Hiring Outside Musicians

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    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?
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

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    I have been hired by several churches, to play music. I won't do it if I disagree with the church's statement of faith, and I won't play at inter-faith services. But we have played in just about every Baptist Church around here, and have found a permanent place in the Cowboy Camp meetings.

    So I guess I see nothing wrong with it.

    Would it be the same as hiring a guest preacher ?
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    These are questions that you need to ask this new staff member together with the music director and the pastor. I would assume that he is under the pastor's authority.

    We have brought in guest singers for revivals. In each case, I have known the singers personally or have at least heard them sing elsewhere and did a thorough check of them before they came to be with us.
     
  4. Petrel

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    I don't have a problem with it either. I think I probably have grown to value good music more than the average Baptist.

    Did you ask why the music director wasn't using the instrumentalists in the congregation? Maybe they are unavailable or unable to play the music selected.

    I doubt that your budget is going to be effected by this. Typically there is a separate music budget and expenses for music and instrumentalists comes out of this budget. Probably the money was already earmarked for music expenses at the beginning of the fiscal year.

    I am not sure what he meant about hiring the group to play at other churches (whether he hired them himself or whether he just meant other churches hire them). Even if he is being paid for performances at other churches, so what? Most church musician jobs are part-time and don't pay enough to live on, so I would be surprised if he didn't have other sources of income.

    Finally, if it's just the specific person who is hired, that could be dealt with without ceasing hiring outside musicians at all.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    We will hire outside musicians. We even allow unbelievers to play a secondary role in our band (obviously not as the primary worship leader). It is a great evangelism opportunity as the "worship leader" builds a relationship with them with the intention of helping that person become an active follower of Jesus Christ. This is a touchy area and must be approached with caution. It really has to do more with the individual mindset of the church (and its leadership).
     
  6. FWBPastor

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    I am not opposed to hiring outside musicians, praise teams, etc. However...no one, and I mean NO ONE ministers in our church unless I know their personal testimony. If I have to spend an entire afternoon talking with the musicians, that's fine. I feel that anyone who ministers in a church, in whatever capacity, must lead a Christian life. How can you minister to Christians unless you are a Christian ? Most certainly, the person in question would be welcome in the church, where she could hear the Word of God preached, but she would be unable to minister in any way until she came to Christ.
     
  7. Circuitrider

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    Because we believe in the autonomy of the local church that decision is a decision for each church to make. Nobody can tell you what you should do. [​IMG]

    Every situation and every church is different. If you have accomplished musicians in your church use them, that is what the church is all about. We should be involving our people in ministry. However, if you church is lacking in musical talent you may have to borrow some musical help. My wife has been assisting a small church in our state with the music for their Christmas program. In our travels state-wide we sing, and my wife often plays piano or organ for specials, offertories and congregational singing (at the request of the pastor). There is nothing wrong with using outside musical ministry.

    Personally when it comes to "hiring" musicians I would not do that. We are talking ministry here, and they should be willing to come to use their talents for the Lord if you invite them and they are available. Then your church should give them a love offering for coming and maybe pay their travel expenses. ;)

    (A side note along this line is that most of the CCM musicians and their groups are not involved in musical ministry they are in the music business....anytime you have to pay to hear someone do music it is not ministry but business :eek: ...but that is discussion for another thread)
     
  8. bapmom

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    Im right with ya, Sister Texas.

    And Petrel, it is percisely because I value truly good GODLY music that I would have to disagree with you on this one.

    The only "exception" I would see to it would be cases, as others have posted here, where they know and trust the outside singer's personal testimony. I can see no excuse for hiring outside singers who are unsaved! The music ministry is vital in my eyes, and it is a Ministry.....not entertainment. The singers in the church are "ministers", preparing the hearts of the congregation for the preaching to come.

    Someone mentioned that it could be seen as hiring a visiting preacher...I agree. We would not hire an unsaved preacher, would we? Or a preacher from a church with different, maybe even opposing, doctrines from our own church?

    We must glorify God in all we do, and bringing in outside UNSAVED singers to sing songs they do not believe and to "praise" a God they do not follow, is close to blasphemy in my opinion.

    To me, this is such a big deal that I'd go straight to my pastor and complain.....in private of course. Don't try to find out everyone else's opinion in your church first....go to your preacher.
     
  9. Brother Ian

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    As stated before, we "hire" guest musicians, singers, etc. for some occasions like revival or homecoming. My church is very blessed to have a good orchestra. In fact, last night we played at a church for a praise celebration in Jacksonville, FL.

