A friend of mine attends a church in midtown, and he tells me that all the musicians in the praise band, as well as head of technical crew and some of his assistants, are paid for their efforts (sorry, singers, you’re on your own). He found this out when he was asked to consider joining the sound team. The current sound guy takes home $900 per month for working every Sunday. Not a bad deal for working a few hours on a weekend. The musicians don’t have to be members of the church, either.
I mentioned this to my wife, and she told me that she met someone who is a paid singer at the mainline denominational church where I grew up. What’s going on?
I’m used to staff positions like “worship pastor” or “choir director”. I guess I’m assuming that if we pay the folks who have leadership roles, then they’ll have the freedom to focus on their task, and not be distracted by having to earn a living.
But what does it say if we pay the musicians? Just this: music is so important that it cannot be left to amateurs. The “sound”, the “feel” of the service is so critical that if we rely on volunteer parishoners only, the service will suffer.
But will it?
I wonder how long it will take before something like this (satirical) article becomes a reality? Meanwhile, I’m dusting off my bass guitar and practicing my “amens”.