I recently saw a post on Facebook from a musician who claimed that his church “under pays” him. He said that at his church the pastor and his cabinet of people make tons of money while they hardly pay their musicians much. Some churches expect you to play for God for free. This made me curious, so I checked out the “responses” to the post. I was surprised to see that a lot of musicians sounded off and agreed with him. The consensus was that these churches make a whole lot of money but pay their musicians “peanuts.” I had to think about that one. First off, let me say that I am “absolutely happy” with the church I play for. Yes, it wears me out sometimes (because I have to be there by 7:30 am on Sundays, and this is really tough for me because I play late on Saturday nights). I do 2 services each Sunday and I love the atmosphere there. I originally came from another church where I was not paid much money (and they wanted to cut that amount even more). I had been there 8 years faithfully, played every song they asked me to but they still wanted more from me. They wanted me to quit my other evening gigs so that I could rehearse with them. Cutting my gigs meant making less money elsewhere so I could rehearse for free. I wasn’t having any of that, so we had a huge conflict and I ended up leaving. Not long after I was done the new church called me in to play and I have been very happy since. I don’t care how much the church (or my pastor) makes monetarily. They all deserve to make even more. Just to settle my own thinking I decided to check out what some of the richest pastors make. I was surprised when I found out that I was good friends with one of them. When I saw Jimmy Swaggart’s name as one of the richest, it shocked me because of all he had been through. He was involved in prostitution and several other things but yet he was still making millions. Louis Farrakhan was one of those who makes a lot of money also. To my disbelief, Clifton Davis, who I have played for on several occasions, was listed as making 3 million a year. He seemed to be very money conscious when I played for him, but maybe that was deceiving. I say that everyone is entitled to get “whatever they can make” as long as what they are doing is legal, and that applies to pastors as well. Musicians often hustle a lot to make what little they do. I have no problems with my church at all, and I an extremely thankful for the opportunity to play there. Every church is different, and they have to make the most of their circumstances. I love being where I am, and that is more than enough for me. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Clifton Davis in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar