Yes the church has politics hey!

What goes through your mind when you hear the word politics? Many think this term has nothing to do with the church and yet the church has its own politics that sometimes would make the politics of the world seem like a saint. Generally speaking politics in the church becomes an issue when it becomes toxic and the leadership moves away from the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the canon of scripture to move about in fleshly means.

For a more detailed scriptural breakdown you can read an earlier post i did called Idolatry in the church.

Bad church politics is itself the devil infiltrating the church. I liked this statement by Michael Fackerell:

Religious spirits incline people to legalism, formalism and mechanical methodologies which don’t need the Holy Spirit. These evil religious spirits seek to obscure our vision of the meaning of the cross and of Christ.  Religious spirits operate deceptively, justifying selfish behavior on the part of leadership.Such spirits seek to lead people into greater bondage to a form of religion which denies the power of God and of godliness.        

So lets take a look at some of the politics that takes place in the church. I will use politics in this article to refer to the way leaders in the church relate to their congregation and other leaders in determining the way the church is run.


This one is a very tricky one especially with how a lot of the modern church is run. The pastors wife can meddle highly in the running of the church in a way that frustrates all the other leaders of the church. Modern churches which are led basically by the pastor and his spouse have a model that now sees the pastor as number 1 and the wife as the 2IC ( i.e second in charge ). In this regard the pastors wife can overrun decisions made by the other pastors, elders and leaders in the church.

This dynamic even gets more complicated if the pastors wife is a singer. By default she becomes the head of the Praise and worship even if there are other musicians who are more qualified and more gifted and skilled than her. It even becomes worse if she becomes jealous of other worshipers as she then starts frustrating, sabotaging and stepping on the toes of other people involved in the ministry.

Then comes financial considerations. Should a pastors wife receive a salary just because she is the wife of the pastor? Does a pastors wife automatically become a pastor? Is the anointing sexually transmitted?


This one is very similar to the Pastor’s wife and basically has to do with kids that meddle in the running of the church because they feel their parents own the church and hence automatically making them leaders and able to provide direction and vision for the affairs of the church. Some pastors make this worse by automatically making their children deacons by virtue of them just being their offspring as if the anointing is transmitted by virtue of being born to a pastor. Where did this doctrine that says a pastors kid is automatically a deacon or a pastor come from? Definitely not biblical.

Even worse is kids who receive salaries or allowances from the church just because they are Pastors kids. This abuse of church funds which are given by the people of God is itself a form of corruption and nepotism that has crept into the modern day church. But its not peculiar to the modern day church only. The story of Eli and his sons comes to mind. However in those days the sons of priests would automatically be priests because it was hereditary. The politics that comes into play on Eli’s kids is his failure to deal with his children as the law required just because they were his sons.

It happens in the modern church with the kids of the Pastor/Prophet/Apostle/Evangelist receiving different treatment from the rest of the congregation.


The bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil.

A good example of the politics of money in play is when the majority of the church agrees on a certain position and yet one member or a few members who have money and pledge the most or give the most disagree and threaten to withdraw their support from the church if their position is not the one that is adopted.

Of late in the church positions are given to people not on the basis of merit and spirituality but based on how much a member gives in the church or based on the quantity of their tithe. The richer people are the ones who get the positions in the church and ultimately the ones who determine the direction and vision of the church.


This one has to do with a leader who feels threatened by those he leads. For example a pastor who becomes jealous of how their flock ministers. We all know this one. God starts using another member of the congregation lets say for example in the ministry and gifting of healing which the senior pastor might not be endowed in. This leads to the pastor starting to think such a congregant now wants to supplant him/her . They start feeling insecure about their power and influence in the church. They will then start frustrating, bad mouthing and even persecuting those who are gifted in ways they are not gifted. This is mainly caused by forgetting that we are a body and each member has a different function as the Holy Spirit gifts and enables.


When politics in the church takes its most dangerous form you find factionalism penetrating a denomination. People in the church start leaning towards a certain line of thought and a certain leader. You will hear one say i belong to so and so, yet another say i belong to xyz and yet in the same church.

This even started in the apostles days. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 says

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,”or “I follow Christ.”

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?

Over time we have in our lifetime seen a couple of churches split due to factionalism. For some the battles become so nasty they are even taken to the courts of law. Funny how the church will seek a carnal person to judge over spiritual matters. Politics in the church can really be a nasty affair with churches fighting over finances and property. Even some of the fights actually become fist fights. But at this stage the factionalism would have fully manifested.

It usually starts subtle. Just mostly a function of a line of thought with a certain group gravitating towards one and another group gravitating towards an opposing view. Sometimes its just about personalities: liking leader X as opposed to leader Y.

