When is Don available?
Although Don’s current engagements are listed only by month and not with specific dates, you can get some idea of his existing schedule on the Speaking Schedule page on this website. If you want to contact us to inquire about the possibility for a particular date, you may do so by filling out the form to Check Don’s Availability. For various reasons, open dates on the schedule do not guarantee Don’s availability at those times.
Sometimes Don is asked if a particular date is available before an official invitation is extended. While we are very willing to “pencil in” dates (if asked to do so) while awaiting an official invitation, please understand that we must keep dates open until the time that an official invitation is received. This means that if someone has spoken to us about a particular date but has not yet extended an official invitation, that date will remain open to an official invitation from others.
Typically, Don goes out on Friday afternoon and returns Sunday afternoon/evening. Only on rare occasions—particularly in January, the summer, and during spring and fall breaks at the seminary—can Don be out during weekdays.
What kinds of meetings or conferences does Don present?
See the Conference Topics page.
What is Don’s “speaking fee”?
Nearly all those who invite Don intend to express their gratitude for his labors among them through some sort of honorarium. While Don expects his travel, lodging, and food expenses to be covered, he has always resisted setting a “fee” for preaching/teaching the Word of God.
But a great many who invite Don convey to us their sincere uncertainty as to how to express their intentions appropriately, and have asked for specific guidance. Much prayer and thought have been given to this matter over the course of many years. Don and the board of the CFBS have consulted numerous pastors, lay people, and other ministers who frequently travel. Together we present these guidelines in hopes that they are helpful.
Those who host guest speakers like Don should consider an honorarium that reflects (1) the speaker’s credentials, (2) the speaker’s preparation, (3) the speaker’s time investment in correspondence and phone conversations about the event, including the discussing and making of flight reservations, (4) the number of times you have asked him to speak, (5) the rigors and stresses of the travel required to reach you (usually four flights altogether), and (6) the total number of hours (frequently fifty to sixty) required away from his family, home, and other responsibilities in order to be at your disposal.
When these things are taken into consideration, churches typically provide the following:
- — Sunday morning worship services — $400 to $1000 (total for one or more services). The honorarium is usually increased if a separate Bible study class is involved, and twice the total amount is provided if a Saturday night stay is required.
- — One-day event — $1500 to $2000 (no overnight stay).
- — One-and-a-half-day event — $2000 to $2500 (one-night stay and an all-day event)
- — Two-day event — $2500 to $3000 (one to two-night stay).
- — Friday night through Sunday morning event — $4000 and above (two-night stay).
Again, these are guidelines. Very small churches and groups are not always able to follow these guidelines without a great deal of time to prepare for them. On the other hand, many churches and organizations, especially those who frequently invite guest speakers, know that these guidelines are quite modest for popular speakers and authors, and will plan appropriately.
If these guidelines are unreachable for you, but you want to continue the conversation, please notify Don in your invitation.
How do we invite Don to speak at our event?
See the Inviting Don page.
Do you make recordings available so we can hear Don preach prior to extending an official invitation?
Several sermons by Don are available in their entirety on this website at the Audio Sermons button. In addition, you can contact one or more of the places listed on the Speaking Schedule button where Don has spoken in recent weeks.
Finally, you can Google for “Don Whitney” or “Donald Whitney” and go to the “Videos” tab and find a number of videos of various lengths with Don speaking.
What do you want to know about us?
If Don is not familiar with your church already, what kinds of things would you want to know about your church if you were coming to speak there? What is your doctrinal statement? Is there a denominational affiliation? What is unique about your church? If your church has a website, please provide that address.
How can we make Don’s books available at our event?
While Don’s purpose in coming to your event is not to sell books, he has found that the people in most places where he speaks are glad to have them available. Because of the luggage hassle and other reasons, Don generally doesn’t bring books with him.
But it’s very easy for you to have Don’s books at your event. Just order them through this website or your usual book source. You may also order by calling the CFBS at 502-883-1096. We can give you good estimates on what titles to order and how many of each depending upon the material Don will be presenting and the anticipated attendance at the event.
If you intend to purchase one or more of Don’s books in quantity (approximately 40 or more), it is likely that The Center for Biblical Spirituality can make those available to you at the lowest cost. For more information, write Orders@BiblicalSpirituality.org or call 502-883-1086.
View the Books page to find out more about the content of Don’s books. There you will find the table of contents and endorsements for each book, as well as a link to a sample chapter from each title. Books to which Don has contributed chapters are on the Books link as well.
