1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Do Musicians get money for Church Gigs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by arbitrary, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I'm just really curious if musicians/people get paid for playing church gigs?
    I been seeing more and more about them and curiousity got the best of me.
    And no I'm not implying that if you get paid you don't love god.

    "It doesn't matter who you love; it's do you love." -M. Franti
  2. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I only knew one person personally who played for church service. She played organs and got paid $50 for a Sunday, IIRC.
  3. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Yup! The organist in our church (from early teenager days; circa 1966-67...) got paid $25 per Sunday 9:30 Mass... Why do I know this? Whenever she didn't make the gig, which didn't happen very often, I substituted for her, and I got the 25 bucks, too! That, boys and girls, was descent coin for an hour's work back then... :D
  4. If I'm playing a holiday or other "special" gig, I always get paid. I have played for free at a church's general P&W thing as a sub for their regular bassist(s), mostly because of the (1) experience and (2) networking with some other killer musicians that play there.
  5. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i know people who get paid to play, but i just play. i don't get payed, but i do go to the church, i do have fun, i do get some good fellowship time in, and it's just a way for me to give back to God. that's what it's all about (for me).
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    In the 6ish years I've played for church I've never gotten paid. It would be nice, and I know plenty of people who have gotten paid, but it's never happened to me. Someday, maybe. :)
  7. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I gather there's pretty good money in being a Church organist.
  8. danthebassman


    May 11, 2005
    I recently started playing for a church. They give me $100 each Sunday for One hour of rehearsal and one service.
  9. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I've subbed for a couple of churches in Detroit and been payed. It's very common for African American Churches to pay for their bands. And in all sincerity with the level of musicianship required for most urban contemporary gospel (as tough as most jazz gigs IMHO), I'm not surprised.
  10. It's all for love. But they do often feed me. We're Baptists, after all.:D
  11. Everytime I've done it it's been for free.

    I imagine mega-churches pay their players some nice change, but for majority of small churches there is usually little/no pay.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I played for years at one of the biggest churches in Atlanta (we called it 6 flags over Jesus), and was paid quite well for my services. Like, new tax bracket well.

    Best band I've ever been in, too. We played ever contemporary christian tune than came out, and we usually played it better than the recorded version (because we didn't listen to the recorded version till after we played the tune...)

    Most musicians in the ATL had paying church gigs....
  13. I don't get paid. I don't think there are many Churches in Australia that do pay their musos. Some of the larger ones may, but I've never met any church musos who got paid (and I've met a lot!).
  14. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I've never heard of being paid for playing at church services... That doesn't seem right to me for some reason...

    Being paid for an outside church function? OK... thats cool... but being paid for playing during church?
  15. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I work for my church as a janitor. I volunteer to play for the kids (4th+5th graders) church once a month (2hr practice, 2-20mins + 1-10mins P+W). I'm scheduled to work on the band rehearsal night. they let me go practice for about an hour with the band.

    so I sorta get paid to play. but, I'd do it for free if I had too! :hyper:
  16. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I play at a non-denominational church in town every Sunday AM. The drummer, guitarist and myself get paid. There are usually several volunteers who show up as well. It doesn't bother me because we (the paid folk) are EXPECTED to show up, and the volunteers might, or they might not.

    The worship pastor is expected to show up as well. He gets paid too. It's really a simple formula...the folks who are EXPECTED to be there....whether playing or preaching; get paid. Those who show up based on how they "feel", don't.

    I have no issue playing for the Lord for free as long as EVERYONE is there for free. If THAT is the model; that's fine. As soon as people start getting paid then things change ...quite a bit...

    EDIT: FWIW, the church approached us and said they wanted to hire us to play at their church. It was pretty specific, and since all of us worked late Saturday night, and would need to be there early on Sunday to rehearse (every Sunday), they felt compensation was warranted.
  17. I don't get paid, and I'd turn it down if I was offered it.

    I don't think it's right (for me IMO) to get paid at church for using the talent that God gave me. For me it's just another way of an offering, the same as putting money in the collection bag.
  18. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Does the minister get paid?
    Does the secretary get paid?
    Does the custodian get paid?
    Does the church pay for printing it has done?
    Does the church pay its electric and water bill?
    Is there a band loan on the building?
    Does the building need repairs?
    Did the church buy the furniture?

    Having music, of any kind, in church usually makes the service a more enjoyable experience (read here that more people will come and continue to come to church). More people means more money-- it's just that simple.

    Spirituality (aka religon) is something that you have inside yourself, its your personal relationship with whatever your beliefs are about life. "The Church" is a business and provides a place for you to meet with others that share your views, and thats a good thing... but it is a business.
  19. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I consider it a communtity service. Playing at mass is my way of giving back to the community. I wouldn't except pay even if it was offered to me. That is what bar gigs are for.
  20. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    I humbly disagree.

    Your local church is an organization. And like every other organization, they need to pay bills and pay staff. But, a church is usually non-profit, and therefore not a business.

    I'm not saying that the band should not get paid, but I do believe there are many areas of the church's functions that are run by volunteers. How a church decides who gets paid and who does not is individual to each church.

    The churches that I have been in usually have a paid music director and a volunteer worship team. I would love to be a volunteer bassist for my church, but I am content to run the sound board for now.