Honor Your Gifts – The Breakdown Continues
Honor your gifts, which come from God. Period.
#5. You better be getting paid. Yes. Something. Training (workshops, retreats (no, not ones you’re playing at, but yes you should do those too), cash, gift cards, something. This is about someone other than you honoring your gifts. I will fight you on this one because it is so crucial.
“…I will fight you on this one…” Let’s go. I’m ready to go to the mat on this one, so let’s get the conversation rolling. In the Book “You Better Get It In Your Soul,” the authors make a case for paying the entire worship team, period. The argument was that if the musician wanted to give it back to the church, that was their choice, but they were paid for their time. The crux of the argument was a church in the community needed to be doing as least as much as the local bar.
While crude, the argument lays bare the issue of why musicians don’t get paid. Why is it so difficult, when we all agree the skills are a gift from God, yet there is reluctance to compensate people for the time and other resources they commit (and church leadership consumes) to make sure Worship happens every week?
What is the decision process when musicians are compensated, what criteria are used, and are those processes/criteria public knowledge? How much are musicians compensated? Yes, these are all “delicate” issues, and what is the discussion around why said issues are delicate and how to protect privacy and operate transparently? What type of other compensation does the church provide all worship team members, and how are members compensated for out of pocket expenses?
The talents you offer up are a gift from God. You have to value those gifts, and that value is your decision alone. In addition to your gifts, value your time and be accountable for time spent preparing to worship. Again, you set the value of your time and talent. Anyone asking you to question that valuation, or questioning the fact you value your gifts and resources… I laid down a marker in #3 and assured you that God is glorified through your gifts, no matter what.
I stick by my assertion that God is gloried, and He’s given you gifts to use. If you’re using those gifts to help a church, you absolutely should be compensated in some way. Church leadership must value worship, its creation, and the culture it can create at the same level it relies upon worship week in and week out. Value means having a seat at the table and a voice in the planning that acknowledges the importance of worship along with a commitment to a long term vision of worship.
Give freely of your talent and your time with love and joy. Give with the love that keeps no record because it knows the joy of God being glorified. Give with a love that loves you. We’re compelled to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, but how can we do that if we don’t love ourselves? Give out of a love that renews in the giving. When our giving spirals into continual depletion of our spirit, it’s easy to lose sight of why we do this in the first place.
Getting Paid, on a basic level, is about someone who benefits from what you do, acknowledging your work (ideally) via remuneration. I offered some suggestions at the start of this post (Cash. Training, a retreat, gift cards, a meal, something…), and invite church leaders to come up with their own. That said, be aggressive about maximizing every (ahem) opportunity, making the most out of your situation and contributing at your highest ability all the time. Does this require work on your part? Yes. Will this work benefit you? Yes. Taking your current situation, gnawing it down to the bone, then cracking open the bone for the marrow is the payday you make happen.
Be strong, love and get paid.
p.s.: I’m still ready to fight