As a church musician should you get paid to serve at church?
That’s the long heated debate. Just to let you know I don’t get paid the cheddar at my home church Oasis. The main music director is on staff and gets paid of course. I do get paid to play at a small church every Sunday playing piano.
Here’s my take on it.
There’s nothing wrong with it.
And… It depends.
There are two types of musicians at church.
- Professional musician
- Amateur musician
Let’s dissect the two.
Simply put, pros make a living with music. The pay their bills, rent, gas, insurance, etc. using the gift of music that God gave them to make a living. God wants us to use our gifts to earn a living and serve others. Statistics state that most talented individuals do not use their talents to earn a living. Which is why most folks hate their 9 to 5 job.
There are many jobs as a musician, you can be: freelance, session musician, instructor, music director, composer, songwriter, etc. Plenty of musicians have families that they need to provide for and others probably don’t have families but they have personal needs.
Professionalism is also a mindset. Being prepared, highly trained, being on time to rehearsals and gigs, having the right attitude, getting the job done, like ability. Nobody likes divas, drama queens, or even anti-social musicians.
Attitude and mindset is probably one the key factors that differentiates between amateurs and pros.
Amateurs get paid and don’t get paid. I have seen it both ways. But most amateurs earn a living through their regular day jobs.
I have seen many amateurs that are amazing musicians and others that are average. They do have a different mindset though.
In both, highly trained and poorly trained I have seen great attitudes but mostly poor attitudes.
They don’t learn the tunes, don’t come to practice, have poor attitudes, their commitment is average, arrive late, don’t call or text to let everyone know they are coming or not and it goes on and on.
I can’t speak for all churches but I have worshipped in many different denominations and churches across the globe in different cultures. There is definitely a pattern of amateurism and professionalism no matter what church.
Looking for that church cheddar?
If you would like to get paid as a church musician there many opportunities out there. You just have to find the right one, which is tough. But when you find the right church it will be very steady work for you. As opposed to finding a steady secular gig which is even tougher.
It does depend on the church, not the church size. Believe it or not regardless of the size a lot of churches do not know how to manage their finances well or they’re just a bunch of tightwads and don’t value the spiritual gifts that you are providing.
I have experienced both. Run away from those poorly run churches. God will take care of them for not providing for their flock.
They are churches that pay and others that are voluntary. You pick and choose what you are looking for. If it is just for extra cash to spend on a new toy and not to provide for yourself or family then maybe you should question is it about you or God.
In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. (1 Corinthians 9:14 NLT)
I pray that this opens up for discussion, please leave a comment below. Also, please share this post by clicking on one of the share buttons below.
Keep seeking and you will find. Matt 7:7