Thursday, February 2, 2012

Should I Minister for Free?

The dilemma is not knowing whether or not we will be blessed with a little sumthin', sumthin' when it's all said and done or what! Picture this - God blessed us with a new project and the initial goal was to get it out to the masses and save as many souls as possible at whatever costs, but the costs are killing us. You may have even heard this a time or two, "Come on out Sis/Man of God and be a Blessing to someone and share your gift!" However, many handshakes later, with nothing being passed from hand to hand, when it's all said and done, you find yourself with less money in your pocket than you did prior to the event. What do you do?


The first thing you need to ask yourself is, "Am I out here to minister or am I a Christian artist seeking ways of being catapulted to that other stratosphere?" A minister's job is to model the teachings of the Bible and offer words of encouragement to any and everyone in need. The job of the artist is to deliver these teachings in the art form he or she has been blessed with to encourage and uplift. One's job is to be a Model and counselor and the other is to Deliver. What is the difference? The minister of a church has a system in place that takes care of his or her needs to a certain degree. There are different ministries within the church, with anniversary ceremonies designed to raise money, as well as the church's very own finance committee which evaluates the financial health of the church and makes adjustments when necessary to keep it healthy. The system in place is designed to help the minister focus on being that model figure. Now I come to my next question.What system do you have in place to make sure you are taken care of? I recently had an artist tell me she traveled in her car, using her gas, over 5 hours out of state with a group of artists who were invited by one main artist. When she got back she was expecting to receive enough money to cover her expenses and wasn't at all concerned about being paid for her time. However, what happened was, something was given, but the giver knew it wasn't enough to cover the traveling expense.

Do you have a manager or loved one as a part of your system? Have you set a monetary goal for the month to assist you with financing your career? Are non-paying appearances part of your goal in terms of the number of appearances you make within the month? (I personally am a firm believer in the power of giving without expecting anything in return. In fact, in retrospect, I can honestly say, these times can be presented as some of my most successful times in terms of being blessed.) A lot of the times family, a manager will straighten all of these things out for you. A manager represents you in situations where if you attempted to represent yourself, you wouldn't be taken seriously. Say for instance you were invited to appear as a guest on the same ticket as Canton Jones at a Megachurch, but the organizer instead of agreeing to pay you a fee, has offered you a meal which they've priced at $75. I don't know about you, but I can pack a brown bag and pocket the $75 to invest in myself. But the other side of this is the organizer who invited you out realizes there will be a huge turnout and just about any starvin' artist she knows would jump at the chance to come out. How hungry are you? You have checked their flyer and it's covered with corporate sponsors' logos. You already know a few people are really about to be BLESSED in a huge way! Well...you will have to decide on that one yourself. The event can open some doors for you, but don't allow people to take advantage of you either. Remember...they contacted you. One thing I know for sure is it is never wrong to speak up and let a person know what you would like to have.

In closing, let me leave you with this verse which was suggested to me by Minister Derell Eddings, published author and writer for the Freedom Thoughts blog. "Therefore, I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready as bounty and not as covetousness." II Corinthians 9:5   Because Minister Eddings stated the following so eloquently, I am excited to share his words with you, verbatim, "At the end of the day the servant must be understanding of the economical circumstance of the people, and the people must be understanding of the economical circumstance of the servant. If the servant is wealthy and the people are poor, then that servant should not take from that particular group of people. If the servant and the people are poor, then any offering or money raised must be split fairly between the people and the servant(s). There must always be fairness."

I know I have just presented a very touchy subject, so I need to hear back from you. Preferably, right here in the comment section. In the meantime, God Bless you until we meet again.
Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1

12 comments:

  1. That's an easy question to answer. It depends on if you are called to music ministry for God (like Peter who lived off the church) or music business for God (like Paul who was a tent maker {his business} and paid the people around him). It also depends on if you have a family (like Peter) or not (like Paul). I've taught on this before.

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    1. This is great Ricardo! I'm looking forward to getting that book from you. I already knew this was a subject a whole book could be written about, but I didn't know you had already taken on this monster of a task and put it in book form. Thank you and God Bless you.

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  2. Amen !! .. Salvation was free to us .. Because Jesus paid the price for us ..There is no charge for the Gospel .. Jesus had financial backers for transportation and lodging only !!

