Second, and not unrelatedly, churches reflect our culture in that they think music should be free or nearly free and, for some reason, to be a musician, particularly a classically trained church musician, it is improper to expect monetary reimbursement. After all, isn't one using her gifts in service to the church viz. a higher calling? For some reason the clergy with their ostensible higher calling, are lured to a church with not only a salary, but pensions and health insurance and in most cases either a housing allowance or outright housing. Yet, the organist/choir director, by virtue of being merely a musician, barely receives a weekly part-time stipend, for which he or she is supposed to be grateful, the man-hours of daily practice and preparation and years of training notwithstanding.
Suddenly the church cries poor: "well we're a small parish and can't afford (read: want) to pay the organist very much. The result of this dismal attitude is that the standard of playing in most churches is at best sub-par: "you get what you pay for"(sic), as the saying goes. Yet, with pathetic irony, churches are constantly lamenting over what seems to be an apparent shortage of organists. Again, via the church, we have a reflection of our culture's bias against serious music; treating it as being frivolous or insignificant; or as played under the above circumstances — boring. The end result: the organ is that boring, turgid, bland instrument in church that old Mrs. Leftfoot plays every Sunday. Such is the plight that few people, mostly in smaller churches, rarely get to experience the emotionally and spiritually energising thrill of dynamic, musically charged hymn playing.