I created a bit of a stir during my Handbell Choir Rehershal last night when I told the new assistant music director that I had problems with his hiring a string quartet from the local state-owned University to perform in the church Christmas Program. I asked him how he selected the musicians and he stated that he uses this group at "many churches in the city." That brought up several questions in my mind. First - If he is on our staff - why is he hiring musicians for other churches in the city? Don't they have their own church staffs? Second - Why isn't he using members of our own congregation? We have am amazing orchestra that plays every Sunday. Third - Why are we even spending money for this? Our church just finished building a new sanctuary, and it was only a few weeks ago that our Pastor shared that he was worried about making the labor-day-weekend payroll. (We surpassed it, but still, obviously there are money issues going on.) My MAIN concern though is this: The largest Baptist Church in our city has a habit of "hiring" musicians from the University. Because my family is VERY active in the music industry in town, we know a great deal about a lot of these individuals. The violinist most often hired is good. She played at Carniege Hall when she was young, and still plays there. She also proudly proclaims to be both lesbian and a satanist. The church's view was "at least this gets her into church once a year." The view of many people who knew the woman was, "church funds should go to Christians who need them, not satanists." I seemd to be the only one at my church with concerns about hiring outsiders so I wanted feedback from here. Do you think your church should pay for "outside entertainers" during special seasons?