As an itinerant minister, obviously I’m ‘at the mercy’ of churches who might want to invite me to visit them to preach, and – for me – pray for people to be healed through the miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit’s power. Those of you who know me know that God very definitely put my heart in the world when He called me to this life nearly 40 years ago. I have countless opportunities to preach in other countries, from South America to Australia, and into Asia – especially to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and so on: and I DO get to preach in the UK, but it’s rare. I’ve never been one to ‘put my name about’ and try to get to big conferences etc., which get you invitations to churches, because right back at the start God told me not to. I’ve never sought ‘fame’ (and believe me, there are plenty in ministry who do: and many who seem to be in ‘competition’ and unafraid to put ‘down’ another minister in order to get an invitation). Some of you will remember a blog I wrote a couple of years ago about dear friend, now with Jesus, Ken McGreavy, a wonderful preacher who relatively few had heard of, as when God called him, he said ‘Ken, do you want prominence, or do you want significance?’ Ken wanted significance: I’d be the same. It was years before I finally ‘caved in’ and started this website/blog, simply because I don’t want to ‘advertise’: it’s why I just don’t feel comfortable with writing books (I’ve had one on my computer, finished, edited, and with a publishing deal for 20 years!) – there’s a plethora of books, many on same or similar subjects, saying the same or similar things.
I love preaching in the UK: in the past few years, God’s healed hundreds and hundreds of people, in all four home countries: I’d love there to be more. It seems a case of not what you do, or what God does through you, but who you know: and (I don’t mean this cynically) if you charge a fee, you ‘must’ be good. God told me in 1979 I was never to ask for money for ministry invitations, but to trust him. That does put pressure on you, and – I wonder – does it make people think you can’t have much of a ministry if you don’t charge? Jesus had definite thoughts about it in Matthew 10: 7-8 – ‘freely you have received, freely give’.
A couple of years ago, I posted something on Facebook, which I feel I should post here now (many who read the blog never go near Facebook!): this is it:
- I’ve never had the liberty from God to REALLY promote what I do, how I live, charge preaching fees, and even charge expenses.Back in 1978, when God called me out of banking and into ministry, He said very clearly, ‘Trust me for your home, security, and income. You’re never to charge for what you do’. There are some days – periods – ‘seasons’ – when that is easier said than done!
It makes you open to be being from outrageously blessed to unbelievably disappointed! But Jesus said in Matthew 10, ‘Freely you have received, freely give’ – so who am I to argue with that?
I’ve been under pressure to produce books – books about healing (I’m still learning, but I suppose I have some things I can offer), books of testimonies of miracles and healings, books on faith for ordinary people (!), books of making mission and ministry accessible to ordinary people – stuff like that.
I DO have a book written, it’s been there for some years: it does have a publisher waiting, and it was edited was long-time friend Adrian Plass, so it has a reasonable chance of success (if Ade’s name is in big letters on the front, and mine’s very small!!). BUT – I would never sell any, I just can’t….
The purpose of this little post is to say that I LOVE preaching in the United Kingdom and Europe: and have an increasing desire to see the power of God ‘cut loose’ for normal people in their everyday lives: to let people know that they CAN do what Jesus did: but though my main passion is still third and developing world nations, I love to bring back to the UK and Europe what I see God doing in South America, Africa, India, and elsewhere. The very recent reports on what has happened – and is happening – in Londonderry in the past 6 weeks, are proof of that!
Overseas, I’ve always found that opportunities have come – for 30 years – by relationships and connections. I do, of course, have those in the UK and Europe, too, but perhaps because I don’t ‘try’ and get into conferences, or advertise, getting invitations seems to happen more when you’ve written books, and ‘plug’ them at every opportunity….
I’d love to preach more, pray for more people, release more people into ministry, across our countries, and across the continent of Europe. So, while not overtly advertising, if you ever want a Sunday meeting, a weekend, healing seminars, or just encouragement, let me know!
I don’t charge a fee (!) but if you could take up an offering, or want to give a gift from your church/group, I doubt that I’d turn it down! It is my income – salary – if you think about it. Travelling is expensive, whether in the air or on wheels (it can be around £300+ to fly from Belfast City to Heathrow return), but I can’t ‘charge’ cos, 40 years ago, God told me not to,….
If you have meetings you think I might ‘fit’, do let me know.
As those airfares have risen and risen, it’s of necessity started a thought process about moving: when I came to Northern Ireland in 2009, there was a lovely airline – British Midland – who flew Belfast City to Heathrow for about £60-70 round trip. Sadly, they succumbed to the credit crash and the pressure of British Airways (who wanted their landing slots at Heathrow), and British Midland ‘died’. I’ve just booked to go to Colombia (this coming Sunday): London to Cali round trip £770….. Belfast City to Heathrow ONE-WAY £330 (55-minute flight)!! Until these recent weeks, as I haven’t been able to walk since the hospital consultant wrecked my right knee, that fare is frequently twice a month, occasionally more!
So – while I love being involved around the world, I’d love to be more involved in the UK – and Scandinavia, which I adore! – and if God ever drops my name into your mind when planning your programme, then please get in touch! I’ve done lots of seminars, too, some on ‘one-off’ days, and some spread over a number of days – on Healing, and on Vision.
P.S. Sweden, I miss you!!