Paying for Creative Work
Today’s post at the Communicate Jesus blog raised a pretty interesting question. It is actually a question I would likely not have thought about had I not read it there. The question is: Should Christian creatives work for free?
The post included a long affirmative answer from a man who is a senior copywriter (read: creative) by trade, so his opinion is hardly unbiased. I am completely uncreative, so maybe my perspective will be decidedly more balanced.
Let us assume that all (evangelical) churches have the same mission. All churches rely on volunteers to carry out their mission. For small churches, there may be little or no paid staff. This might even include the pastor. They also offer a limited number of ministries. Volunteers lead the music, teach the children, handle the checkbook, and maybe even mow the church yard. Mid size churches offer more ministries and employ more staff to manage these ministries. This does not mean there are fewer volunteers. In fact, there are likely many more. As churches grow, so does the trend of more volunteers, more ministries, and more staff.
Another trend is that as churches grow they tend to use more and more creative media. The church may begin by asking for volunteer work from a member who specializes in this field. It also could purchase prepared creative media from, well, creative media companies. In my opinion, as a church uses more creative media, it only makes sense to hire someone to produce it. This may start as a part-time position, evolving into a full-time job. If a church has enough need to justify hiring a creative type to do the work, then hire someone to do it.
All this to say, Todd, I approve of your job.