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Topic: Paid ministry?
Message: Posted by: victorkent (Jan 6, 2003 11:26PM)
Should Christian magicians be paid for their ministry if it is an evangelical outreach program? If so what about churches that can't pay but are obviously on fire with the Spirit and would like your services? Do you say no to service even if you won't make a financial gain? What about subsidising the gospel shows with other work (like Paul did) or with secular shows? What about just accepting love offerings instead of a set fee?
Blessings! :cuteangel:
Message: Posted by: Bfrancabandera (Jan 6, 2003 11:39PM)
I like the idea of a love offering. I don't think that you should say no to a church just because they cannot pay, but if this is your only income you do need to make a living. After all Christian bands still charge a fee for concerts, because they need to pay their bills also.

This is the first time I have given this topic any thought because I am still learning the basics and nowhere near doing shows, so I could be wrong. God Bless
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Jan 7, 2003 12:23PM)
Most of our shows are either paid events and free to the audience, or they are ticketed events and our payment comes from our honorarium being paid to us and the promoter recouping from ticket sales.

What we have come to learn, is that, if a church or any organization does not have a vested interest in the program, they will treat is as such. They will just let you show up to whoever shows up, without any promotion.

We have never turned anyone down because of money, however, we have also never not been able to work it out so that at the very minimum, our expenses are covered. That includes paying our production manager (she always gets paid), to fuel costs, hotel, food, etc.

Everybody has their ministry, so one group should not necessarily suffer over another.
We have done events where we charge our honorarium and the church takes an offering to offset THEIR expenses. Just make sure that the people know what the offering goes for and to whom.

Hope this helps, if you want to discuss it further, feel free to emal me at kevin@livingillusions.com

God Bless!!!
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Jan 7, 2003 12:38PM)
Paul makes it very clear that a "workman is worthy of his hire," and although the gospel is free, the entertainment you provide is not. A church which wishes to use you for a draw SHOULD pay for your services. Paul made it clear that when he provided services to a church, it was his voluntary choice to not ask for pay, but should in no way set a precedent of expectation.

"Who serves as a soldier at his own expence?
...Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but rather endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way..." (I Cor 9)

Whether you take a love offering or not, you need to set a fair market price for your services so they know if they have underpaid you or been generous.
Message: Posted by: victorkent (Jan 7, 2003 02:07PM)
I want to be clear, I mean this question for evengelical outreach programs.. not church entertainment or Christian themed entertainment or long term ministry where outside income or secular show income would be impossible.

For the record I am not against Christian entertainers being paid. Nor am I against evangelists being paid (1 Cor 9:14 In the same way the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should recieve their living from the Gospel.)

Paul, in the passage just mentioned, goes on to explain why he chooses not to be paid.
My personal feelings are similar to Paul's. I have no guff if any evangelist (illusionist or not) wants to be paid.

But since God has blessed us with a lucrative secular show income we have choosen to present [i]evangelical[/i] programs to churches doing real outreachs as a free ministry. Often churches pay us a love offering or money that they had budgeted for such an outreach (but we don't solicit). The incredible thing is more often than not we have been paid more than we would have asked for in the first place. But in that I cannot brag because it wasn't my doing.

-food for thought, argument and discussion. :hamburger:
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Jan 7, 2003 03:15PM)
The principle still applies.
I know it is not common practice in some circles, and I believe it is a dis-service to the church to not help them recognize it

It is not really a "love offering" if it isn't an offering beyond your usual set wage. You may offer your service as your
"love offering" to them, but they should understand that. Otherwise it can lower the general expectations of the worth of one's work and cloud the congregations awareness of their own responsibilities in the matter. If they wish to take responsibility to reach out, they should shoulder the cost. David wouldn't offer a borrowed sheep to God.

If you wish to forfeit your portion of wage to further their ministry that is honorable. But if you create the false impression it is one's duty to do so it can make it harder for other ministries to gain the proper support.

If you don't have a set wage for this (whether you take it or not), it leaves everyone a bit confused as to what is just.
Again, there is nothing wrong with you making your services a love offering to others as long as they understand the value of what you are giving. There is nothing wrong with you accepting donations... but it is really misconstrued to think of a "Love Offering" as giving someone something less than their wage.
Message: Posted by: victorkent (Jan 7, 2003 04:06PM)
I can see you are very passionate about this. That's a good thing, and as I said, I have no problem with anyone wanting to ask or accept wages for presenting a ministry. In fact, I think it's absolutely terrific to make your living with the Gospel.

However, since I have been blessed I want to return the blessing. I have an effective evangelical program and a desire to evangelize.

I like the Paul route. I perfer to go that route. I am a slave to Jesus and He provides for me. As a slave I give to Him ALL I have, no less, no comprimise. He chooses how to provide for me, not the other way around.
However, I do see your point from a business perspective. I think you are trying to tell me that it hurts the market to offer something free when others are charging for it.

The customer may choose the cheaper free product over the one that costs money. Granted, that is very true in the secular world but we are talking about offering the Gospel of Jesus (whatever form that be... puppets, magic tricks, song, dance, etc.)

Since God is Jehovah Jira (God my provider) both for churches and individual members of the body I make my first-fruits offering my talent, time and sometimes my expenses well.
Hopefully the church that is bringing a person they have never met into their body to preach (of sorts) has spent time in prayer and research about this person. If not then they lower their principles to that of secular business. If however, they did bring this decission before God then they WILL be moved by Him, who knows all things and situations, and will do as they have been lead.

I think no Godly church would have a problem meeting the requested fees of an entertainer or evangelist if that is where they were moved.

