June 24th, 2004, 07:36 PM
I have just been asked to play on a tour with a Christian band. They are mainly visiting bigger churches. I met up with them and one of the first issues we talked about was charging money for the jobs. These guys are good musicians but only the bass player and I are what you would call professionals (in the sense we live from music). The vocalist wanted to go as cheap as possible but for us, work is work. I do not mind at all doing work for free like charity gigs, but if i am to go on a tour, that is work to me. I could understand his wish if these were small congregations with a low cash flow, but all the venues are major churches with a lot of cash laying around.
Most of the churches will also make good money selling tickets too. I suggested that we priced the gigs reasonable and rather could throw in a couple of gigs for congregations who we know can't afford it. Am I being to materialstic here wanting to get paid for doing my job?
June 24th, 2004, 07:41 PM
I agree with your position. It is your livelihood as a musician, but perhaps also as a ministry. I admire your willingness to be flexible when it comes to smaller congregations that may not be able to pay. Set a fee for your band and go from there, you have the freedom to be as flexible as you want. Our band doesn't charge anything, mostly because we all have regular day jobs and don't need the money. But for you that is different, and I would take the same position as you if I were in your place.
Lane in MS
June 24th, 2004, 07:45 PM
The way I've seen it done here most of the time is that the host church/group/facility/whatever would take care of expenses, and sometime during the concert, a "love offering" would be taken, with those proceeds going to the performers. That has always seemed fair to me. Your expenses are covered, and those you are reaching can give as they are lead. And giving is a gift in itself.
June 24th, 2004, 08:10 PM
..... They are mainly visiting bigger churches.
......Most of the churches will also make good money selling tickets too. I suggested that we priced the gigs reasonable and rather could throw in a couple of gigs for congregations who we know can't afford it.
I think that these two point's, with your allowance for smaller venues/Church's with income deficiency's are very key here:
1) if the bigger venues are "selling" ticket's, why would it be wrong for your band to get a fair share?
2) if out of charity (and I do mean the biblical sense), you "give away" some performances, why are you going to lower your rate even more, especially if you are making a living from this?
I guess then, by the reasoning, Paul would have not charged enough to make tent's (he was a tent maker by trade), when he was laboring, so as not to be a burden on other's. I mean, we all know that greed is bad, and that the love of money is evil, but to totally throw out a reasonable rate/fee, for a lower rate/fee, for what, so you can feel like a martyr? I know that may sound sarcastic, it's not, it's just that sometimes, we dont really stop and think about things, and we set ourselves up for a big fall, and then we just say, "oh why me?"
My opinion; if you as a band set down, evaluate your earning requirements, agree to a fair rate/fee, and agree to evaluate each church as to there being able to afford it (as far as giving away a couple of gig's), I think you will probably come up with right answer.
June 24th, 2004, 11:55 PM
is for God's glory. This does not mean its free! Ministers get paid to preach. They get paid to speak at revivals. It seems to me that you are performing a ministry and the law of Moses said don't muzzle the ox that treads the grain. You should be paid, especially if the churches are charging. As a pastor of a church if I charged people to come to an event the presenter, or musician or speaker would get paid and that amount would be considered in setting the ticket price. Our church has maybe 30 adults so we are far from rich, yet you should still be paid if there is a ticket price.
Your willingness to accomodate small congregations is admirable. Stick to your guns on getting paid by the larger churches or ANY church that is getting paid for your performance. Goodwill/love offerings are different there you get what the people have to give but nobody had to pay admission. It is wrong, IMHO, to charge admission and then ask for an offering too.
Hope it works well for you.
June 25th, 2004, 12:02 PM
As a pastor AND a musican I agree with 100% of the things said here.
* If someone is going to profit from your ministry, you should, too.
* If a church would gain spiritual blessings from your ministry, but can't afford to pay you, then it's up to you to decide what you can/should do for them.
* If your tour ever takes you to Boise, Idaho, USA, you're invited to come and play in my (very) small church - we can't pay, but I'll cook for you and you can stay in our guestroom. I'll just tell my wife you're a long-lost brother I never met.
June 25th, 2004, 07:26 PM
I appreciate your views. The thing that really bugs me about the situation is how some musician thinks the ministry will be more successful if you "suffer" while you do it. In other words, the less money you make from it and the poorer hotels u stay in, the more blessings you will receive.
I got the venue list today; the smallest congregation takes about 400 people in their church. The ticket price varies from about $15 to $20 depending on the venue. The gigs are what most churches would view as a perfect opportunity to invite non Christians to come to church. Somehow it is considered less “dangerous” to go to a concert than a service.
The thing is that even if we lowered our fees and expenses, the churches would still demand the same kind of money for entrance.
If a church called me telling me they had little or no money but needed a gig to create a buzz about the Lord, I would be happy to go there for free. If a church needed to raise money for being able to start up a hot meals program, I would jump at the chance, BUT if a fairly rich church more concerned about the size of the brass sign outside their front door tell me they need a gig, they sure have to pay.
June 26th, 2004, 12:07 AM
Brother, somebody is trying to make some money off you! Take your share without feeling any regrets; they pay the pastor, the electrician, and the guy who lays carpet, and they should pay you as well.
Even if it is for a good cause like a "nonthreatening evangelistic event", why should you be the one footing the cost of their evangelism? Sorry, but as the pastor of a truly small church that truly has no money, but still truly tries to do right by the people we invite in, I'm offended by the attitude of those who try to take advantage of others.
June 26th, 2004, 11:41 PM
2 ideas come to mind:
What about a percentage of the gate? Venues would be charged proportionally.
What about the guys who play for a living charging the band? You would go in as a hired gun and get paid x amount per gig, per day, or per week.
July 1st, 2004, 09:48 AM
Do you genuinely have a choice?
If you make a living from playing, as you say you do, then asking you to tour without enough recompense to meet your bills is not a very considerate or realistic thing of your otherwise employed bandmates to ask of you.
I'm pretty sure that deep down you know that already.
It's a pretty basic sense of fair play and decency that should tell your band mates the same thing, if they stopped and thought about it for a second.
July 7th, 2004, 08:08 PM
If some overly pious folk tell you to "do it for the Lord" (ie, "We won't pay you"), tell them, "That's exactly what I do, and the Lord pays me (ie, "YOU pay me") -- what a gracious God." Ask them if their pastor "does it for the Lord."
I love how I get asked to play at churches, and they know I'm a part-time professional, yet they never bring up the topic of compensation unless I bring it up first.
When they do this, I usually tell them, "How many hours will you need me? You know I get 'union wages' -- $30/hour for rehearsal and $80/hour for the service." This is roughly standard professional pay and musicians should be treated like professional plumbers who do work for the church.
Hey, then go on down to the homeless shelter and lead some (free) worship and get super-blessed!