A Young Nigerian man identified as George Onyedikachukwu Nnadozie has taken to social media to reveal that gospel singer Mercy Chinwo once gave N1million as offering after performing in his church in Asaba.
The man in his post was reacting to the call by a Nigerian cleric, Father Chinenye Oluoma that gospel artistes shouldn’t charge exorbitant rates to perform in the church, while making reference to Mercy Chinwo whom he alleged receives N10million to perform in churches.
George, however in his post revealed that the singer not only donated part of her payment as offering in the church where she performed, she didn’t receive as much as the amount the cleric had mentioned.
He wrote on Twitter:
When Mercy Chinwo visited our Assembly not too long ago, she did not charge ₦10,000,000 as her fee. While I won’t disclose the exact amount she received, it was significantly less than half of ₦10,000,000.
Out of her earnings, she graciously gave ₦1,000,000 back to the Church as an offering, demonstrating her generosity and support for House on the Rock, Asaba.
Mercy was accompanied by her dedicated team, and it’s important to recognize that they deserve compensation for their commitment. It is reasonable to expect payment for their services since they leave their usual responsibilities to support Mercy in her music endeavors. Additionally, Mercy herself deserves to be paid for her work as she operates in the music industry with a focus on Christian music.
I have always believed in the importance of nurturing and empowering local talent within each congregation. After all, we don’t typically bring in external ushers to assist on Sundays when the church already has its own ushers.
Similarly, the music department of the church is capable of ministering through songs. However, if the church decides to engage the services of a musician specializing in Christian music, it is only fair that the musician be compensated. Before discussing the argument of “ministry,” it is worth noting that the concept of “Music Ministers” has been a subject of debate, with some expressing concerns about biblical support for hiring musicians to minister to the congregation.
The early Church followed a pattern where different individuals contributed their unique gifts, including sharing the word, providing encouragement, presenting psalms, and offering songs, among other forms of ministry. While we don’t need to replicate every aspect of the early Church’s practices due to the different context and times we live in, we can observe that Pastor Chris of Christ Embassy, for instance, understood this concept and did not rely on external musicians to “bless” the congregation.
Mercy Chinwo is a professional musician, and her music career provides for her livelihood. If she decides to transition to full-time ministry in the future, that will be her personal decision. However, at present, she is a gifted and talented musician operating within the music business. Whether one chooses to label it as ministry is subjective, but it is evident that she operates as a musician and has the right to determine her fees for the services she provides. It’s important to note that she is not coming to preach the word or serve as a member of your congregation. If your pastor deems it appropriate to invite external singers to bless the church, the church should be prepared to cover the associated expenses. Nowhere in the Bible does it dictate that ministry must be conducted exclusively by A-list music artists.
If Mercy Chinwo were not to charge for her services, congregations would be inclined to take advantage of her talent without providing fair compensation. Furthermore, it is unfair to compare her situation with that of Nathaniel Bassey, who chooses not to charge but also selectively accepts invitations. Nathaniel Bassey typically ministers in larger churches and receives appropriate compensation without needing to request it explicitly.
One of the reasons musicians like Mercy Chinwo are transparent about their fees is to avoid complications. For instance, if Dr. Paul Enenche or Bishop Oyedepo were to invite Mercy Chinwo to their events, she might not even need to discuss the fee because she knows they would offer her fair compensation without hesitation.
Why should we criticize Mercy Chinwo for conducting her business? Does the person who prints your church flyers do it for free? Are they engaged in a “printing ministry”? Similarly, the individuals who sold your church sound systems, lights, and musical equipment did not provide them for free. These tools are essential for expressing various aspects of ministry, and yet the church pays for them.
Why should we hold a double standard when it comes to compensating musicians?
There are certainly aspects of church operations that are optional and not necessary for ministry but can make it more convenient. We invest in constructing auditoriums, acquiring good sound systems, and other amenities that enhance the church experience. While these elements are beneficial, they are not fundamental requirements. Hiring a musician for your church, despite having a choir, falls into a similar category. These musicians charge for their services because that’s their domain.
I recall occasions where I was invited to minister in certain congregations, and after sharing my gifts, I received nothing more than a “God bless you.” In fact, on one occasion, I had to borrow money from someone just to cover my transportation expenses. However, as the person I am, I did not take offense at it. In fact, my desire has always been to minister and even contribute something from my own pocket. That’s simply who I am.
By sharing my perspective, I hope to shed light on another angle of this conversation.