Should Christian creatives work for free? ran a brief interviewed Matt Busby Andrews about whether or not creative talent should be paid for doing work for the church. I’d encourage you to read the full article, but sufficed to say, his answer is a resounding yes:

Creative communicators are able to greatly accelerate the mission efforts of the church. Sure, you can pull favour here and there, and get a designer to do your next brochure. But the real step change occurs when you bring creatives in as paid missional partners.

So what do you think; should churches bring in creatives as ‘paid missional partners’?

As someone who makes his living as creative talent, I might be a bit bias, but I believe they absolutely should expect to pay for the work they’re asking for.

Over the last several years, I’ve had a number of Christian businesses ask me about doing some work for them. They’re excited about the job—up until the subject of money comes up.

“Oh, I thought, y’know, you could do this for free. After all, it’s ministry…”

Am I the only one who has experienced this silliness?

Here’s the thing: As a creative, I have no problem with doing work that I choose to do pro-bono when it’s appropriate. Appropriate being, if it’s for a cause I believe in or if I can afford to do it for free. I think it’s a great and wonderful thing for creatives to be able to donate their time and talents to their churches—but it should never be expected of them.

We don’t expect the plumber or the electrician to work for free when we call them. We don’t expect the contractor who is building the new facility to comp a building.

So why would we expect a designer or web programmer to comp tens of thousands of dollars worth of work? Would it not make more sense to bring someone on staff or build a relationship with a designer within the church community and pay a fair price for their services?

What do you think? Am I out to lunch here?

Leave a comment and speak your mind.

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