In the past few years, I have learned some things about recording artists that I never realized before. The main thing that surprised me is that the artists purchase their CDs like any other distributor. Maybe others aren’t as dense as I am but recently I was talking to a recording artist who told me that, often, at concerts where a free will offering is taken, people don’t give in the offering because they plan to buy products. That hit a chord with me since I’ve been guilty of doing the same thing. She went on to say that people don’t understand that these groups need the offering too.
One of my concerns with giving an offering is I’m never sure how much of the offering will really go to the group that’s performing. I do occasionally give money in the offering plate (and I should mention here that supporting the churches who bring in gospel groups is necessary too) but in the instances where I want to make sure the money goes to the group, I will add a little extra to my check or credit card purchase and tell the group they can keep the change.
There’s been a lot of talk about groups disbanding due to funds to keep going. Although I realize a lot of people don’t have tons of money to give at concerts, and I really appreciate the groups who are willing to do concerts for a free will offering in order to allow more people to attend, I hope that those who can afford to do so will help to support these groups who are trying to balance ministry with livelihood.