Is It Okay To Make Money In Worship?

Worship Leading
Episode #24

Where is the line between the paid and volunteer worship musician? When is it appropriate to pay? Is it ever? Jason and Daniel tackle these tough questions and more on this week's podcast.

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Paid Worship Leaders


Paid Worship Leaders???

If it were you, (And not me), ABSOLUTELY!!!

You're worth EVERY SECOND of listening enjoyment!!!

Keep up the great work!! The worship community is fortunate to have you!!


Gary Emerson


I appreciate you more than you know.

Paid / Unpaid Musicians

An issue in my church is that one musician, the pianist, is paid...the other members of the praise band (I am the guitarist) are volunteer. This worked out fairly well in the past when we had a very good pianist who put in lots of time outside of group practice to learn song arrangements/piano scores and she was prepared when the songs were introduced and learned as a team. If there was downside it was that most songs were by default piano driven, and as a guitarist it was often a challenge for me to find ways to play and "fit in" when the piano was playing music that was designed to be a full accompaniment to the song.

For the past year we've had a pianist who is not really prepared and does not, even after a year, know the songs well enough to lead them off...even songs that should be piano/keys driven. He'll often leave practices early saying he needs to be up early the next day for work. I've become the leader, musically speaking, for the band/team...leading off nearly all the songs and even emulating parts that should be played by the keys. Which I really don't mind in a way, yet it does make us less dimensional as a band and less than we could be if the pianist really carried his musical weight in the group. The thing is, he has talent. I just don't think he puts any time or preparation into any of it, other than being there on Sundays and most Wednesday practices. On the other hand, I put in several hours each week to prepare for Sunday's worship and also learn my parts to new material we're working on.

For the most part I really am OK with it. For any of us, comparing what we do to what others are doing is a slippery slope to be on. So I try and focus on myself, what I can do to best use my talents for the Lord and how I can be a valuable member to our worship team. But if I am honest I do have to admit there are times that this situation does bother me.

Truthfully I don't want to be paid for what I do, I have a full time job that supports my family comfortably. I love music, love playing each week, and enjoy the time I spend preparing, learning, and becoming a better musicain. At the same time, having some musicians paid and others volunteer, when the contributions/expectations are the same or similar, does raise questions of what is equitable. I wonder if there are others in similar situations, and what are some thoughts on how to effectively work through such a situation.


You've got an awesome perspective, Jim

That being said, it sounds like it's time to find another piano player...

Perhaps talk to the guy

Perhaps talk to the guy first.

Always the first

and best option