A wise pastor once told me you will be considered an expert on any subject when you travel more than 50 miles from your home to speak. He said people want to believe the best about a guest speaker welcoming them with open arms. Knowing that assumption exists we can take advantage of it spending more time on our external preparation than we do on the preparation of our internal life. The most important preparation I make on each of these trips is the on-going preparation of my heart. Preparing good material is not difficult. Preparing our hearts is where the challenge comes.
Be careful when you ask God for a place of greater visibility and influence. That stage has very intense lighting that will quickly reveal your blemishes and spotlight your imperfections. The stage of public opinion is a merciless opponent for a polluted soul. The bright lights of celebrity status can become a blinding illusion masking the things in our lives God wants to touch and heal. In order to finish well before men we must first live well before God.
Each of us carries a unique gift-mix. Let those gifts make a way for your appearance on any stage no matter how large or small. When the Spirit of God, not self-promotion, invites you to step up on the stage, the words you speak will ring true in the heart of the hearer because they first rang true in your heart and most importantly, in the heart of God.