What if your church couldn’t pay you for leading worship, would you do it anyway? Would there be a noticeable difference in the quality of the worship?
This question has generated much discussion here on the blog. Many of you have commented with strong opinions on the idea of getting paid to lead worship or any other type of ministry. Seems like this is a topic that needs to be fleshed out further.
The Bible doesn’t excessively expound on the topic of paid ministry; however, there are some verses which I believe shed light on this issue.
If you are a Christian, you are a minister.
Every one of us who follow Jesus is called to be a minister of the Gospel. Whether you are an insurance salesman, a starving musician, or the senior pastor, you are called to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Often, we draw a line between clergy and lay people that does not exist in Scripture. While our “job responsibilities” may look different, our common goal should be making Jesus famous wherever we work.
Work is a gift from God.
Often we portray our non-ministry jobs in a negative light. It’s something we endure so that we can do the things we really enjoy. This ought not be our attitude. Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not as to men.” All work is sacred when we are doing it “as to the Lord”. God can move through your business dealings the same way he moves through a pastor on Sunday morning. Remember that Paul was bi-vocational for part of his ministry making tents.
“Don’t put a muzzle on an ox while it treads grain.”
Paul gave this advice to Timothy as a help to him. Timothy must have struggled like many of you with accepting pay for serving in the ministry. Paul also went on to say “Workers deserve their pay.” While God never wants us to serve Him BECAUSE OF MONEY, I believe Scripture is clear that it’s okay to receive pay if it’s available to you.
I think the consensus here is that we would ALL gladly serve the Lord in worship regardless of whether we ever receive a penny here on earth. Many churches are unable to pay their worship leaders and that’s okay. If a church is able to pay something, I believe it’s a worthy investment in the kingdom. The more time a leader devotes to the ministry, the more fruit we can expect.
This has been a very helpful and Christ honoring discussion. Let’s keep it going to encourage one another.