The church and your music budget may not always see eye to eye, but they are going to need to get along and cooperate. For as long as we have had musicians the church has had to contend with an ever growing music budget. But there are some ways you can bridge the concern between the board and the budget.
This past year I noticed that we had push back in offering our Contemporary Praise band musicians more money. We've had a paid band for our praise service since I came here in 09. I've tried to manage that as well as anyone could, but; the reality is that the church is split on the idea of a professional praise band. If the truth be known, we wouldn't have a praise band if we didn't pay them. There is no one in our assembly that plays an instrument that would be in a band if we didn't have a paid band. SAD! I've never worked in a church where they had no instrumental (band type) volunteers.
However, as few as a few weeks ago, I realized that our band is taking advantage of me and our church's generosity. They will cancel being here at the rehearsal on Saturday, and more often than not show up 10 -15 minutes late on Sunday. Consistently. I counted up and figured that I pay them straight for the event.... I am asking no more than 3 full hours of their time. IF I base their $50 off that, and then take into consideration market pay, they each are making $4.66 above market pay. So, I recently installed a swipe card time keeping system.
They now swipe in and swipe out each week. It is up to them to swipe in and up to them to swipe out. If they fail to do either I only award them 2 1/2 hours total pay. They all start at $15.00 an hour... which is $3 above hour gig rate in this area. If they want the premium of $1.66 more (matching the original $50 per weekend service) then they have to be on time, and have no skipped rehearsals for 30 days. After achieving that, then they get paid $1 more an hour the next month, and incrementally if they maintain that they will climb back to the full $16.66.
The benefit is, after I calculated what was going on, we overpaid $576 this past year so far for what they were paid and what they should have been paid. That is almost one full month of musicians pay.
The Bible speaks about paying a man his worth - and we should take advantage of no one. But this goes two ways. I believe my band, over time has become lazy and/or entitled. Well, he'll pay us even if I miss... or he'll pay me even if I'm late it really makes no difference. But, it really does make a difference. It's about what is ethical for your work place (The church) and what is ethical for the stipend musicians, (The band).
There are times I have them here longer for one reason or another, and it is at those times that they will be paid appropriately, so we won't just pay them flat $50, when they should have received $58.
It is about accountability and it is also about making sure that I am responsible and a good steward of the resources the people of the church entrust to me to use. Being a good steward also means being a good manager of the funds and being able to be accountable for how those funds are spent.
Don't be afraid to pay your band, but be fair and be honest to them and to your budget. It will make asking for funds or increases much more favorable because people will know that you are being very responsible with what you have been given.