Introducing a pastor visiting from another parish or with a special message to spread can seem daunting if you've never done it. Still, you can take a few basic steps to ensure everything goes smoothly and your audience and speaker get the most out of the event.
Keep It Short; Do Some Homework
Tempting as it is to make each event a teaching moment, if you're introducing a guest speaker or a pastor, the best service you can do for them and your audience is to allow them as much time to speak as possible. Visiting pastors are with you and your congregation for a reason, and you want to get the most out of their visit. As such, briefly introduce the speaker by name, state why they are here and their qualifications for speaking at this event, then let your guest have the stand.
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Out of respect, don't summarize the speaker's points before or after the speech. That's why the speaker is visiting, after all, and belaboring the topics will only make your audience bored and inattentive.
Additional Tips for Introducing a Guest Preacher
Talk to your speaker before introducing her, and make sure you pronounce her name and the names of her relevant institutions correctly. In advance, ask if there's a specific qualification or topic she would prefer you stress or avoid, for whatever reason.
Keep anecdotes minimal, if any, and make them relevant to the speaker's topic or qualifications. Just as you wouldn't want to be introduced in a professional setting as someone who "once ate five bagels at brunch in front of me," your audience doesn't need to know that the speaker spilled your drink at the conference where you met, even if that is how you first encountered each other.
A Sample Introduction to Guest Preachers
Following the above guidelines should help you introduce any guest speaker smoothly, but a general outline can help get you started. A sample introduction of guest preachers can go a long way toward making you feel comfortable in front of an audience, as well, since you won't have to think about what to say.
"As you know, (TOPIC) is a major issue in the world today. We see it in our communities, discuss it with our friends and neighbors, and struggle with it personally. (TITLE) (NAME) is here with us from (HOME or INSTITUTION) to talk about (TOPIC). He has spent (X AMOUNT OF TIME) counseling (GROUP), organizing (CHARITY) and has spoken across (NUMBER OF LOCATIONS) dealing with this, and we've invited him here to talk to us today. Some of you may have read his book (TITLE) or seen videos of him speaking at (EVENT). (TITLE & NAME) will be visiting with us for (HOWEVER LONG), and (WILL/WON'T) be available after the service to answer any of your questions. Let's all welcome him to our community."
It is important to look at the audience while speaking, except when inviting the speaker to the podium. Remain at the platform until the speaker arrives, perhaps starting the welcoming applause, and shake her hand warmly before stepping back to allow her the attention of your audience. After your guest's speech, thank her again for her time and guidance before either continuing the service or wrapping up early to allow mingling and discussion.