Details for Inviting Dr. Bailey to Lecture
Dr. Bailey's schedule fills up more than a year in advance. If you are within three hours driving range of New Wilmington (western PA, one hour north of Pittsburgh) he can sometimes add an extra event on shorter notice. Generally, at least a year ahead is required for scheduling a speaking date.
By choice, Dr. Bailey does not have e-mail. He will be glad to talk to you by phone, but needs a letter with as many details as possible before he can make any commitments to travel and lecture. These details should include:
It is important that Dr. Bailey have one contact person. It is very confusing and time consuming if he receives letters relating to a visit from a series of different people. If committee heads change, please see that the correspondent for the event remains the same.
You may be familiar with his style from viewing one of his professionally recorded video lectures. Because he presents insights into familiar New Testament texts from 50 years of life and ministry in the Middle East, the presentations are content-oriented. As well, serious blocks of time are required for lectures in order to adequately present those aspects of Middle Eastern culture that inform the scripture. This means that "process" and "application" are not Dr. Bailey's main focus. Having lived in the Middle East for most of his adult life, he feels unqualified to apply Biblical theology to contemporary life in the West. His emphasis can be summed up by the question: "What did it mean to the original listener/reader?" Rather than: "What is the significance of this text for life in America today?" Others are far better qualified to answer the latter question. Dr. Bailey welcomes discussion and is happy to set aside time at the end of each lecture for that purpose.
A professor of homiletics for decades, along with his New Testament emphasis, he can preach and is happy to do so. At the same time, he feels that "worship" and "study" are not exactly the same. If the session is planned as a "worship experience" with hymns, prayers, scripture readings and a sermon he will be glad to do his best with the time allotted for the sermon.
If, however, the session is a "lecture", a brief introduction and an opening prayer are the only preliminaries necessary. Study sheets will be the order of the day along with blackboard diagrams and time for questions. The last thing Dr. Bailey wants to read on a proposed schedule is "7:30 - Monday night lecture (the choir will sing)."
Dr. Bailey was born in 1930 and is no longer a young man. His energy levels are not those of a 40 year old. He must have the opportunity to carefully examine a proposed schedule to ensure that he can "keep the pace" of that which is planned.
With a chronic back problem, Dr. Bailey prefers to lecture while seated at a small table. If the hall/sanctuary has some elevation at the front he will need:
If there is no elevation at the front of the room, a high stool behind a podium is an acceptable substitute. For a sermon in a worship service he stands.
Dr. Bailey works with hand out sheets which are critical for the effectiveness of his teaching. There will be an average of five per lecture. He will mail these (for duplication) in good time prior to an event.
Dr. Bailey has published a number of books. Depending on the subject chosen, one or perhaps two of them could be available for sale, if appropriate. If you are interested in pursuing this option, he will be glad to order the books and have them sent directly to the office.
Dr. Bailey has written the script for a feature length film on the three parables of Luke 15 (The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Prodigal Son). The film was shot in Cairo, Egypt with professional actors and crews. It is in Arabic but has clear English subtitles and has proved effective in many conferences across the English speaking world. Thus, one option for an evening program is the screening of the film followed by a brief discussion with the script writer. He can send a copy in advance for previewing, if so desired.
Non smoking accomodations in a hotel/motel or in a private home are equally acceptable. Whichever is easiest for the host organization is fully agreeable.
As mentioned, Dr. Bailey does suffer from a chronic back problem and must sleep on an extra firm mattress with a board beneath it. A board under a soft mattress is not workable. He needs both the board and the firm mattress. Dr. Bailey travels with an air mattress and will blow it up and sleep on the floor if necessary.
He prefers not to have a car. Hopefully a local person can provide transportation.
Regarding meals, Dr. Bailey is on a strict low fat, low calorie, high fiber/unrefined diet. Fancy meals in fancy restaurants are not his "thing". Fruit, vegetables and salad bars are his preference.
Please understand that Dr. Bailey does not need to be "entertained". He needs some time to review his material before each lecture and always has scholarly work with him. After 50 years of life in the Middle East, an afternoon siesta is a way of life and he takes a short nap after lunch everyday. If there is an early afternoon lecture, be sure to give him at least 30 minutes on his back before speaking.
Dr. Bailey is a serious Civil War buff. If your area has a good Civil War museum or an important battlefield nearby, he can be tempted to visit it/them.
The letter he most dreads receiving is one that says, "Saturday night we are planning a relaxed evening and are having a few friends in for dinner. You don't have to give a speech. We want you to relax." He would rather address 2,000 people for an hour than face such an evening. The "few friends" will not talk to each other. Instead, they will spend three hours cross-examining the guest on Middle East politics, international affairs, American Middle East policy, theological problems, etc. He will hardly be able to eat and will wind up totally exhausted. If dinner parties are an important aspect of the total event, the rule of thumb is: No more than one per day and no more than four people with whom to interact around a table.
People often use the presence of an out-of-town guest to pay their social debts. Dr. Bailey's decades of experience with these matters leads him to conclude that such dinner parties sap his energies and do not contribute to the overall goals of the teaching event.
In order to survive, he must be given the freedom to control, and if necessary, veto any eating arrangements. Eating alone does not offend him.
Dr. Bailey prefers to book his own tickets. Travel costs can be paid in advance or he is quite willing to receive a check covering travel expenses during the visit.
Dr. Bailey has no set "fee". He does not want the question of remuneration to determine where he lectures. In fairness to planning committees, if requested, he is willing to report the average range of the honorariums offered him per lecture hour.
Dr. Bailey has no objection to either video or audio recording as long as the material is only for the use of the participants and will not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Naturally, any video recording needs to be done in a manner that will not distract the audience.
If the inviting pastor or executive leaves the area before the scheduled event takes place, Dr. Bailey reserves the right to cancel if he decides it is best to do so.
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