Sony’s Thoughts: Free Will Concerts and Product Purchases

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.


For more Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

3 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Sony, all of the concerts at my church are free will offering admission, and we have at least three concerts a year. Some of the groups have been the Perrys, the Talleys, the Dove Bros., Mark Trammell Trio, and an upcoming Ivan Parker concert (just to name a few). We always give the group a small set fee plus an offering, of course the groups can only come with this agreement when they are passing through, but they are here nonetheless. I too hope groups will be able to continue to do this. Thanks for the post!

  2. Paul, thank you for your kind words and thank you for your part in allowing groups to minister and to potentially reach new people, which is what really excites me when I see groups sing for a freewill offering. You’ve had some great talent sing at your church. I trust God will continue to bless your efforts.

  3. I’ll add that your work is greatly appreciated, Paul.
    It used to be that, in the not so distant past, Monty Tramell and Bill Music were each able to sucessfully bring severall great groups up here within a year’s time. I remember their respective concerts being packed full of people supporting the top groups in Southern Gospel music.
    But more recently, your concerts are the only consistant connection/ exposure that this area of Ohio has to the mainstream Southern Gospel groups. A promoters’ ministry is often a challenge, but it is so much appreciated. Keep it up.