It happens every so often. A “Big Name”, generally television, preacher decides that he or she needs a jet to carry them on the gospel road, or that they need a newer, bigger, better jet to replace their older, smaller, that is probably just as good of a jet, but no longer sufficient jet to carry them on said gospel road, and petitions his or her followers to pony up the money for a cash purchase. This creates a big bru-hah-hah in the media, and lame excuses given as to why the jet is an immediate necessity. The project is then a)put on hold, b)scrapped, or c) a jet is eventually bought with the funds donated for the project and any additional funds needed from the ministry.
This is not an anti-jet, anti-prosperity rant. Actually it’s not a rant at all—more of a reality check. There are some people in ministry that actually need a jet. Most don’t.
When I learned to fly many years ago a well-meaning and exceedingly zealous church member came up to me and said, “Pastor, I’m standing in agreement with you for a jet.” I quickly told them, “There are three reasons that I don’t need a jet. The first is that I don’t know how to fly one. The second is that I don’t have the travel schedule that demands one. And the last is that I can’t afford the fuel to keep one in the air!” They were disappointed by my lack of faith. I live by faith but I live in reality.
Many years ago an accountant that serves any number of large ministries told me that he only knew of one traveling minister that, from a cost effective standpoint, needed a jet. That was the late Lester Sumrall. I had Lester in our Lima church on one occasion and he flew in on his Falcon 20—a very fine midsize jet. His pilot told me, (as did the accountant), that Lester spoke in a different city almost every night of the year and that on some days he would do a morning session in one city and an evening session in another. Their book sales paid for the cost of the fuel. His jet was cost effective. Most aren’t.
But even for those that aren’t cost effective there are some people in ministry that should fly on a private jet. Anyone of sufficient fame to have achieved “celebrity” status should probably fly on a private jet because their every action is duly noted and most of us don’t travel well. I’m reminded of an incident where Victoria Osteen took exception to the wet spot on her First Class seat. It made the papers. I would take exception to a wet spot on my First Class seat— on my Coach seat too!
The late, great Robert Schuller made the news because he made an issue of the way that his clergy robe was hung up on a flight. He was traveling directly from the flight to a big wedding that he was officiating and he didn’t want a wrinkled robe. I understand. Any wedding that Robert Schuller officiated had to have been a gala affair and I certainly wouldn’t want to appear wrinkled at such an affair. (If you’re thinking, “I wouldn’t care”, that’s okay you’ll never be invited to officiate at such an affair. I have—several times, sans robe.) Schuller was of sufficient celebrity that it made the news. He should have been flying on a private jet.
But the question is—“Do you REALLY need a private jet to be a prosperity preacher?” The short answer is only if you do. The long answer is a bit more complex.
I have read some funny reasons for NEEDING a jet. One is “to protect the anointing” from all the other travelers. If you anointing is that weak you may want to check your anointing. I’ve traveled many a Sunday afternoon in coach, went directly from the airport to the platform and the anointing worked perfectly well. Another was because you can’t pray on a commercial airline. I know that’s not true because I’ve been in turbulence that made unbelievers pray. Another was less stops save fuel, e.g. money, which makes sense if the aircraft saving you money doesn’t cost mega bucks more than the cost of the fuel saved. Which it generally does. Which brings me to the idea of mission specific and a little common sense.
For a couple of years I flew a Bellanca Super Viking from Dayton to Atlanta every Sunday afternoon on a church planting mission. It was fast and fun. It saved time. It was also cost effective. When we finished the church plant I sold the plane because any aircraft is too expensive to be a toy. Which brings us back to the crux of the issue—is there a use? If there is and you can afford it get it. But make it mission specific.
All of this would be minutia if it weren’t for the number of people with smaller ministries that have told me that they were “believing God” for a jet. To which I said, “Why?” They couldn’t fly them, couldn’t afford the fuel, and didn’t have anywhere to go. But they were “believing God” because in their minds that was the divine sign that you had made it. I think not.
Do you really need a jet to be a prosperity preacher? No. I know that to be true because I preach prosperity, have helped literal thousands to prosper, and more than a few to become wealthy without owning a jet. Don’t need one. Can’t fly one. Don’t want to maintain one. And there’s a better way to fly.
It was said that if Jesus lived today He wouldn’t be riding a donkey He would be flying a jet. That may be true, but if you remember the story He borrowed the donkey. Jets are like boats—it’s better to be able to borrow your friends than to keep them up yourself.
When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to share some insight from Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, on private flying. I’m also going to give you A Primer On Prosperity that will help you to live your most prosperous life possible. If you have the password you can go there right now. If you don’t have the password hit the “SOWING” button and sow a seed of any amount. The default setting is twenty dollars but many sow more and at this writing none sow less. When you do so this month’s password will be immediately emailed to you. Write it down—it’s good for the rest of the month. I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”