Is it Right or Wrong for gospel artists To ask for payment to honour invites to perform in churches? Are you among the noes or the yeses?
The answer can be tough, because on one hand it is wrong to charge money to use our gifts in church. But on the other hand, the church who invited an artist from another city to theirs, are they expecting them to leave all and just come over when they aren’t part of that local church?
This has been the heated conversations going on about this crucial subject regarding Gospel Artists, Music Ministry and Music Industry. This silent debate hit the surface publicly when popular gospel artist Nathaniel Bassey said that he doesn’t charge for accepting his invitation. Dunsin Oyekan also said in the same panel interview that God instructed him not to charge for using his talent to minister in Churches.
Ever since then, there’s been various debates and responses to this and lots of Artists didn’t seem to like what Nathaniel Bassey and Dunsin had said and have shown in many ways that they are not of such opinion. It may seem that Nathaniel Bassey and Dunsin’s public statements on the topic is doing much harm than good to the gospel music artists who make a living or career from church invitations.
Music label boss Eezee Tee who runs Eezee Global, of which Artists such as Judikay, GUC, and more are signed, said in a public press conference that Music Ministry won’t find expression without Industry and that the former needs the latter to work. He further explained that the tools and tech used in the house of God and in music to promote the gospel are gotten from outside the church by people who are business minded and used by the church for ministry. This is right. But how does this justify charging a church before you accept to minister there.
There is a music career and music business (industry) but that place is not the church. By all means, gospel artists can sell their songs and albums outside, promote it, distribute it on Digital stores, you can even honor media events that are not church based but industry based. These are all fine. But when it comes to the Church, it’s not a place to make money and build an industry from.
But what are the reason why gospel artists charge churches before accepting invitations to minister. Some say it costs money to produce the music, studio sessions fee, mixing, mastering, promotion fees, pay the band singers and instrumentalists, costs millions to shoot music videos and promote them, etc. Of course it is true that it costs a ton to get these done, and for non-gospel music the same also applies and they make their money back from gigs and performances mostly. So it’s is absolutely right for a gospel artist to charge for gigs and events out there. This means the problem is not in making money or doing business but where the business is being done, THE CHURCH.
I think the problem lies not only on gospel artists alone, because we all have grown up to meet the system in this state. We have believed that what the paying gig is for non-gospel artist is what the church or church event is for the gospel artist. We were told that gospel music doesn’t have sponsors, gigs, platforms, so the churches ought to pay a token for all the work, investment, time and personal resources put into their music, song, album or video. This is where it stems from.
We have come to believe that it is acceptable for music artists in music business to make money from the church. In church we have people from all works of life and businesses such as Bankers, Engineers, Boxers, Wrestlers, Actors, etc. Outside the church we all go ahead and work to get paid, same with artists, they ought to sell and perform music out there and make money, and God blesses us in fact to win in the market place of life. Thats also where God uses our gifts as evangelical tools out there in the world. But when we all from various walks of life gather together to church, shouldnt we worship God with our lives and our songs and leave the industry out. Think about it.
The churches are mostly to blame for encouraging this tradition over the years. The bible never asked us to invite singers from other places to sing with their bands or soundtracks and help us or lead us to worship Him. It’s a culture we picked up and has been so for many years and at that time it seemed good and it had helped and been a blessing for may years in many ways. But over the years and presently, it has truly turned Into merchandising and business in the house of God.
The solution is for the church of Christ to stop this huge practice of gospel music artistry in church. Let our congregation, sing worship unto God by ourselves, with our lips and our gifted singers. Let’s bring back the choir and sing songs of praise and not invite artists from various places to come lead us. This will bring a change. Its OK to do music career, music industry and get it out there just like any other business industry.
We should build more media structures and outlets for gospel songs outside the church so that the industry can thrive out there (outside the church) and Gospel Artists can make money selling their work.
Let worship in the church be clean, free of industry, free of the world’s influences and I believe we will experience greater levels of fellowship with God.
What Do You Think?