The root of factionalism is carnality and Paul addresses that in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man? For when one of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. He who plants and he who waters are one in purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Support Your Own

I recently saw an interesting post on Facebook about a musician who was lamenting how their church paid a large sum of money to hire a guest artist yet they have never been paid zilch despite them supporting the vision and being a son in the house for decades!

This is not a new phenomena. There is a challenge where denominations fail to support their own artists and usually they wonder why those artists move house after they become successful forgetting that they never made a contribution to that singers/instrumentalists rise in the first place. Actually for many ministries they actually usually clip the wings of their own.

Lack of supporting our own does not end in churches. I have actually realized that it is a national phenomena in our nation of Zimbabwe. From radio stations that will not play their local artists but will play international music non-stop, to promoters who hire international acts and pay them ridiculously large sums of money in foreign currency and yet at the same time pay peanuts to our own local artists. We are a nation of imports, we fail to support our own until they can become an exportable commodity. We forget that all these international acts that we love are big because they got support in their own countries!

Seriously i do not understand how we fail to support our own. A church will hire a guest artist, even paying them in US Dollars even and for a considerable sum and yet the same ministry will not help musicians in their own church.

The argument is that if you are an in-house musician then you should not expect payment. Well i already did an issue on paying musicians which you can read on this blog so i will not focus on that. Lets just talk about simple support for now. A church will have a musician release a single/album and not even have it announced in church that a son/daughter in the house has made something that the church can buy; even having the cd’s in the product table after the service or in the bookshop if the church has a bookshop. These are some of the simple ways to support your own artist but then i guess no one wants to do this as they are afraid people will use their money buying that product instead of the other products they will be having in store which would give them a greater profit margin.

I guess the reason for getting guest artists especially those who are famous is for the purposes of pulling a crowd. Hence these hired ministers are rightly termed “crowd-pullers”. So basically this is a business arrangement. Yes of late church has become a business. The famous artist is being hired to pull a crowd that will then bring back the return on their investment through the offering, or maybe joining the church ( so in this case church benefits through increased membership ) or through a boosting of the status of the church ( if the church can hire such a famous artist it means they are the hip church, its sort of a cherry on their resume )

I would suggest a better scenario. Yes hire those foreign artists for the crowd pulling reasons but then have a talent enrichment deal where the visiting artist does a collaboration with your in-house artist so that in that way the profile of your artist starts rising and you can have your own local champion crowd puller. In the long run this is a very beneficial arrangement. And not just collaborations but also skills training. Have the visiting band train the in-house band so that your churches band may become top of the range also.

Worse still a new phenomena has arisen where churches even hire secular artists to come sing in church and yet we have gospel artists languishing and yet the church would rather throw its money to a secular artist instead of sowing seed into the gospel. It truly boggles the mind. Taking money from tithes and offerings to give someone who does not even believe in God, or who has no respect for God and yet vilifying gospel ministers who would ask for payment.

Spontaneous Worship

There is a special freedom and anointing that comes upon a congregation that can engage in this kind of worship. Basically spontaneous worship is where the singers/worship leader moves from the planned scripted songs to flow as they feel led ( popularly known in church circles as the Spirit leads ). Spontaneity is such a beautiful thing and i personally love it. It is in these moments where healing occurs in worship, where people in the congregation will get a prophetic word, where a new song is birthed.

There are two levels of spontaneous worship. Level one is where the worship team does an unscripted but known song that is a song that was not on the song list of the day but a song that is already known either by the congregation or by other members of the worship team.

Level two is that of the new song. This is the hardest level. A member of the worship team will sing a completely new song in the moment. I say this is the hardest because it will be a song that will be released in the moment and no one apart from the one releasing the song will be knowing it. The band itself is trying to come to terms with the chords, the singers are trying to listen to and sing the words of the song they are just hearing and the congregation is just left to wonder what is going on.

So how can you prepare your worship team to be able to become spontaneous?

  1. You need a willing team – one thing that can kill spontaneity is a worship team that is unwilling to venture into the depths of the unknown! First and foremost your team has to be willing to do it. The reason many are unwilling is because it will not be rehearsed so its very easy to make mistakes. Spontaneous worship is an art and it does take time to become proficient at it but then the best time to start is always in the moment. If you are rigid and unwilling to try new things then this area will remain scary and you will never experience the joy and freedom it can bring and will also deprive your congregation of the blessings that come with it.
  2. Work hand in hand with your leadership- As a worship team for you to be able to venture into this area your leadership has to be in the know and approve of what you want to do. Within the service look out to the MC to see what they are doing.Look at the pastor or whoever is leading the service. Also communicate through hand signals and eye signals to say here is where we are about to go.
  3. The band needs to be alert and understand chord progressions- with spontaneity the band has to be looking at the worship leader to see where they are trying to go. The band is the one that can kill or make the spontaneous worship to fly. The singers may get into a known song that was not rehearsed, all the band needs to do is to be quick and active and move with the flow. Usually just play a one chord while you establish what song is being sung then quickly move into the progression of the new song. If the spontaneous moment is coming from a singer who is playing an instrument then that is so easy. Let them play the song alone for a few bars while listening out for what chords they are playing then join them after   that measure.
  4. The media team needs to be in on it. One of the things with spontaneous worship is if the media team is not involved things can get messy. Maybe they were expecting to put a scripted rehearsed song on the slides and then you go spontaneous and a different song appears on the screen: lol awkward moment!  So you need your media team to be alert. Actually if you are so much in unity you may even get into a new song and the media team quickly types in what you are singing if its a new song or quickly looks for the lyrics if its a known but unrehearsed song

