Pastor Stephen Widener responds to Selena Day’s Open Letter about Musicians in Church

Written by Staff on June 1, 2018 – 10:07 am -

Selena Day

Selena Day

Several weeks ago, author Selena Day, a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine and wife of Chuck Day, Christian Country vocalist, wrote an open letter to pastors regarding outside Gospel artists being invited to sing at churches. To read it in its entirety, click here. Selena gives pastors valid reasons for inviting musicians to their services, including drawing new people into that assembly.

Pastor Stephen Widener, from Lenoir, North Carolina, who also writes for SGNScoops and SGMRadio in the column “Pastor’s Ponderings,” responded to Selena Day’s open letter. He writes,

The open letter that was in Scoops had me thinking because I have been on almost all ends of that situation.

As you know that as a singer/musician (with the Gospel group Faithful,) I don’t charge churches to sing and most of them give us a love offering. Now if we do travel more than, say, two hours, we may ask for enough to take care of expenses but that’s it.

As a minister of a small country church, I have been asked to bring artists in and I am glad to do this, but my dad (senior pastor) has final say about who comes because they are an extension of the ministry we (the church and its leaders) have. Plus, I have had a lot of groups ask how many people might attend their concert. I may say I don’t know because there are less than 300 people who live in that part of the world!  Yes, this has happened on more than one occasion.

Pastor Stephen Widener responds to Selena Day's Open Letter about Musicians in Church

Stephen Widener

Then there are people like Mylon Hayes, who don’t have a problem coming to where I am for a love offering and I love people like him. I have packed places out when that happens.

But then there is also the concert promotion side, of which I am also familiar, because of my work with Tony Greene for years. Last year, I was working on bringing the Talleys to a local church. This country church is losing members left and right, due to age and other issues. So, to try to bring people in, they asked me to speak to the Talleys, a group who would certainly fill the church. I spoke with them and Harper Agency (talent representative) to bring them in, but when the current leaders talked to them, they only promised the group a very low love offering. Now, I knew the Talleys would have gotten a much larger offering easy with a full house of 500 people. I even went to Lauren and had her waive the fee for the gas expense for the bus, but the promise of the low amount, which was insufficient for the Talleys to make the trip, ended the whole thing. I was saddened because they don’t even get 50 people on a regular Sunday night. The concert would have brought new people in, had the leaders been more farsighted.

I have been praying for an opportunity to have a summer sing here so we can bring other groups in, as Tony Greene did for years in Boone.

So I feel for her and know what she is experiencing.

God bless,

Stephen Widener

For more by Stephen Widener, click HERE.

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