    One love in Christ,
    Bishop,Dr. BJ Forte' II,D.R.E./PhD
    CEO - www.Busystreetsworldwide.spruz.com

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  3. Thank you for your comment Bishop BJ. But most of all I want to thank you for dropping a bit of factual information in here about Jesus' experience.

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  4. hummmmmmmmmmmmmm God gives each person their own thing to do, some may do their thing for free and have a career as a doctor and some He may call to be a minister of music and they should be paid because that is their ministry and their career.

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    1. Lisa...I thank you so much for contributing to this discussion. It's a tough call. Everyone's situation is different. I believe artists should ask themselves if they are in a position to minister for free before they out and the event promoter should have a clear understanding of what their guests expect before they come out.

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  5. It’s all about balance; we all need to give back. However, the Bible does say we worthy of hired or labor. Joseph in the Bible had a season where he gave shared his ministry for free interpret dreams. When He was promoting to the next level and became second in command. He charged families for the gain when famine hit the land. He did not give it away. You have to determine what season you're in. My ministry is more than a hobby it's also my career.

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    1. Kina, I want to thank you so much for your comment. A lot of the times it is hard to imagine another's perspective on a certain issue, simply because we have not been in his or her shows. I strongly feel the way you do; balance is definitely a part of the equation when it comes to balance between the artist and the person responsible for putting on the function. From both sides we must deal with each other fairly and have realistic expectations of each other. Today I got some feedback from a person who had a function a couple of weeks back where no provision was made for the special guests. As a result, he was quite pleased with his turnout, but the artist was disappointed. I would never want anyone to walk away from a situation such as this disappointed and reluctant to participate in future events the person is hosting. On your site today at www.k-modulation.com, you posted something about being a "people pleaser" and I believe this ties in perfectly.

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  6. WOW!!! I am so glad I came across this blog post!! I am currently acting as booking manager and promoter for a community gospel choir and we are quite often faced with the dilema of going to events, having to pay musicians, and just incurring a lot of cost to spread the gospel. You have given me some valuable insight has to who, when, what, how, and why!!! LOL!! Thank you!

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    1. I am glad you found this post to be helpful. Sometimes people understand things a little better when scripture is laid out before them. Even Jesus had help with his travel. One other thing is if it's okay for the preacher to tell his congregation he needs to raise a certain amount of something he needs to finance, then why can't someone in Arts Ministry do the same? They both have the job of ministering to those in need.

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  7. Well, all points that are given here are great points. Ministry is a hard task sometimes when you are moving from one geographical location to another without any support. I believe, from an artist perspective, we have to lay funds aside to cover our own expenses, so as not to tax the people if they don't have it. But if they don't have monies to give, then you have money to support the need by getting there and covering yourself. If you have no funds, then you don't obligate yourself to attend, unless those arrangements are agreed upon and either the monies are wired or over-nighted so there is no issue, if that's the agreement.

    I believe that Pastors should keep their income and budget the expenses of The House of The Lord along with their personal expenses. By doing so, they wouldn't have to over tax those that come to God's house to keep the doors open or the lights on. David, didn't raise money to build God's house, he used his own. You work in the tier that God has given you until God increase you to do more. Some Pastors may have to rent a conference room for 10yrs to have service, but he or she should pay for it and allow God to give him freely through others if they choose to give. However, if they don't The House of The Lord is not affected and/or effected. Pastors get in trouble financially, most times, because God has not sanctioned the time to build at that moment, and the zeal was not according to God. We should care more about others financially by not placing extra burdens on them to clean up our poor decisions as Pastors and then get mad at God because we are not good money managers or better yet, not patient for the perfect timing of The Lord.

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    1. I really appreciate your post on this subject matter. I truly believe it takes a special personality to put one's ego aside and make an investment in the Kingdom and wait for it to be returned unto you multiplied. Reading what people have posted here has truly opened my mind. When I sat down to write this, it was based upon artists coming to me telling me they were wronged or taken advantage of, so I wanted to be their voice. But I'm being reminded that if God had you yesterday and today, why are you worrying about tomorrow. And that's the key. If we weren't worried about what we spend today and how it will affect tomorrow, we might be able to give more freely of our time and gift.

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