I DO NOT Expect every Christian entertainer or evangelist to live by this principle.

There is biblical provision for both.

As for David's sheep. No, he would not give a borrowed sheep to God. But if the sheep were given to him, it becomes his and if he chooses to give it to God then so be it.

(I could go on for days.... hey kinda like most pastors I know... but I will stop here and hear what y'all have to say.

By the way Bilwonder, are you a Christian/Gospel Magician-evangelist?

God Bless you and your work!

In His name
-vk :hotcoffee:
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Jan 7, 2003 10:56PM)
I think good points have been brought up here. My only concern is that when a church has no vested interest, then SOMETIMES they don't do what they should be doing, sometimes they don't even when they do have a vested interest. So what happens is that we just end up ministering/performing for the congregation.

What we have partnered with churches in the past and done together was to advertise on the local Country music station instead of the Christian station. We did an interview over the phone the week before the show, then did an in the studio interview during the morning show, even stuck around and did the weather. Then the radio station brought out their Big Boom Box on a trailer and did a live remote 2 hours before the show. What ended up happening because of this, was over 50% of the audience was from outside of the church. That's a pretty good deal if you ask me.

So what does this mean and what is my answer... I'm no closer now than before... LOL

Other than we each have our own ministry that God has given us. We prayed about this very thing 3 years ago and thought that we were being told to go strictly love offering. But, then we felt a different message was given to us and now we charge, but have never turned down anything because of money. I hope somehow this helps.
God Bless!!!


I'm drinking from my saucer, cause my cup has overflowed!
Message: Posted by: victorkent (Jan 7, 2003 11:08PM)
Great information.
A church that goes to the trouble to set up a program and then not promote it any way they can is a sad thing. Why even try if you aren't going to try.
(by the way Kevin nice site and I have enjoyed your posts on other threads as well.)
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Feb 2, 2003 01:52PM)
I am VERY small time, and in a rather rural setting, I do magic on a free basis part time, because that's (at present) what I believe the Lord has called ME to do. I believe the issue of being paid has been well covered here. Let me just add that if you are called to do magic full time, or even part time on a larger scale, you should be paid. Either God will make a way for it to happen, or you should charge for your services.

In one of the posts someone quoted the verse that says that a workman is worthy of his wages. If you believe that all scripture is INSPIRED (literally-God breathed) as I do, then God said it.

I do suggest that you let God speak to you about Free services, or love offerings, and then listen to your heart. You'll know if you should go or not. God is practical and logical, he won't send you somewhere you can't afford to go. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be pious, God may not send you to everyone (or even anyone) that asks for a free/love offering service.
Just make sure it's God sending you, and not guilt or something else.

Last suggestion, If you go to a love offering/free service, go expecting it to be a free service, and "IF" you recieve anything it will be more than you expected and you'll get a blessing.

Well that's my two cents worth.
Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: Chris Berry (Feb 2, 2003 03:45PM)
My first 'show' I ever did was at my friend's church. I know the pastor and he came up and asked if I could do it. I said yes and I didn't worry about getting paid. I am by no means a professional magician and I wasn't ready to charge for my shows. I would never charge for shows for churches if I know the pastors really well. Otherwise I would give them a great deal on having me work.

I don't think it is wrong to charge for churches. I mean... when my church was getting part of the building remodeled we had a contractor who is a member of the church do it... he still charged. If magic is your job then I would say charge for your services... but be reasonable when it comes to churches because they are not a business.

If it bothers you a lot then do the show for free.

Message: Posted by: Darrin Cook (Feb 3, 2003 10:31PM)
I applaud the generosity of those who have posted.

You might be surprised to know of the number of pastors who are where they are, with the salaries they have (and some are very nice) through bare knuckle negotiating, including very specific details as to housing, health care, bonuses, expenses, longevity clauses, contract buyouts, etc. I was just speaking with a friend whose church paid a part-time music director $1500 a month.

My point is that if you are going into a church where the minister lives in the nicest part of town on a salary that is largely tax-free, and a part-time music director is making more than many full-time minimum wage employees, there is no reason for you to be ashamed for asking for reasonable compensation.

If you do decide to do the show for free, I'd ask for the money up front, then give it back. Perhaps someone may learn a little object lesson.
Message: Posted by: jcmagic (Feb 25, 2003 09:31PM)
I would like to say that you could simply tell a church to donate "whatever's on their hearts," and they would do the right thing. Unfortunately, Sometimes people have no idea how expensive it is to put on a great magic show. So here's how I deal with it.

First, distinguish between magic as an evangelistic outreach, and magic as entertainment. If the church is having a picnic and all they need is a family magician for a good old time then I have a very set price. If they can't afford it, then maybe they should look for a different performer. If it's outreach, like please come preach for our church, then I have a suggested donation amount, but I make it clear that the church is free to give as they see fit. I've never been stiffed. By this I mean sure I've worked for less than my expenses, but it was for churches that I knew couldn't afford it. In that case I have to believe that ultimently God will take care of my bills.

Now it would be different if I went to a church that I knew could afford it, but still gave a small amount. As already stated, I've never had to deal with that, but if I did I would deal with the sitution accordingly. If they were someone I knew, I would tactfully let them know what my expenses were, that while it was up to them how much they wanted to pay, it might effect whether I could come back next time. If it wasn't someone I knew and thought it was someone that I would never have to deal with then I probably would simply let go. If I thought I would have to deal with them again I would go to their superiors and explain the sitution to them.

I hope this helps.


P.S. My experience is that while some of the smaller churches don't always break even, the larger churches more than make up for them.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 26, 2003 01:02AM)
JC, are you in Indy? Email when you get a chance.