I know some of us are full-time staff at a church, but some are bi-vocational "part-time", handling the music ministry on top of another job. What is your situation? Do you like it or would you prefer to change it up? What are some of the challenges you deal with due to your current situation? Pros and Cons of full-time vs part-time?
This is something that many of us deal with and some have only seen one side of the equation. Personally, I spent over 8 years full-time then after switching gears and going part-time, where the church wasn't my main income, I found that it worked much better for me. That's not the case for everyone, but maybe sharing some experiences here will encourage someone else that's in a similar situation as you... or give some helpful ideas on how to improve things or better view situations and options.
Daniel and Wulf, I was beginning to feel a bit of a mug and thought it may just be my denomination who didn't pay but quite relieved it's a general UK thing : )
To me, I feel like it's something that should be done without charge. Once money and livelihood becomes involved then it stops being a gift and starts becoming a job that requires a professional appearance - it stops being about honesty and requires that I perform to an expected standard so that I can pay the mortgage and feed the family.
I also appreciate others might feel differently about this.
It's curious that bible teaching does not seem like that, which may be a result of the difference I see between creativity (essentially something spontaneous - playing the same solo/reproducing the same CD night after night isn't creative) and studied learning. I also feel much more comfortable about teaching formally when I am not in such a good place than I do about leading worship.
Perhaps it's because worship comes out of relationship, rather than understanding, and one I own while the other I do not. It also seems that I have separated musicianship from worship, and identified that they are not connected.
OTOH people are very happy to pay for a gig, so why shouldn't they pay to watch their favourite bands play music from the worship genre. Just important to know what's relational and what's product.
Toni you say 'It also seems that I have separated musicianship from worship, and identified that they are not connected', I would love it if you could expand upon this statement, I'm intrigued O O
Sorry to take a long time to reply: your question triggered a lot of thoughts about various things, many only slightly related. The simple answer is that worship is not music, though music may become worship.
I'm not convinced posting a long answer is useful. ;-)
No worries Toni, I thank you for your reply.
I spent 11 years as an unpaid worship leader. 3 services a week. Sometimes with the full band (Sunday am) and sometimes (midweek) just me and my guitar. They actually offered on a few occasions to give me a small stipend as my predecessor had, but I turned it down. That ended about 20 years ago.
I have been a sub or second string WL in other congregations as well, all with no pay.
Toni said: "To me, I feel like it's something that should be done without charge. Once money and livelihood becomes involved then it stops being a gift and starts becoming a job that requires a professional appearance - it stops being about honesty and requires that I perform to an expected standard so that I can pay the mortgage and feed the family."
That pretty well sums up my attitude also.
I prefer doing ministry when it is NOT my full-time job, for many of the reasons mentioned in this thread. At the same time, I do not see it as wrong to receive some compensation. The Bible of course supports being compensated. So I don't see this as right or wrong... just comes down to what works best for each person.
While you can say that getting some level of pay for leading worship may cause you to perform or just become professional in how you do things... I think it can also help to push you to be better. When you know that God's money is being given to you, it can help you to take it more seriously and realize that you better do your best so that money isn't wasted or taken advantage of. Of course, you should desire to give your best with or without compensation, but I'm just saying it can be a bit of a reminder and add some accountability... which is never a bad thing.