“Someone asked a question, why do we sing? When we lift our hands to Jesus, what do we really mean?”

These were the words from American Gospel Sensation, Kirk Franklins “Why we Sing”. Among the answers given are, we sing because we are happy, we sing because we are free. But what then becomes of the music when its singers or players are unhappy and shackled financially?

The debate as to whether church musicians or instrumentalists should be given stipends has over the years generated a lot of controversies among Christians.

While some argue that singing and the ability to play instruments are talents given by the Almighty, and playing for free is a way of being dutiful in his house, others are of the view that these instrumentalists go through a lot in sharpening their talents and therefore must be rewarded.

The controversy was however deepened on the Christian Entertainment Review Program on Sunny fm last Saturday when the General Overseer of Joyful Presence Chapel International, Apostle Dr. Ernest Agyepong minced no words in charging church leaders to pay their musicians.

“Musicians in the church must be paid. Maybe some may feel uncomfortable to call it salary, but something must be paid. If a musician chooses to do it on sacrificial basis, that’s fine, but if playing is his only source of income, there is nothing wrong if the church decides to support such a person, since it will go a long way to motivate them”, he said.

He added that musicians fall under the ministry of helps as stipulated in Ist Corinthians chapter 12 verse 28 and therefore can be likened to the Levites found in the book of Numbers who were supported with tithes for their services rendered in the house of the Lord.

Apostle Dr Ernest Agyepong further cited the lack of effective communication between church leaders and musicians, resulting in the latter in some cases boycotting church or becoming floating instrumentalists (shabo shabo) but was quick to caution musicians to analyse the strength of their churches before making demands.

On the issue of poaching instrumentalists from other churches to another ministry, the Apostle vehemently objected to the idea and called on church leaders to nurture their own talents.

“The church must disciple people. You will have problems when you start poaching people. Remember the same way you took them from other churches; they will also be taken from you. It is bad and should be discouraged”, he said.

Instrumentalists must be paid- Apostle

“Someone asked a question, why do we sing? When we lift our hands to Jesus, what do we really mean?”

These were the words from American Gospel Sensation, Kirk Franklins “Why we Sing”. Among the answers given are, we sing because we are happy, we sing because we are free. But what then becomes of the music when its singers or players are unhappy and shackled financially?

The debate as to whether church musicians or instrumentalists should be given stipends has over the years generated a lot of controversies among Christians.

While some argue that singing and the ability to play instruments are talents given by the Almighty, and playing for free is a way of being dutiful in his house, others are of the view that these instrumentalists go through a lot in sharpening their talents and therefore must be rewarded.

The controversy was however deepened on the Christian Entertainment Review Program on Sunny fm last Saturday when the General Overseer of Joyful Presence Chapel International, Apostle Dr. Ernest Agyepong minced no words in charging church leaders to pay their musicians.

“Musicians in the church must be paid. Maybe some may feel uncomfortable to call it salary, but something must be paid. If a musician chooses to do it on sacrificial basis, that’s fine, but if playing is his only source of income, there is nothing wrong if the church decides to support such a person, since it will go a long way to motivate them”, he said.

He added that musicians fall under the ministry of helps as stipulated in Ist Corinthians chapter 12 verse 28 and therefore can be likened to the Levites found in the book of Numbers who were supported with tithes for their services rendered in the house of the Lord.

Apostle Dr Ernest Agyepong further cited the lack of effective communication between church leaders and musicians, resulting in the latter in some cases boycotting church or becoming floating instrumentalists (shabo shabo) but was quick to caution musicians to analyse the strength of their churches before making demands.

On the issue of poaching instrumentalists from other churches to another ministry, the Apostle vehemently objected to the idea and called on church leaders to nurture their own talents.

“The church must disciple people. You will have problems when you start poaching people. Remember the same way you took them from other churches; they will also be taken from you. It is bad and should be discouraged”, he said.

By:  Jeffery Adu Gyamfi Jnr

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