The farther in advance of the event that you order the books, of course, the greater the likelihood that the books will arrive on time with minimal shipping costs.
Note: You might take a moment now and put a reminder in your calendar for some two or three months before the event to review this section so that you can have the books shipped on time.
How would the flight arrangements be made?
Once we have received an Invitation Form and have formally accepted, we can agree on when you want us to purchase the tickets. We prefer to make Don’s reservations on this end. When it’s time to make the reservations, we will check for the best-priced flights that will allow Don to fulfill his seminary responsibilities for that day (if any) as well as arrive in time for the event. Following your approval of the flight information we provide, we will then book the tickets. After supplying you with confirmation of the cost and itinerary, we appreciate immediate reimbursement. In almost all cases, the credit card statement must be paid well before the event itself. If it is not possible to process the reimbursement right after the time of booking, please let us know in advance.
If it is necessary to make the flight arrangements on your end, please make that known to us at the time you complete the Invitation Form. Before making the reservations, please consult with us about Don’s seminary responsibilities on the day of travel, for that determines his departure time. Don travels from the Louisville airport. Its code is SDF. Before you book the tickets, we would also like to provide you with Don’s frequent flyer number for the airline you select.
What if we invite Don, then have to cancel?
If, less than six months before the event, you find it necessary (for whatever reason) to cancel the event at which you have invited Don to speak, please take into account the following. First, consider the time, thought, prayer, and preparation Don has already invested in your event. Second, realize that it is almost certain that Don would have received other invitations to speak at events scheduled for the same date(s) as yours. But he would have declined those opportunities (and the income they would have provided) because of his commitment to you and it is probably too late to replace your cancelled event with another.
Where may we find Don’s biographical information and/or photo?
On the About page is sufficient biographical information to read when introducing Don, along with a printer-friendly version of the same. There’s even a link at the bottom of that page to download both the bio and photo as a Microsoft Word file, already formatted to print as a bulletin insert you can use to promote the event.
Here is a link to promotional photos where you can choose digital pictures in color or black-and-white, in both formal and casual portraits, to download to your computer.
What equipment, materials, etc., does Don want us to have at the event?
This will depend upon the type of meeting. If Don is there only to preach, that is, if he is to preach in a traditional, Sunday morning worship service or similar setting, he will not need any special equipment or materials.
If he is teaching, such as in a Friday/Saturday conference, a retreat setting, or a Sunday School class, he will most likely need a projector. On the Conference Topics page, the conferences which do not require a projector are identified near the bottom of the description of those conferences. Please provide a power cable for Don’s laptop; he will bring adapters, but an Apple MagSafe 3 or USB-C-ready adapter already connected to power would be ideal. Beyond that, all he will need is a projector cable (USB-C or HDMI) to plug into his (MacBook Pro) laptop which should be placed at the point where he will be standing to speak. It is crucial that Don be able to change the slides himself.
If it is absolutely impossible for Don to change the slides with his laptop, please make sure that the remote control he will use will work—consistently—from the place he will be standing. It has never worked for him to signal someone else to change the slides. For example, at online resources like Amazon and others, such as local computer, electronics, and office supply stores you can find relatively inexpensive “wireless presenters.” This is a remote control with a separate antenna the size of a flash drive that plugs into the USB port on your (or if necessary, my) laptop. No other hardware or software installation or setup is necessary. Please test this (on a MacBook Pro) before the day of the event. Unfortunately, sometimes the antenna of these presenters causes problems of its own, typically with moving the cursor or seeing the display.
Don would prefer not to use a hand-held microphone. Although he typically moves around a slight bit (more when teaching than preaching), he would rather remain behind a fixed microphone than use a hand-held.
When both preaching and teaching, Don needs something upon which to place his notes and Bible (and his laptop when teaching).
It might be helpful to print and/or send this entire section about equipment to your tech crew.
Does Don prefer to stay in a home or a hotel?
Unless it presents a logistical burden, Don would prefer to stay in a non-smoking room in a hotel. There are rare situations where the best choice is to stay elsewhere, such as in a home. But please realize the difficulties of staying in someone’s home while needing to maintain one’s own schedule for rest, preparation, etc., along with the disruptive effects that switching time zones may have on one’s routines. If it is necessary for Don to stay somewhere other than a hotel, please tell us about this in your responses on the Invitation Form. When this is the case, please make sure that he has a private bathroom and a private work area with wifi access. Do feel free to discuss this matter with us.
