Fact Of Life No. 1: The Religious Circuit

I believe that as Eutychus I have a responsibility to share with readers the religious facts of life. In this column I’d like to examine one of these.

Across this great land of ours there is a religious circuit—conferences, conventions, camps, and seminars sponsored by religious organizations. All the meetings require speakers. Some stops on the circuit involve thirty-four speakers. Others have only one. Some pay well. Others don’t. But regardless of the pay, the camps, conferences, conventions, and seminars require warm bodies to stand in front of other warm bodies, and inspire, instruct, inform, and/or convict.

On the circuit there are “big guns” and “lesser guns.” The big guns appear at many of the more prestigious events and usually have the keynote speech or at the very least a “plenary session.” (“Plenary session” is the current term. It replaced “general session” approximately nine months ago.)

If a person is an expert on a currently hot topic, he or she may be asked to speak at many conferences in a short period of time. Hot topics in the past have included evangelism, relational theology, prophecy, body life, spiritual gifts, and church growth. A topic now climbing to prominence is the family.

If the person does well on the topic and is authoritative enough, he or she may be asked to speak on another subject when the currency of the first topic wanes. In the past few years, there have been some versatile persons who have had little trouble shifting from body life to prophecy to cults (an increasingly hot item on the more conservative fringes of the circuit).

Some speakers come and go depending on their topic. Many of those who were strong on the occult, for example, have had a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.