The Big 'E'

Should gospel music acts be paid for their services? (Part 2)

This is the second part of the article “Should gospel music acts be paid for their services?”.

Contrary to the favourable statements made in the previous post, it’s also imperative for artists and musicians to pay more attention to certain details that they overlook and hence, deprives them of their due.

If you should be paid, then note that it’s a full-time commitment that deserves your best inputs not as unto man only but more importantly unto God. You can’t be invited to minister before a well-prepared congregation ready to be piloted at your command to the very throne room of God without intentional preparations both spiritually and musically.

You just can’t be a half-baked product ready to be dished out to the masses. Your duty Is now as spiritual as it is musical and you would need both arsenals to be in good working conditions before presenting your giftings on God’s altar.

We ought to learn to pass through the mandatory process of preparation and brokenness unto humility before God would Himself release that grace of being in demand upon your life. You would have to get right with the word of God, feed your inner man with it and worship with a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ through your instrument play or vocal delivery.

Also, your brand positioning matters. Although Christ gave us all a second chance to make a first impression, man would not. I always say this, even God and everything associated with Him is a brand. You can’t act like a commoner and be expected to be treated like an important personality.

Let your brand speak on your behalf. Let it communicate non-verbally things like, ‘I don’t just play with skill, but with a purpose, an anointing and from revelation’. “I sit and listen attentively to the word of God when being preached and never walk out to chit chat after playing my instrument right in the middle of an ongoing service, no, never”.

“I ensure that whatever you are paying me is well deserved and I give you value for your money and better still I’m not money conscious but kingdom minded”. “I could easily sow a seed of my honorarium on the alter on which I played if I’m led”.

“I command a noble presence and respectful demeanour when you are around me”. “Lastly, I pay my tithes and give my offering to a chorister to place in the offering bowl during offertory time when I’ll be busy playing behind my instrument and I dress to impress in a decent way”.

Let such things be the basic make up of your brand. To the gospel music minister too, ensure you are of a well composed character as you are in anointing.

Look good but don’t be overly stylish and uncomfortable in your own skin in the name of fashion, attracting attention to yourself most of the time rather than on God.

Hire a reasonable agency or person to manage your social media pages. If possible, have a website and office location where bookings and anything related to your brand could be easily accessed both online and offline.

Carry yourself about with some self-worth which is different from pride by the way, and don’t get drowned and imprisoned in the name of branding that you neglect an assignment by the Holy Spirit to minister at a church without the necessary capacity to employ your services.

Don’t always organize events and sing other peoples’ songs. Write yours or get songs written for you or yet still pray for the gift of songwriting and record, perform and promote your own songs with leading names like MiPROMO Media, if you have the financial capacity and more importantly the divine calling to do so.

Don’t minister at a service and walk out right from the altar into your car, pay respect to God’s presence, the man of God who invited you and your fellow brethren in the lord, sit down and be blessed by the ministration of others too. Iron sharpens iron; remember?

On the other hand, one major consent of those against the notion is the fact that everyone serving in one way or the other in the church ought to be paid too from the ushers to each chorister, to the service leaders and even the church deacons since they all work for God.

This assertion might seem true to a point up until the minute the two parties are asked to swap positions. Any artiste or instrumentalist could easily usher but the usher would find it hard to hit a note, or read music let alone play it out on a keyboard. It’s just as simple as that.

The other truth is that while it might be a burden on the finances of some churches to pay each chorister and instrumentalist, the least they can do to show genuine appreciation is to consider the day to day lives of their choristers and instrumentalists, visit, call, recommend them to other paying gigs, link them up with part-time jobs and provide refreshments for them after each service.

All these among other little acts that go a long way to show that you really care and appreciate them for their services and not do the opposite of backlashing and criticizing them for minute errors done.

Don’t say it translates to rewards in heaven and it’s an intangible blessing serving in gods house for free. Give them their due and let them get something to sow seeds with, help the poor with and do all those other requirements wholeheartedly in order to earn their rewards in heaven.

Choosing to play for the gospel music fraternity alone is a decision that releases God’s intangible blessing because you have clearly turned down the highly lucrative offers of the secular music industry to do God’s work and that alone is a great sacrifice.

All you are doing by not honouring your musicians and music ministers is rather putting yourself in an uncomfortable position with God when his minstrels minister in bitterness.

The body of Christ is really vast and if one church doesn’t do the expected, its common place to see your instrumentalists relocate to more suitable churches who have understood these basic necessities and are duly enjoying of the fruit thereof.

Never muzzle the ox that feeds you. You need good music, I know I do too and what’s more, God needs it also to enjoy the sweet aroma of the worship that emanates from it.

We ought to renew our minds and embrace this, for how else would we be able to fight off Gods’ archenemy who apparently was His head musician and now is the brain behind all the profanity and nudity going on in what seems to be a highly appealing and lucrative secular music industry?

The enemy’s happiness stems from the ill-treated and lackadaisical approach to gospel music in churches because it automatically redirects the church folk to thrive under what seems to be a rather popular and well-structured secular music scene.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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