10 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Money Using Their Pastoral Skills - Part 1

more than a pastor show Sep 28, 2020

More Than a Pastor Show Episode 4: "10 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Money Using Their Pastoral Skills - Part 1"

Can a pastor earn extra money by using the skills they already have and use in their regular pastoral work?  In a way that adds value to their ministry and doesn’t detract from it? 

I believe the answer is absolutely yes! 

Over the next two episodes of the More Than a Pastor Show, I'll share 10 great ways for pastors to make extra money doing what they already do as a pastor. I'll share 5 ways in this episode, and 5 more in the next.

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."

Q&A with Rich Avery

In today's Q&A segment I explain how my "face for radio" came in handy 30 years ago when I worked at one of the top Christian radio stations, 91.3 WCSG in Grand Rapids, and how it still serves me well today as the host of the More Than a Pastor Show.

In fact, I'm amazed at how our past is often the key to our future, and the skills we gained in other contexts can come to serve us well as we reimagine our calling and pursue the life, impact, and income we were made for.

If you've got a question for Rich, or a topic you'd like to see covered on the show, send your request to [email protected]. I'd love to answer your question on a future show.

10 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Money Using Their Pastoral Skills - Part 1

In previous episodes of More Than a Pastor, I shared 7 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time for Pastors to Start Their Own Business or Side Hustle, and 8 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Income Quickly.  

In our feature segment today, we'll dive right into 5 ways pastors can earn extra money doing what they already do as a pastor.

Some of these may sound more interesting to you than others. And some may not interest you at all. That's fine. My goal here is to open up your thinking, and help you be more creative about the opportunities you may have right in front of you.

1. Funeral Services

If you’ve been a pastor for any length of time, you know that dying is, unfortunately, a big – and expensive – business. Here are some ways for pastors to earn extra income while serving families through funerals or memorial services.

  • Funeral Officiating – Funeral parlors struggle at times to find pastors willing and able to officiate funeral services for people who don’t have a connection to a local church or pastor. If you enjoy caring for families in times like these, contact area funeral homes to offer your services for people who don’t have a church home. These are often great outreach opportunities, and ways to earn some good extra money.
  •  Funeral Planning – When a loved one dies, family members are often caught off-guard, can easily become overwhelmed by all the options, and often unaware of ways they could save money when it comes to funeral expenses. Consider offering funeral planning services to help people discover all the options when it comes to burial, cremation, holding a funeral or memorial service, etc. You could offer public workshops a few times a year, or meet with families one-on-one, charging for your services.
  • Funeral Musician – If you are musically inclined – especially if you’re a worship pastor – you could earn extra money singing or playing music at funerals in your community. Funeral and memorial services happen mostly during the daytime hours, and it can sometimes be a challenge to find musicians who are available.

2. Weddings

You can make the happy couple’s “Big Day” a nice payday for you, through these money making opportunities.

  • Wedding officiating – Position yourself up as a wedding officiant for couples in your community who aren’t connected to a church. Like funerals, weddings can be great outreach opportunities. Beyond officiating, you could offer other services to help make the wedding, and the marriage, all they can be, like…
  • Premarital Counseling – Some pastors don’t feel very comfortable or competent in doing premarital counseling with couples. If you love doing it, why not create a couple of premarital counseling packages you can offer to the community. You could host an all-day or 4-week workshop format for several couples at once, do private counseling with couples, or a combination of the two. Extra bonus if you and your spouse host the premarital counseling together! 
  • Wedding Planning – Create a full wedding planning package which includes not just your officiating services, but all other aspects of the big day, including coordinating flowers, caterers, photographers and videographers, wedding and reception venues, and more. Develop relationships/networks with the other service providers listed above to share referrals. 
  • Wedding Musician – If you are musically inclined, you can make extra money singing or playing at weddings. If you’re a songwriter, how about writing and performing customized wedding songs? 

3. Counseling

As mentioned earlier, counseling is one of those things that some pastors love, while others don’t feel so confident – especially in doing it long-term.

If you are skilled at helping others navigate tough life situations with biblical counseling, position yourself as a community counseling resource and take referrals from other churches and community organizations. 

