A pastor asks some hard questions, and a musician responds.

Contemporary Christian music is popular. So popular, in fact, that congregations want contemporary Christian musicians to perform in the local church. And Christian musicians are more than happy to oblige. That's their ministry, after all, and for many their livelihood.

And there's the rub. Churches sometimes resent the amounts demanded by those coming to "minister" to the congregation. The Christian musician, on the other hand, thinks the church is confused about-well, the following candid correspondence between a pastor and a Christian musician reveals (and helps resolve) some of the areas of tension.

Dwight Burchett is the pastor of Valley Community Church in Sacramento, California. Steve Gardner and his wife, Maria, team up as "Steve and Maria" and perform Christian music nationwide.

We pick up the correspondence after Steve has agreed to perform at Dwight's church and has suggested a fee.

October 5, 1988

Dear Steve:

It was good to talk with you on the phone last week. You seem like a tremendous ...

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