In all cases, please remember that high-speed Internet access is very important. Be aware that with some hotels—and surprisingly with some of the better hotels—Internet access is an extra charge.
Does Don want a rental car?
Don almost never needs a rental car. (An exception will be mentioned in the next paragraph.) Sometimes his hosts find it necessary to rent a car on his behalf so he can drive from the airport to their distant locale. But even in these situations, he usually prefers the fellowship made possible by having someone pick him up. Often a rental car is offered out of courtesy so that he may go where he pleases during his free time. Again, he rarely needs this. When he does have free time to visit used bookstores or go to Barnes & Noble, for example, most often he prefers riding with someone who knows the area, etc.
About the only time Don needs a rental is when he is driving to the event, which he usually does when the event is within a three-hour or so drive from Louisville. Because these rentals usually occur on a weekend, the rate is half the cost of a weekday rental. The result is that even with gasoline expense added to the rental fee, the cost to the host church or organization is less than if Don drove his own vehicle and received reimbursement at the current IRS mileage rate. So he gets to drive a newer vehicle, leave his best vehicle with Caffy, and save money for his host as well.
What does Don like/not like to eat?
We appreciate the spirit of hospitality that is always behind the question. And because this is one of the most common inquiries we receive, we will try to provide some helpful details. Generally Don is a “meat and potatoes” guy. He does not care for fish, seafood, or Asian food. He likes beef, chicken, pizza, Tex-Mex, and salad bars. He likes some Italian food, but less than most. He would not mind if pickles and mushrooms became extinct. For breakfast he usually has just toast, oatmeal, cereal, or eggs when at home. But he will eat all the traditional American breakfast foods—cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, bagels, muffins, fruit, etc. While a wide variety of these is by no means needful, Don does request some protein (such as eggs or meat) at breakfast when he is speaking. He really enjoys going out for specialty coffees at places like Starbucks, but at home he drinks coffee just with cream. Decaf is preferred in the evenings.
Don can snack, but not eat a regular meal late in the evenings. So if the arriving flight schedule is such that there’s no time to sit down and eat before the event, eating fast food in the car is okay. The same is true regarding the departure. In fact, at least half the time when Don is traveling back home on Sunday it is necessary to eat fast food in the car. That’s just the way it goes regarding the time when most church services end and the time Don has to be at the airport.
Will Don be bringing his wife?
More often than not, it is after Don arrives that he is asked, “Why didn’t you bring your wife?” So perhaps it will be helpful to address the issue here in advance. Don loves to bring his wife Caffy, but it is not always possible. Sometimes it’s because the trip will conflict with her own schedule. at home or church, but usually it is because she is not explicitly invited. Of course, some situations (men’s retreats, for example) are not conducive to having Don’s wife with him. Most often, however, the obvious reason is the expense of flying, housing, and feeding more than one.
Don is always grateful when his wife is remembered in any way. However, do not feel the need to address this subject in your communication with us (unless you expressly want to invite her). As said earlier, she rarely accompanies Don and unless you mention it, we will assume that your invitation is for Don alone. But we have taken this space because Don has been told so often, “You should have brought your wife!”
What does Don want to do in his free time here?
Many, but not all, events at which Don speaks afford a free afternoon and/or evening. His favorite activity is to spend what time is available that afternoon (usually after a nap) looking for fountain pens or going to bookstores that have coffee.
Usually only larger metro areas have pen shops. However, sometimes an old, family-owned stationers/office supply store will still have a stock of “new” fountain pens they’ve had for many years. Beyond this, flea markets and antique malls are often good sources for vintage pens. Don’s hobby is restoring and using old fountain pens.
Don always finds a trip to Barnes & Noble and quality used bookstores enjoyable, and the cafes in most of them provide a pleasant place for fellowship.
Be assured, however, that Don does not need to be entertained. Even if it is not possible to look for pens or visit bookstores, Don will bring plenty of work with him. He always travels with more than enough things to write, books to read, and e-mail to answer.
Don’t hesitate to make the mealtimes or the pen/book-hunting times ministry times. If Don is not speaking, say, on a Saturday evening, he welcomes the opportunity to eat with a group of church leaders and their wives, or another group in the evening where there can be fellowship or Q&A during/after the meal.
If you have not done so already, please read Don’s article, “Ten Questions to Ask to Treat a Guest Speaker Well.”