Should Conferences charge?

I have been thinking about the model that is used by David Yonngi Cho and some of the writings of John Wimber. It has led me to a real question about something that we commonly do in the church, especially in renewal circles. Should conferences charge or is there a better model?

I get the fact that having this political convention mentality in churches where speakers are treated as rockstars is pricy. Having people come as speakers that expect private airplanes, penthouse suites, limos and eating at world class restaurants is not cheap. However, I think that is part of the problem. Alot of ministries to remember they are spending other people’s money….that labor hard for it.

This is one reason I have always seek to be simple when I was a conference speaker. I remember taking the AmTrak and the Greyhound buses everywhere to minister around America at churches. I wanted to make it easy to have revival meetings. I would sleep on floors of churches and I lived on Ramon noodles. It was worth it to preach a campmeeting in some small town that needed a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit. I would do it again!

Conferences in light of Matthew 10:8

This verse is one that comes up more time than not when the subject is being discussed. What does it mean to “freely receive and freely give?” Is this about conferences? I do not believe it directly. It is was the afterthough of the verse before it.

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a]drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

It was talking about healing, deliverance, signs, wonders and miracles; not money. It means we are to give away out anointing to the world around us. That is the biblical context of it. It is all about being people of Pentecost.

Now, we have the indirect connection to the passage. How do you give away healing and deliverance if the people in need can’t get to the meeting to receive it? We know that faith come from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. However, if they can’t be part of the meeting for financial reasons, how can they hear to believe in order to receive the impartation of healing or deliverance?

This is where I believe that conferences are failing. They are using them as a business venture, not an opportunity to preach the gospel with power and authority to the world around us. Simply put, it has become part of a sub-culture’ not part of the counter-culture seeking to transformation the mainstream elements. I believe this is to our discredit.

I believe that ministries would be hard pressed to defend conferences as a ministry model using the New Testament. In fact, I think it is would very challenging to do so. I can not find it there and I do not believe you could either.

But Conferences cost alot to put together

Yes, they do. Partly because of the way some speakers want to roll and also, things just add up. Renting a venue, electricity, sound, lighting, etc….it all adds up and I get that. I have hosted them and know the demands that host ministries are under to make it work.

However, I do not believe there is a need to have charges over $325 for a weekend of meetings. That is just plain excessive. If you need to charge that for to break even; you need to re-think what is causing your expenses to rise. It might be time for some slashing and going more lean. Just saying.

We do need to re-think the cost of the conferences and if they are hindering people from receiving what the Lord wants to do in people’s lives; especially in lower income nations like the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and India. Charging $300 in the Philippines is the average salary for a month of work.

I guess what I am saying is conferences are becoming cash cows and they are not as much about ministry as we would like to think they are. It is a business venture and I think that is not a postive thing when you are putting a price tag on someone’s healing, deliverance and especially their salvation.

It is the to re-think what I call the conference ghetto.

Conferences have alternatives

Let’s assume that the cost is fixed. I believe a better option would be to relocate the meetings to a more missionally location. Have the healing conference in Mexico; people would spend the same money to go but they would be introduce to healing ministry on the mission field. They would in a place to practice what they have received quickly and effective.

While this would not drive the cost down for the poor, it might be a better options for practicing the supernatural in a more transformational and transparent way.

One thing I do know is we need to re-think our mentalities about conferences and how we do them. This ghetto of charging hundreds of dollars and pricing impartation right out of the hands of the lower class is not from the Holy Spirit and I believe that is actually grieves Him. He loves the poor too.

“The same Lord who gives sight to the blind and creates miracles through our hands is the very One who feeds the hungry through our hands and watches over the immigrant. We must never ignore the poor & needy. We must never spend any outpouring of Gods Spirit on ourselves.” (John Wimber) 

“Revival moves vertically touching all socioeconomic levels. When revivals go throughout the social order they bring radical social reform. Priority may be given to spiritual needs, but the meeting of material needs inevitably follows true revival.” (John Wimber) 

  • Victor LaBarbera
    September 3, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    I’ve helped put on a few men’s conferences and the Lord has always provided. Many times providing more than we would have received if we had charged admission. After praying about it and reading “No Compromise” by Keith Green, I dont believe we can charge admission and expect the same annointing. It doesn’t take faith to charge admission. I’ve often not been able to attend meetings due to not being able or willing to pay the fee. I am always a cheerful giver when an event is for free in faith. It would be great if the the world knew us by our love for one another and always giving freely.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Peter Vandever
      September 3, 2015 - 1:55 pm

      Much of my view. I care more than people give saved than making a buck. Using the miraculous to make a dollar is wrong in my view.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
      • Indry
        February 20, 2016 - 5:38 pm

        Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’. There are cotluness testimonies from Catch the Fire and from people being freed from deep past hurts, meeting their Heavenly Father for the first time, being healed physically, being touched by the Lord to forgive those against whom they have long held bitterness and judgements, healing brocken marriages, finding a deeper relationship with God and finding deeper and deeping freedom. The enemy is the one who chains people up and if it were the enemy working in this move of God then the fruit would be more chained up people. Matt 7:16 says By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?’. When you look at the fruit of this ministry it is only good. Jesus Himself said Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matt 12:25. He said this when people said the works that He was doing was from the devil.In Acts 2:These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.In order for them to be accused of being drunk, they must have been acting like this is some way.Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever This other Counselor is the Holy Spirit who has been given in order to lead us to truth, lead to Jesus, lead us the Father, lead us to repentance, lead us into intimacy with the God who longs to have intimacy with His children. (Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.) .Luke 11:11-13 says Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! In Toronto they are asking constantly for more of the Holy Spirit so it is impossible according to scripture for our Father to give us the devil when we ask for the Holy Spirit. It it His good pleasure to pour our His Holy Spirit on us.I agree that we are not to seek after angel feathers, gold dust, and jewels etc. but after the Lord, but what is to stop our Heavenly Father, if he so desires to manifest His presence in a physically tangible way and show us His grace, love and favour in a way that shows the church and shows the world that He is with us. We don’t ask for these things, but he gives them in His love. And as for visions, this is just the Lord speaking directly to our heart in a way that changes our lives. I don’t know about you, but I definately want to hear the Lord’s voice and for Him to speak to me personally. And the fruit of all this, more love for the Lord, deeper sense of acceptance, knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, more passion for His Word, more passionate prayer life and a burning desire to reach the lost with His love. The more we are touched by His love, the more He can touch those around us who don’t know His love. I have personally been really blessed by what I see as a powerful move of God.God bless you my brother and I pray that you are powerfully touched by His love and His Presence.

        0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Victor LaBarbera
    September 3, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    I’ve helped put on a few men’s conferences and the Lord has always provided. Many times providing more than we would have received if we had charged admission. After praying about it and reading “No Compromise” by Keith Green, I dont believe we can charge admission and expect the same annointing. It doesn’t take faith to charge admission. I’ve often not been able to attend meetings due to not being able or willing to pay the fee. I am always a cheerful giver when an event is for free in faith. It would be great if the the world knew us by our love for one another and always giving freely.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Peter Vandever
      September 3, 2015 - 1:55 pm

      Much of my view. I care more than people give saved than making a buck. Using the miraculous to make a dollar is wrong in my view.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
      • Indry
        February 20, 2016 - 5:38 pm

        Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’. There are cotluness testimonies from Catch the Fire and from people being freed from deep past hurts, meeting their Heavenly Father for the first time, being healed physically, being touched by the Lord to forgive those against whom they have long held bitterness and judgements, healing brocken marriages, finding a deeper relationship with God and finding deeper and deeping freedom. The enemy is the one who chains people up and if it were the enemy working in this move of God then the fruit would be more chained up people. Matt 7:16 says By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?’. When you look at the fruit of this ministry it is only good. Jesus Himself said Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matt 12:25. He said this when people said the works that He was doing was from the devil.In Acts 2:These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.In order for them to be accused of being drunk, they must have been acting like this is some way.Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever This other Counselor is the Holy Spirit who has been given in order to lead us to truth, lead to Jesus, lead us the Father, lead us to repentance, lead us into intimacy with the God who longs to have intimacy with His children. (Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.) .Luke 11:11-13 says Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! In Toronto they are asking constantly for more of the Holy Spirit so it is impossible according to scripture for our Father to give us the devil when we ask for the Holy Spirit. It it His good pleasure to pour our His Holy Spirit on us.I agree that we are not to seek after angel feathers, gold dust, and jewels etc. but after the Lord, but what is to stop our Heavenly Father, if he so desires to manifest His presence in a physically tangible way and show us His grace, love and favour in a way that shows the church and shows the world that He is with us. We don’t ask for these things, but he gives them in His love. And as for visions, this is just the Lord speaking directly to our heart in a way that changes our lives. I don’t know about you, but I definately want to hear the Lord’s voice and for Him to speak to me personally. And the fruit of all this, more love for the Lord, deeper sense of acceptance, knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, more passion for His Word, more passionate prayer life and a burning desire to reach the lost with His love. The more we are touched by His love, the more He can touch those around us who don’t know His love. I have personally been really blessed by what I see as a powerful move of God.God bless you my brother and I pray that you are powerfully touched by His love and His Presence.

