Musicians--Volunteer or paid?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Todd Galloway, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Todd Galloway

    Todd Galloway
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    Our church has always relied on volunteer pianist/organist. We recently discussed hiring a pianist and organist. I would like to hear the pros and cons.
     
  2. Joshua Rhodes

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    Hey G-Man!

    PRO: You can (maybe) hire someone a little more talented or able to tackle the more difficult things. Sometimes just playing for services is not enough, depending on your use of choir and/or praise team. Paying someone may give you the ability to get someone who would be more able to accompany rather than just play.

    CON: Then you run the risk of someone doing it as a job rather than as a ministry. We've been blessed here at our church, having people to play with the right heart, truly wanting to worship, and not for the paycheck.

    Of course, it's just my humble opinion. [​IMG]
     
  3. Johnv

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    Does the minister get paid? If he's getting paid, maybe he's doing it just for the job. Does your church have a secretary? Is she volunteer?

    Professional church musicians are the most underappreciated and overworked folks in the church, imo. Take a typical choir director. The average amount of time, including preparation, that a choir director puts in is about 15-20 hours a week. Many choir directors get paid nothing.

    Pianists/organists/accompanists? Almost as much. There's practice time, rehearsal time with the choir, choosing the music, etc.

    Don't be a tightwad. Let them know you appreciate them by compensating them with a weekly honorarium. These folks love the Lord, but they also love to eat.
     
  4. Gib

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    I went to bat for, IMO, our underpaid pianist. Our church does not have a money problem and can afford to pay an accompianist. One of the finance co. members asked was it a case of financial need. I said no, it was a case of appreciating our musicians. She has never asked for the money or a raise. She is always there and pretty much does whatever she is asked to do. She has a servants heart and enjoys playing. If I told her that we had to cut the budget back, I don't believe she would quit.

    Our primary pianist is responsible for Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, Adult choir, Weddings, funerals, revivals, associational events, senior adult functions, playing for soloist and other groups. What she is paid now is still far less than what she's worth.
     
  5. Gib

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    Are your volunteer muscians still available?

    Pro: if your paying for the services of a pianist or organist they probably have a little mo better skills and musicianship than a volunteer (not always the case) . Con: burnout. We have several pianist in our church. When the primary pianist needs a break, I have someone else to fall back on. Unfortunately they are not comfortable on the organ.

    I have been at my current church for 2 yrs and some change. We have not had an organist in that time. Some donated both the organ and the piano several yrs ago. They had a volunteer organist, but she had back surgery 2 1/2 years ago and has been unable to continue. Since then, it has been a wishy washy issue with the personnel co. They have asked everyone and their bro. to play and there have been no takers. I have suggested they place an add in the local Baptist associational newsletter. They have balked at that and said the Lord will provide someone to play. I believe he can, but I think our approach is the wrong way to go.
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    As a musician, I love to play my trombone for the Lord. If I go to a large Church and they can afford to pay me, I will take money for it. But, money would not keep me from playing at a smaller Church as well. If your Church can afford it, I think it would be a good thing.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    And where will "paying" to serve God stop?
    Pay our SS teachers?
    Pay our nursery staff?
    Pay cooks for a pot luck?
    Pay songleader?
    Pay sound booth men?
    Pay ushers? oh, wait, they get ALL the money! [​IMG]

    Oh, paying to "perform" is another matter. If you are putting on a performance, then head down to the nightclub or lounge and play away.

    God says that the pastor is worthy of wages, that preaching is hard work that deserves remuneration. Don't read that about any other gifted worker in the congregation.
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    Dr. Bob, you said
    Our nursery staff for our bed babies ARE paid and paid well. (The other 4 nurseries are volunteer tho.)

    Our church does pay a cook for special dinners, banquets, etc.

    Our Minister of Music makes over $40,000 a year.

    The sound booth men are paid by the hour. Our pianist and organist are both paid by the week. We have a contract with a grounds crew to keep the acerage looking nice. We have another paid crew who changes out the flowers seasonally and keeps the flower beds filled with pinestraw.....

    The list DOES go on and on!

    Diane
     
  9. Travelsong

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    Jesus pays well doesn't He?
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I prefer not to. I don't care much for nightclubs. I prefer to play music that is pleasing to the Lord. If the Church is able to afford it, I will take pay for it as well.

    God says that the pastor is worthy of wages, that preaching is hard work that deserves remuneration. Don't read that about any other gifted worker in the congregation. [/QUOTE]

    If music is so easy, then why don't most pastors pick up a piano, organ, trombone, etc...and play it themselves. I would like to challenge you to learn to play the trombone and see how much hard work it really can be to do it well. BTW, your hermeneutic of silence seems a bit questionable to me. Come on Dr. Bob, you know that just because the Bible is silent about something does not imply approval nor condemnation. It just means that the Bible is silent about the issue and that it is probably something that wasn't that important to God.

