually starting to make a living. I have always valued what I do in my own heart. I knew it was a big part of God’s calling on my life and that He would provide. Then I turned around and acted like my ministry had no value when approaching the very people to whom I needed to convince it has value. Sometimes you have not because you ask not.

So what if someone cannot afford me? I try never to let money get in the way of the Gospel, I always have the option to donate my services, and I can take that on a case by case basis.

Some people are afraid to charge. They feel that people will look at them and say “He’s only in it for the money.” That’s not true. A few people may feel that way, but the vast majority realize that we all need to eat, pay bills, etc. My advice, disregard the people that will look down on you, ask God how to value your work and what to charge. Then charge what your worth.

If you don’t believe in and value your work, who will?

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Comments
  1. annepeterson says:

    Valuable piece. I too have struggled with this whole area. Got some input from another writer who is also a speaker. Was able to negotiate a speaking engagement for the spring and I felt great about it. It’s easy to let the opinions of others dictate how we feel. We’ll be thrown all over the place if we do that though.

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