I Timothy 5:18 says “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” No one should expect a guest speaker to speak at an event without paying them. As you begin to plan for your event, immediate budget items should include your speaker’s honorarium and travel expenses. If you are on a tight budget, it is best to find a speaker who is closer to home.
When you contact your potential guest speaker, one of the first questions you need to have answered is: Does she charge for her services? Don’t assume that all speakers are fine with a love gift or whatever you can afford. Many speakers have a set charge because this is how they earn their living.
If the speaker does not have a set charge, we normally set the honorarium according to the number of times that she will be speaking. It is hard to give a hard and fast rule for determining the honorarium, because so many factors come into play, including your location. You may want to get a ball park honorarium amount from a nearby church. Currently, our rule of thumb is between $100 and $125 per teaching. For a retreat with three main sessions, that is about $400. This is probably low compared to what larger churches pay.