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  11. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Yes, he does. I wonder how much great preachers like Criswell and others made.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    I work at a church in which we have around 1500 people there every week. About 3000 members. We have 300 students (6th grade-12th graders) on our roll. We have 2 ministers who work with them (of which I am one). We have 2 ministers who are responsible for leading in worship - with a 200 person choir, a 50 person student choir, 250 children who are involved in children's choir, 30 member orchestra, etc., two ministers is absolutely needed. We have a minister of education, a business administrator (also a minister), a minister of media, a minister to children, a senior pastor, a senior associate pastor (who is also the main "counselor" at the church - only two of us really do that as we have the proper education - he and I), and a minister to senior adults. Looking over the landscape of our church, everyone of these pastors is needed for a proper running of our church. We pay all of them, as this is their full-time job.

    We also have secretaries, a daycare center, and, yes, a paid pianist. She leads in worship twice a week, plus helps the choir practice on Wednesdays. She puts in many hard hours at the church and at home and gets a small stipend. We do not pay orchestra members nor praise team members, but the devotion and the skill needed to play on Sunday morning and Sunday night and all the practices is quite remarkable.

    The thing about it is that she would do it for no money at all. However, we are commanded to pay each person what he is owed in the Bible. We believe that we are fair in the payment of all of our employees. (And unlike other churches, none of our ministers are getting rich by serving God - we are paid well enough.)
     
  13. Pete

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    G'day Dr Bob [​IMG]

    Are Luke 10:7, & 1 Timothy 5:18 ("labourer is worthy" KJV, "worker deserves" NIV) both just talking about the pastor?

    (DISCLAIMER: The views in the next paragraph do not represent mine... ;) )

    I hope not...I'm currently Sunday school teacher, guitar player, puppet script writer, puppeteer, and anything else I can get my hands into (no puppet pun intended). At previous Churches I was also bus driver, preached a few times, wrote and led young peoples Bible studies, etc...So where's my cut? As my chimp puppet Charlie would say "gimmegimmegimme! IwantIwantIwant!"

    I am not a great fan of any sort of "professionalism" in the Church, every Christian is supposed to be one of a "royal priesthood" etc. Debates about paying pastors aside, if every Christian did consider themselves a priest and got stuck in to something it would take some weight off the pastors' backs.

    So I guess this rant puts me down for a 'con' vote ;)

    I will add G-Man that whatever solution you take remember that in Acts 6:3 men "who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom" were chosen to wait on tables [​IMG] Don't just get any old "hired gun" for a ministry [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  14. Eric B

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    Actually, if you look at the context, it was the traveling ministers who were to be given financial help (including a place to stay). The "double honor" of stationary elders does not specify money.
     
  15. Gib

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    I could'nt agree more with this statement. There are too many churches hiring entertainers to come in and be pleasing to the ear and easy on the eyes. And it's not just happening in the music department.

    Our church is looking to hire a full-time nursery worker. Why? Because we can't muster enough help from the congregation. Nobody wants to do it. They've raised their kids and grandchildren and they don't want to do anymore. We may as well hang a sign on the door that reads "NO YOUNG COUPLES WITH CHILDREN WANTED HERE."
     
  16. Travelsong

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    I had no idea there was so much financial oppurtunity in the Lord's service. I might as well quit my job and start directing music at church for a living.
     
  17. ScottEmerson

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    I agree with this. A church shouldn't hire entertainers. They should bring in worship leaders who are gifted and talented, and who can lead a congregation in worship&gt; A church should also care for their financial needs, as they often eschew careers to follow the direction of the Lord.

    I think in hiring a full-time nursery worker, your church is telling young couples the opposite. They may hear, "We care about you enough to put our money where our mouth is! We want you to be able to experience worship with us. We have a nursery, that is led by a qualified child-care worker. Come join us!" Of course, the nursery should also be staffed by those who feel called to volunteer. If they are not stepping up to the plate, perhaps the pastor should step in and remind them of the God they serve and what He requires.
     
  18. ScottEmerson

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    Only if that is what God wants you to do. It is an awful thing to use God for money, lest we forget Simon the magician in the book of Acts!
     
  19. Travelsong

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    I am inclined to believe that a church which has it's payroll extended to music directors and even further has it's priorities a little out of place. Are we at the point where we feel the need to have such a level of professionalism in our worship service that we have to create a comfortably paid job position? I don't mean to be judgemental but I don't think I could ever belong to a church like that.
     
  20. Pete

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    Gib, instead of hanging a sign on the door, how about just hanging a few pew-warmers :D It is a sad sign of a Church when no-one wants the best job there though :(

    Pete
     

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