There are so many ways that pastors, like anyone else, can create extra income for their families. But are there ways that pastors can earn extra money by using the skills they already have and use in their daily pastoral work? In a way that adds value to their ministry and doesn’t detract from it?
I believe the answer is absolutely yes!
Welcome to episode 5 of the More Than a Pastor Show. This is the second half of a two-part series on “10 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Money Using Their Pastoral Skills.”
Last time, in episode 4, I detailed the first five ways, including:
- Funeral Services
- Spiritual Direction
In today’s episode I’ll share 5 more great ways for pastors to create multiple streams of income..
Before we dive in…If you’re looking to launch a business or side hustle, be sure to download my FREE guide: “4 Keys to Success in Starting Your Business or Side Hustle, and discover four key issues that every pastor needs to consider BEFORE launching a business.”
When I think of a chaplain, the first thing that comes to mind is someone serving as a military or hospital chaplain. Maybe that’s how you think too.
But today there are lots of other places where chaplains are needed, and some could be great opportunities for pastors to earn extra money, including:
- Sports teams
- Police/Fire Departments
- Nursing homes
- Community crisis response
7. Public Speaking
It’s no surprise to think that pastors, who get paid to preach, teach, and tell stories in church, could earn extra money through public speaking.
You don’t have to be famous like Brenda Salter McNeil, John Maxwell, Beth Moore, Andy Stanley, or Steven Furtick to get invited to speak.
What you DO need is a compelling message or story that impacts people’s lives. Event planners call that a “signature talk.” And I believe every pastor has a message or story like that, deep down inside them. You just may need help in getting that message out.
Here are 9 ways pastors can get paid to speak:
Church Special Events – Speak at another church’s missions conference, evangelism training event, small group kick-off, leadership development event, etc.
Bible & Missionary Conferences – Speak at one of the many Bible and Missionary conference grounds across the U.S. and Canada…and maybe get a free family vacation too!
Summer Camps – Children and youth pastors in particular are in-demand as speakers at summer camps
Retreats – Hundreds of retreats are held across the U.S. and Canada each year, requiring pastors who can speak on various topics from leadership, spiritual renewal, writing, missions, ministry enrichment and renewal, pastor sabbaticals, etc.
Civic Organizations – There are thousands of civic groups, organizations, and societies that need special speakers for their monthly, quarterly, or annual events
Create Your Own Event – Consider creating your own event geared toward your area of ministry, whether that’s preaching, missions, children’s, youth, small groups, etc.
Radio Shows – Radio stations often have empty time slots they are looking to fill during overnights and weekends – you could launch your own radio show and find advertisers to pay for it, or create your own daily 90-second or 3-minute feature spot, and sell ads for that
Podcasting – Launch your own podcast and sell advertising or sponsorships
YouTube – Launch your own online show and sell advertising or sponsorships
Mentoring (you might call it discipling) is one of the cornerstones of the church and the Christian life. There are plenty of “Timothys” out there looking for “Pauls” to help them grow as disciples, pastors, and leaders.
While pastors are always on the look-out for free help…You ARE reading this free list of money making ideas, after all!…there comes a time when we’re willing to pay for mentoring.
Young pastors, fresh out of seminary, are often hungry and desperate for real-world church experience to help them grow and mature as pastors and leaders.
Seasoned pastors are looking for ways to free up their time, earn more money, and make their life and ministry more purposeful.
And sadly, some of us will come to the point where we’re forced to pay someone to help us recover from burnout, heal after a let-down or firing, or seek restoration after a moral failure.
Here are 8 ways pastors can make money as a mentor or consultant:
Internship/Residency – Create an intern or residency program where young pastors pay to shadow you for 6 months or a year or more
Mastermind Group – Create your own mastermind cohort for pastors in your community, or area of passion/interest
Building Campaigns/Fundraising – Show other churches how to raise money for ministry
Evangelism/Outreach Campaigns – Show other churches how to engage their community in meaningful ways
Sabbatical planning – Help pastors design, fund, and prepare for a much-needed sabbatical
Pastor Spouses – Launch a group to counsel and encourage ministry spouses
Retirement planning – If you’re at or near retirement age, share what you’ve learned to help other pastors prepare for their retirement
Healing & Restoration – Walk alongside pastors who are dealing with brokenness, bitterness, addiction, etc., and help restore them to wholeness
It’s not a big stretch for pastors to make extra money by writing. Most of us are writers by default, anyway, whether we realize it or not, simply by writing sermon outlines, writing out our sermons, or by keeping a journal.
Not to mention all the writing we did in college and seminary or through other ministerial training!
Making extra money by writing is easier to do than ever before. Here are some ideas:
Start a blog and write about your journey, experience, or learnings as a pastor
- Write stories or articles for your local newspaper
- Write for your denominational magazine, newsletter, or website
- Write for other Christian magazines or web sites
- Repurpose a sermon series into a book or e-book (self-publish or work with a traditional publisher)
- Write a book based on your “signature talk” concept mentioned previously in the “Speaking” section
- Write devotionals or your own devotional book
- Write curriculum
- Write songs
- Ghostwrite or research stories, articles, curriculum, or books for other authors (I know a couple of pastors who have ghostwritten for some very famous Christian authors)
If you dream of being a published author someday, starting with a blog is a great way to gain an audience and grow your influence. And it can lead to speaking, coaching, and publishing books and other opportunities.
10. Online Business
Can pastors make money online? Absolutely! Can you make money online doing any of the previous extra money ideas I’ve already shared? Yes! Though some ideas lend themselves more easily to online business than others.
For example, you can easily promote your funeral or wedding officiating services online, but you may not actually DO them online. Then again…the pandemic of 2020 has forced pastors into doing ministry in ways we hadn’t considered before.
But you could definitely deliver your services as a counselor, spiritual director, coach, mentor, chaplain, speaker or writer totally online if you wanted to.
8 ways pastors can make money online:
- Decide on your niche and develop your online platform via your blog or website
- Share content via your blog, podcast, or YouTube videos
- Write an e-book and sell it on Amazon
- Offer group counseling, coaching, or mentoring via private Facebook groups
- Offer one-on-one counseling, coaching or mentoring via Zoom or Skype
- Self-publish your own book
- Create digital courses to sell on your website
- Get booked as a speaker at events, and sell your book and online courses
While I’m sharing these ideas as a list, you don’t have to think of them in a linear way.
Think of them more in a circular way, where one feeds off another, and you can start with any one of those ideas and develop the others off of it over time.
There you have it! Over the last two episodes…Ten great ways to earn extra income or full-time income using the skills you already have as a pastor.
They’re not all for everybody. But I hope this has opened your eyes to the ways you could transfer your pastoral skills into extra income and even a full time business. Which ones are right for you? It all depends on your goals, dreams, struggles, passions, and experience.
If you’d like my help in figuring that all out, be sure to download my free action guide, the Personal Clarity GPS, over at morethanapastor.com/gps.
In the Next Episode of More Than a Pastor
We’ll explore the biggest thing holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams, and living the life you were made for. It’s probably not what you think!
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And until next time, remember that you are more than a pastor. Saying yes to God’s call doesn’t mean you HAVE to say yes to feeling stuck, broke, and unfulfilled. Let’s work together to create the life, impact, and income you were made for!