If you never sell a record or perform before crowds would you still worship?

In today’s church world self worth is being measured in tangible forms. Things like the most album sales, things like the most you tube views, things like the type of crowd that a minister can commandeer. How many awards have you won? This is how we measure those who are great or not.

You hear people say so and so is a great minister because their music is played on radio, because they are making a lot of sales, because they are rich. Actually that’s the spiritual measuring stick for most of today’s Christianity. And now for ministers/musicians who are just entering the “gospel market” there can be this disillusionment.

Ministry is not about sales! Ministry is not about crowds or sold out concerts! That’s more a business aspect and in the business world the above mentioned things are very important because everyone wants to invest into something that is profitable.

To God the most important thing is not the crowds, its not your album sales, its not your concerts, its not your awards! Shocking is’nt it but its so true. Unto God what is important is to worship him in spirit and in truth!

You know something is wrong when a gospel artist no longer wants to perform before a small crowd. I was shocked one time, a minister was supposed to minister and then they saw the number of people who had come to their event and they got really angry. They said they would not be singing for such a pathetic number of people as they were a world class artist. Long story short they didn’t perform. And it makes sense because they came for a performance and not worship. A lot of so called worshipers today’s are nothing but just church performers and church celebrities. God is not in it. God is just a ticket for them to use their talent and showcase their voice.

I once went for an outreach in the rural areas. And i was just speaking to one of the missionaries who had come from America and i was sharing with her the challenges i was facing in my gospel career. I was telling her how people where not buying my music. I was basically complaining about how Zimbabwe was such a hard market and with all our financial difficulties how i was so discouraged. She stopped me in my tracks and said something that at that point offended me but after much deliberation i learnt what she said was the truth. She said my brother if you never sell a single record, if you never perform before crowds, if you never become famous would you still worship him?

I can tell you that this conversation changed my life. First and foremost i am a worshiper. That is the paramount thing. I worship God, i write my songs unto God, i sing for my God. Yes i do minister unto people but if i minister unto people for my gain and not for the furthering of the gospel then i have got my reward on this earth.

I have had conversations with other gospel ministers who were discouraged and i have been able to help them because i have come to understand the truth of what exactly it is we do. Listen my brother or my sister: Even if you don’t win an award, even if you don’t break iTunes sales records or any other platform sales records, even if you don’t perform before crowds, your worth is not in these worldly things. Your worth is in God and learn to worship God, learn to be in the secret place. Learn to be a true minister not today’s version of a church entertainer.

Think as a businessman even though you are an artist!

The challenge with artists is their artistry is usually the first and prioritized aspect and then the financial aspects come after the artistry. I am a victim of this syndrome myself and after looking back at how i started i have decided to pen this advice to help those coming after me not to make the same mistakes that i did. I wish i could have had someone tell me exactly what i am telling you now.

So as an artist when you pen that song, create that painting, start your dancing journey or whatever art from you are involved in the first and foremost thing on your mind is just how to get your art form out. When i started writing songs i just now had this strong desire to release albums. I was writing songs right so the next thing was i had to go into studio. I linked up with a friend who has become my main producer and we set out to record an album. He told me his costs and i paid a deposit and we were officially on the journey to do the album.

The first mistake i made was i did not think as a business person, worse still because i was saying this was ministry to God thinking in business terms was one of the last things i did. I only started thinking business after we had finished the album and i was now thinking of how i would sell it.

Business works with strategy, a lot of planning and budgeting is done way before a business is started because the aim of business is to make profit. If there is no profit then there is no reason to even venture into the business. This is where we fail usually as artists. Our aim is to let the art be known, the financial side becomes a subsidiary of the greater goal of letting your art out. Also businesses look at things like competitors, suppliers and many other things.