Here are several common counseling niches, including:

  • Marital
  • Pre-marital
  • Financial
  • Child and Family
  • Depression and Anxiety

Be aware that laws in your area may dictate that only licensed counselors may advertise “counseling” services. So, you may want to call what you do “biblical counseling” or “discipleship counseling” if you are not a licensed counselor. 

Also, I suggest that you clarify up-front with your church where the line is between counseling you do for free and counseling your charge for. Some pastors will do one or two sessions for free, as a gift from the church, before starting to charge for counseling outside of the church.

4. Coaching

Every day, we have opportunities as pastors to coach our staff, leaders, and volunteers to greater levels of faithfulness and effectiveness. The coaching skills we develop and use in the church can also be used to bless people – and earn extra money – outside the church.  

Here are a few ways pastors could earn money as a coach:

  • Career Coaching – Helping people find the work they were meant to do
  • Life Coaching– Helping people get unstuck, discern the right path to take in life, and live to their full potential
  • Executive Coaching – Helping people, including other pastors, maximize their personal and organizational leadership
  • Health & Wellness Coaching – Helping people lose weight, get healthy, and navigate food addictions or allergies

I’ve been blessed to have had a couple of executive coaches work with me over the years to help me grow in my personal life and professional leadership. 

Because of the results I’ve achieved through coaching I’ve received, coaching is one of my passion areas, and I love to share what I’ve learned with others to help them get unstuck and pursue their life’s biggest goals and dreams.

5. Spiritual Direction

If you are passionate about helping people develop spiritually and grow deeper in their relationship with God, consider becoming a spiritual director. 

Spiritual direction is about helping people develop their inner life and discern God’s voice in their lives. It’s about listening to and experiencing God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in deeper ways. Through asking the right questions, listening, and discerning. 

Two years ago I began meeting with a spiritual director. He’s actually a member of our church, who pursued direction as a calling after retirement. I didn’t fully know what to expect when I first began meeting with him, but I can tell you the relationship has exceeded my expectations!

The questions my director asks me always take me deeper in my understanding of who God is and who I am in him. He helps me get out of the “performance” zone when I feel I need to do more “for” God...and helps me stay in the relationship zone where I want to be more “with” God.

If you love spiritual formation, you may be especially well-suited to be a spiritual director. But know that spiritual direction isn’t about identifying problems and providing solutions for problems.

The goal is to help people go deeper with God, sit in the silence, listen to the invitations from the Holy Spirit and dwell on him…There’s a real skill to that. 

Quotation for the Day: Shelby Steele

Our quotation of the day comes from author Shelby Steele:

 “Opportunity follows struggles. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” 

Have you ever known anyone who was waiting around for their opportunity? Maybe you’ve been there yourself in the past. Or maybe you’re there right now. You’re just waiting...and you’ll get started and take action on your worthy goal or dream once your opportunity finally comes.

Unfortunately, what many fail to realize is that opportunity can be created. It comes to those who are already ready. Who’ve taken action. Who’ve put themselves out there in pursuit of their goal or dream.

Opportunity is often born out of our pain - out of necessity. When we’re hungry enough or desperate enough to do whatever it takes to create it.

I have a few super successful acquaintances who appear to be overnight sensations. But in reality, they are 10-year overnight sensations. Yes, today they enjoy huge success. But it didn’t come overnight.

In reality, they put themselves out there for months and years, preparing, working, serving others and adding value to their lives. And then all of a sudden, the right opportunities opened up, they were there and ready for those opportunities, and they enjoyed big success as a result.

Opportunities are all around us, if we have the eyes to see them. But how do you know which opportunities are right for you?

Get my FREE download, Personal Clarity GPS, at morethanapastor.com/gps. And discover how your goals, passions, and struggles are the pathway to your greatest and most fulfilling calling. 

More Than a Pastor Private Online Community

I've created a private Facebook group called the More Than a Pastor Online Community. I'd love for you to click the link to join and be one of the 1,000 pastors we're helping over the next five years to reimagine your calling and create the life, impact, and income you were made for! 

Coming Up on The Next Show

We'll take a closer look at five more ways that pastors can make extra money doing what they already do as a pastor.