        0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Daniel King
    September 4, 2015 - 3:19 am

    I usually don’t go to conferences that charge a big fee.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Peter Vandever
      September 4, 2015 - 3:53 am

      It has been a long time since I paid anything for a confernce. I normally have contacts to get me in…. However, most do not. My concern is you have some lady in North Tulsa that hears there is a healing meeting going on at Victory but she does not have the fee for the conference…… it could stand in the way of her healing….. the evangelist in me says this should not be the case…. last confernce I paid anything (half price I think) was Francen’s training school.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
      • Smsm
        February 20, 2016 - 6:54 pm

        Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’. There are cslotuens testimonies from Catch the Fire and from people being freed from deep past hurts, meeting their Heavenly Father for the first time, being healed physically, being touched by the Lord to forgive those against whom they have long held bitterness and judgements, healing brocken marriages, finding a deeper relationship with God and finding deeper and deeping freedom. The enemy is the one who chains people up and if it were the enemy working in this move of God then the fruit would be more chained up people. Matt 7:16 says By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?’. When you look at the fruit of this ministry it is only good. Jesus Himself said Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matt 12:25. He said this when people said the works that He was doing was from the devil.In Acts 2:These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.In order for them to be accused of being drunk, they must have been acting like this is some way.Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever This other Counselor is the Holy Spirit who has been given in order to lead us to truth, lead to Jesus, lead us the Father, lead us to repentance, lead us into intimacy with the God who longs to have intimacy with His children. (Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.) .Luke 11:11-13 says Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! In Toronto they are asking constantly for more of the Holy Spirit so it is impossible according to scripture for our Father to give us the devil when we ask for the Holy Spirit. It it His good pleasure to pour our His Holy Spirit on us.I agree that we are not to seek after angel feathers, gold dust, and jewels etc. but after the Lord, but what is to stop our Heavenly Father, if he so desires to manifest His presence in a physically tangible way and show us His grace, love and favour in a way that shows the church and shows the world that He is with us. We don’t ask for these things, but he gives them in His love. And as for visions, this is just the Lord speaking directly to our heart in a way that changes our lives. I don’t know about you, but I definately want to hear the Lord’s voice and for Him to speak to me personally. And the fruit of all this, more love for the Lord, deeper sense of acceptance, knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, more passion for His Word, more passionate prayer life and a burning desire to reach the lost with His love. The more we are touched by His love, the more He can touch those around us who don’t know His love. I have personally been really blessed by what I see as a powerful move of God.God bless you my brother and I pray that you are powerfully touched by His love and His Presence.

        0Vote Up0Vote Down
  • Daniel King
    September 4, 2015 - 3:19 am

    I usually don’t go to conferences that charge a big fee.

    0Vote Up0Vote Down
    • Peter Vandever
      September 4, 2015 - 3:53 am

      It has been a long time since I paid anything for a confernce. I normally have contacts to get me in…. However, most do not. My concern is you have some lady in North Tulsa that hears there is a healing meeting going on at Victory but she does not have the fee for the conference…… it could stand in the way of her healing….. the evangelist in me says this should not be the case…. last confernce I paid anything (half price I think) was Francen’s training school.

      0Vote Up0Vote Down
      • Smsm
        February 20, 2016 - 6:54 pm

        Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’. There are cslotuens testimonies from Catch the Fire and from people being freed from deep past hurts, meeting their Heavenly Father for the first time, being healed physically, being touched by the Lord to forgive those against whom they have long held bitterness and judgements, healing brocken marriages, finding a deeper relationship with God and finding deeper and deeping freedom. The enemy is the one who chains people up and if it were the enemy working in this move of God then the fruit would be more chained up people. Matt 7:16 says By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?’. When you look at the fruit of this ministry it is only good. Jesus Himself said Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matt 12:25. He said this when people said the works that He was doing was from the devil.In Acts 2:These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.In order for them to be accused of being drunk, they must have been acting like this is some way.Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever This other Counselor is the Holy Spirit who has been given in order to lead us to truth, lead to Jesus, lead us the Father, lead us to repentance, lead us into intimacy with the God who longs to have intimacy with His children. (Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.) .Luke 11:11-13 says Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! In Toronto they are asking constantly for more of the Holy Spirit so it is impossible according to scripture for our Father to give us the devil when we ask for the Holy Spirit. It it His good pleasure to pour our His Holy Spirit on us.I agree that we are not to seek after angel feathers, gold dust, and jewels etc. but after the Lord, but what is to stop our Heavenly Father, if he so desires to manifest His presence in a physically tangible way and show us His grace, love and favour in a way that shows the church and shows the world that He is with us. We don’t ask for these things, but he gives them in His love. And as for visions, this is just the Lord speaking directly to our heart in a way that changes our lives. I don’t know about you, but I definately want to hear the Lord’s voice and for Him to speak to me personally. And the fruit of all this, more love for the Lord, deeper sense of acceptance, knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, more passion for His Word, more passionate prayer life and a burning desire to reach the lost with His love. The more we are touched by His love, the more He can touch those around us who don’t know His love. I have personally been really blessed by what I see as a powerful move of God.God bless you my brother and I pray that you are powerfully touched by His love and His Presence.

        0Vote Up0Vote Down

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