That is another mistake i made. When i did my first album i did not realize that the denomination i was a part of at the time saw my move as a threat, as me trying to compete with them. I know this is shocking but don’t be fooled even in the gospel industry things are not what they seem. From the fact that i used what they termed their people who were not even on their payroll and who i had to pay anyway. I find the gospel industry is so worse because people do not come out into the open about these issues. In one meeting of the many meetings i had i was told that if you are working for Coca Cola you cannot be making your own drinks. If i had thought in a business manner i think i would have handled things differently because clearly the church was already in business mode and ignorant little me was thinking because this was a God thing it would just fly and be OK with those i interacted with. For Gospel musicians the church is your market and your main vehicle to move your music. There is a lot of sabotage and things that happen with churches but this post is not about that. The focus of this post is to help you think like a business man so you can make money.

Now for the worship ministry this is one of the hardest things. Your aim in this is to worship God, its not about making money or making sales and yet ( especially if you are a full time musician ) you have to get the money from the labor of your hands. Its such a confusing terrain to maneuver in. So much easier for secular music business.

As you set out in your artistic career consider the following things:

  1. Research. Take some time to study the environment. Take time to assess your competition and also learn from those who have gone before you. How did they apply themselves in the industry? On this research aspect its very important. One time i had a discussion with some students who wanted to venture into the gospel music business. They gave me some examples of an artist that they thought was doing very well and making money. I was quick to point out to them that this artist was rich to begin with, is not a full time musician  and uses their money and influence to push their music which then eventually gets them fame and the money. I also told them that the person might not even be making money but just breaking even. So to achieve their level of success one would need intensive capital. On research also take time to evaluate yourself: What skills do you have? What will differentiate you from every other artist already in the market? After completing your research take time to write a business plan.
  2. Capital. Any business person will tell you that capital is a major part of any business. How will you finance your art? How much money are you putting into the business? Are you gonna also get others to invest in the business? Many times artist we just rush to the studio while we have little to no money and then we realize while we are deep into the thing that we were ill equipped financially for the task at hand.
  3. Marketing. When i started recording my first album i did not have a marketing plan. What was just important was lets get this thing out. It was only when i had the product that i then learnt i had to market. Prior to the album i had created a Facebook page and yes i was talking about the upcoming project but that is not really proper marketing. If you are to be a successful artist you need a solid marketing strategy.
  4. Create and build a team. From the onset start identifying people who can help you achieve your vision. You need a team to help you go the extra mile. One can chase a thousand and two ten thousand meaning three get to hundred thousand. Identify the right people. The wrong people can prematurely destroy your dream. In doing your team you need to plan on remuneration issues.                                                                             

Exposure Is Not A Currency

Hey guys hope you are good. I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time. Have just been busy with so many things and was just on a journey of self discovery and also just dealing with so many things happening in our nation.

Anyway today i want to talk about a very controversial topic in the music world. The issue of exposure. If you are an upcoming artist you will hear this phrase more times than you will hear any other phrase from potential clients. The conversation might go something like this: Hey we really like your music and we are having an event and would love to give you the opportunity to gain exposure or expose your music to our audience. Of cause in such instances you definitely know there will be no payment whatsoever.

What is this thing called exposure anyway? Where did this animal come from? Why has it become such a word promoters and event planners use to get artists to perform for free at their events?

I want to look at this issue from a musicians perspective especially if you are an upcoming artist. One of our greatest weaknesses is we are hungry for fame. Now fame is not a bad thing, actually as an artist you are looking forward to becoming famous because it is only when people know you that they give heed to your music, come to your concerts, buy your cd’s or look for you on You tube as well as share your music with friends and family. However if you are looking at shortcuts to fame as an artist you will definitely be taken advantage of and you might even blow up prematurely but have nothing to show for it financially.

I can definitely say this. In Zimbabwe i have seen musicians who become famous but have no dime to their name, they use public transport and are constantly the subject of ridicule. People saying look at such a such famous artist who cant even buy a car after all the gigs he/she plays at. They will be assuming that the person is being paid for what they do whilst the musician is getting nothing or at best only gets a transport and food allowance.

Now don’t get me wrong. Exposure does exist but exposure is not a currency. A wise and prudent artist ( and unfortunately there are not many ) will weigh out various factors before just going to an event to perform just because people will then know his/her music/art-form. If you are a musician who has been in the business fro 2 or more years and you are still performing at events to get exposure i implore you to reconsider. Sit down and really look at yourself because you are being used.

Exposure does not pay the bills! Exposure does not pay rent! Exposure will not fill your stomach!

What i have realized is that most times people who talk about exposure are people who have an attitude that says art is a hobby and therefore why would you want to be paid for your hobby right? If your art form is a hobby then go ahead and do these exposure events. However what i find is that its mostly the young artists who usually stay with their parents and have no bills who usually get excited at the prospect of just performing before a crowd without getting anything in return. However as these artists get older and the pressures of life start mounting their tone starts to change because they suddenly realize that they were being used. Is it not better to have these people learn at a tender age what this issue really entails?