Pastors can be inspirational speakers, and they often make meetings and special events much more memorable. The best way to reach out to them and ask them to attend your event is to compose an invitation letter to a pastor to preach or speak at your facility, whether it be a church, a school or elsewhere. Putting it in writing shows respect, and it is more formal and polite than just making a phone call.
A Guest Preacher Invitation Letter
A common reason to invite a guest preacher to speak is when a new pastor is being installed at a church. The internet is filled with many useful templates designed for this occasion. Their salutations often read "Greetings in Christ," but you may want to use the person's name instead. The first paragraph describes the event, such as, "We are thrilled to share that (new pastor's name) will be installed as our new pastor at (church) on (date)."
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You can add something about the incoming pastor after that plus a little bit about why the pastor is a great choice for a guest speaker. Then, the potential guest preacher can be invited to speak, followed by an explanation as to why he can contribute to the proceedings. An example is: "On behalf of (church), we would like to invite you to be a guest speaker at the installation. Your community leadership over the past decade makes you a prime candidate for this honor, and we would be grateful for your leading of the service."
Degrees of Formality
If you know the preacher personally, you can be somewhat less formal with the wording. If you or someone else extended the invitation verbally, it is still best to follow it up with the written invite.
In that case, you can start the first paragraph with, "Following up on your conversation with (name), we are extending a formal invitation for you to speak at our (event)." No matter how the invitation is written, though, always remember to thank the preacher at the end for considering the invitation.
Other Kinds of Invitations
An invitation letter to a pastor to preach or a letter of invitation to a minister in a church can follow similar formats, and the internet has many templates that you can use as guides for a variety of events. For example, a church guest speaker invitation letter may start with a simple "Dear (Name)" with a subject line beneath it saying, "RE: Invitation to be a guest speaker at our church." You can put the subject line in bold text and use all-capital letters for emphasis.
The first paragraph may say something similar to, "On behalf of our church board and pastor, we are pleased to invite you to speak in our upcoming church service on (date)." It can then go on to describe the theme of the service and when the guest speaker would be speaking. Other details can also be included, such as the time and an invitation to the speaker for refreshments afterward. As a closing, you can add, "We look forward to having you share with us the word of God on this special day."
If you are inviting a guest speaker to a church inauguration, you could start out with, "It is my pleasure on behalf of (church) to invite you to be our special guest speaker to grace the occasion of our church inauguration on (date). To mark this occasion, we have invited local community members and political leaders. We request that you prepare a sermon to encourage and inspire attendees to work for God always."