Worship musicians: Do you get paid?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Axtman, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Just curious, how many worship musicians get paid for playing at church?
  2. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    I'm not a pro, just a hobbyist. Making music for God is just what I LOVE to do.
  3. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Most of us don't, the average church size in America is maybe 100 donating members. When you get to medium/large churches there might be a couple of paid musicians on staff supported by volunteers. Then up to the megachurches with a touring band to promote their recordings along with those staying at the home church with other leaders/frontmen being working pros
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  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I have been playing for about 10 years. We started getting paid this year. Council felt that since the organist an choir director and others associated with the traditional service were paid that we should be as well. They also wanted to get a more consistent worship band/team and thought being paid would help. We went back and forth for a while as most of us didn't really want to be paid, and we can still choose not to sign in for payment, but in the end I think most of us take it. It is nice that we are employees, not independent contractors so we get W2's instead of 1099 which makes it a little better at tax time.

    We receive $75 a Sunday. That's about 45 minutes of practice/run through before worship and two 1 hour services. Basically 8 - noon. I generally play 3 Sundays a month. It makes the payment for my wife's car so it's nice I guess.
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  5. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    I get paid. As much as I love the music I won't do it if I weren't getting paid.
    51PRI, Crazy_Jake and Gopherbassist like this.
  6. Thumpinshelton

    Thumpinshelton Supporting Member

    Yes, I will not play for free at all and that goes for churches as well.
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  7. marmadaddy

    marmadaddy Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I get paid on a 1099. 1000ish member congregation. Musicians don't have to be members.
    1.5 hour rehearsal during the week, 2.5 hours days of service.
  8. Hahaha


    Sep 26, 2003
    Olympia, WA USA
    I haven't done that kind of work in fifteen years, but when I did I got paid. I played for two large, well-funded churches that wanted top quality bands, so they looked outside of the church for musicians. One church involved recording and television broadcasts. They brought in lots of money from this, and I observed that the pastor and people at the top of the church drove expensive cars and wore expensive suits. The musicians were not the only ones getting paid well. I was a full-time musician at the time earning my living exclusively from music.

    If it were a small, struggling church that I was a member of, I wouldn't feel right about getting paid, but that was not the case.
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  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    We are a fairly big church and we are pretty well off financially. I don't mind getting paid. We don't do radio or tv or anything. We do have a nice 500-600 person worship space that we redid a couple years ago for a few million. It's pretty nice with great A/V stuff.
    When we were a little smaller years ago, I played for free. It was fine.
    I don't mind getting paid as long as it's not a burden financially to the church or takes away from other worthy ministries.
    Gopherbassist likes this.
  10. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Nope. Not paid.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  11. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I play once or twice a month--we get the songs emailed to us during the week & we run through them once or twice before the service--same day.
    So you have to be quick to learn things & adaptable.
    But no pay--and that's okay.
    I'm doing it as an act of worship & service.
    And I love it.
    We do pay the worship leader a small amount as he does do more work & has more demand on his time.
    Gopherbassist likes this.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    100% of the time.
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Nope. I play as a volunteer ministry in a little congregation with maybe 60-70 people in it where I'm a member.
  14. Eric_71


    Jul 22, 2011
    Never been paid, but my life is too busy right now and I'm dropping off of the rotation. I don't know if that would be different if I was getting money for playing at church, but it would at least be another factor to consider.
  15. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    When I was, I never got paid.
    strat59 likes this.
  16. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I don't get paid, I am okay with that. I just love playing music with my friends.
  17. Al T.

    Al T. Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Richmond, VA.
    i never got paid-I did it for the joy of playing with a greater purpose.
    MynameisMe, Jhengsman, RyanJD and 3 others like this.
  18. Gnal


    Apr 22, 2014
    I've always volunteered, so no payment required and none expected.
    organworthyplayer337 and zontar like this.
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I did and got paid. I did the gig for almost 9 years. Resigned this spring
  20. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    I play 1 or 2 Sundays a month. Great talent on our team and it is a joy to play with them.
    The best teams are when the band is made up of weekend warriors and the tunes just cook. Pay .....I figure God doesn't charge me for what he provides to me, so why should I charge for what I provide.
    May God bless and keep you all and remember the reason for the season.

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