Scenario 1: When I was a teenager I used to listen to a lot of “underground” music by bands that made livings working at McDonalds or cleaning toilets or whatever they had to do. They worked to make money. They played music because they loved it. Sometimes those bands would break out and start to gain enough popularity to live off their music. I don’t know if it was me or them, but I felt like it changed their music, like they weren’t playing because they loved it anymore, now they were playing to make their fans happy so they could sell CDs and concert tickets. I usually stopped listening to those bands. They had become sellouts.
Scenario 2: If you were planning a wedding and you wanted really nice pictures you would probably want to hire a professional photographer. You may not have anything against your sister’s brother-in-law’s daughter, but, although she loves taking pictures, she only does it as a hobby and you can’t trust that she will be able to provide high-quality photos which are very important to you for remembering your wedding day fondly. It’s simply an inescapable fact that professionals generally produce higher quality results than amateurs.
These two scenarios represent two very different mindsets. The first prefers the person who is unpaid. His work is far superior to the work of the sellout because he does it with love and passion and without the handcuffs of a paycheck holding him back. The second scenario prefers the professional because she has taken the time, gotten the training, and demonstrated the talent necessary to really “succeed” in her field.
Which perspective do you generally lean toward? Does it vary based on the field or discipline? Here’s the real question: does your perspective on this impact your understanding of ministry and professional ministers, pastors, worship leaders and so on? Just a thought.