    For special occasions, I don't see a problem. For a practicing outspoken homosexual and satanist, I can't see that happening in my church.
     
  10. Johnv

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    You're in handbells. Good boy, I knew there was something I liked about you. My cousin has several pieces of handbell music in publication. [​IMG]
    This is a very subjective thing. I think if there is a budget for it, and there's reason for it, then it can be permissible. For example, if a certain selection needs XX number of cellists, and you only have one, then I don't see the problem with it. I attend an annual Handel's Messiah at my cousin's church every Christmas, and they hire some musicians out (some from my church), though most are volunteer. It's a special event, and I personally think that having a full orchestra for this event is called for.

    Like I said, it's really subjective, and I think that each church should allow their ministers of music whatever discretion they deem necessary.
     
  11. tenor

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    Should not preachers also be "willing to come to use their talents for the Lord if you invite them and they are available?"

    How is it different giving someone a "love offering" or paying an agreed fee? Both are payment for services rendered. Church musicians have to eat too. Also, hiring orchestra players can be a good outreach tool.

    Would you also expect a Christian builder/contractor to give his time and talents while building your Sanctuary?

    Another thought, why pay an outside person to come in and preach a revival meeting if there are people in the church who could do it?

    BTW, I'm not a CCM type. I am a music minister in a very traditional church.

    Tim
     
  12. Johnv

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    My cousin is a handbell soloist, and he's played for lots of churches and received an honorarium. He does it because it's his himinstry, but doing to also costs him to do so. So if an honorarium is offerred, he will accept it in gratitude. In several of the churches he was at, they were so motivated by his performance, that the church started a handbell choir. Seems to me like the investment was worth it in those cases.
     
  13. Rachel

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    I've never been in a church that hired out muscian's. They have always been given a love offering when someone visited. Maybe because they weren't big churches, I don't know.
    I consider the music in church a ministry too, I can't imagine having unsaved people coming and participating in it no matter what the occasion!
    I would be trying to get to the bottom of all this too, talk to the Pastor and music director.
     
  14. Gib

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    Wifey-poo plays piano for 3 different churches. She is also called on to play for seasonal parties and community events. She is a very well paid musician. Please call her at 1-912-555-....
     
  15. Johnv

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    Okay, I'm going to get some flak for this, but here goes: I don't have a problem with unsaved musicians being hired. The reason is simple. It's an opportunity for those musicians to be witnessed to by the church and the other musicians. I've seen it happen.

    And certainly, God can and often does used the unsaved to reveal himself. The power of music is a good example.
     
  16. tenor

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    I do believe it is a good outreach opportunity, however, I would not have soloists that I didn't know their testimony perform as "featured musicians."

    Tim
     
  17. Johnv

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    I think I would agree with you on the soloist thing. In the very least, a person if not requiring a testimony, requiring that the person support the ministry's statement of purpose and mission would be a must. Again, each church is , imo, allowed to decide these things for themselves.
     
  18. Rachel

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    I have a big problem with that and if it happened in my church I would raise cain. Isn't church for the body of Christ?
    They can be witnessed to anywhere else, they don't need to perform in a church to be witnessed to.
     
  19. bruren777

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    Hi John V, I glad you're in the hotseat this time. It was my turn a few day's ago when I started a thread about methods to get the unsaved to church, I got flak for that.

    I don't have a problem with unsaved musicians putting on a concert in the church, just as I don't when we have guest Christian musicians in concert at our church.

    At a church I used to attend I suggested to the pastor some Christian musicians and singers I knew as guests to perform at our church. I told him these people were very talented and humble. He said no, because it would offend our Praise and Worship team
     
  20. bapmom

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    tenor,

    and everyone else......we aren't objecting to the fact of payment. In and of itself I have no problem with paying outsiders who may come in and provide a service for the church.

    However, I cannot fathom how anyone in a Baptist church would find it acceptable to bring in an UNSAVED person to "minister" in music to those sitting in the pews. If you want an outreach to those musicians than invite them to come sit in the service while you have a special music night, then preach to them.

    Im sorry, but this is such a big deal to me, that if my church were having any unsaved people come in to play for us (whether paid or not paid), I'd seriously consider leaving the church over it, if it were not rectified. Music is far too much of an influence, and an integral part of worshipping God in my eyes.

    We consider anyone who sings in front of the church, or plays an instrument in front of the church to actually be part of the leadership. Visitors see them as people the church is upholding as examples of some of the faithful ones among our congregation who wish to serve God. We can do nothing more than to actually place people up there who actually ARE serving God.
     

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