5 Ways Pastors and Churches Can Profit from the Creator Economy

grow your income Feb 21, 2023
5 Ways Pastors and Churches can Profit from the Creator Economy


Today I want to talk about a topic I hear almost no one talking about: why churches should tap into the Creator Economy. And I’ll share 5 ways that pastors and churches can put the power of the creator economy to work for them. 


Links for Today's Show


What is the Creator Economy?

So what comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “Creator Economy”? Do you immediately think of an Instagram influencer, TikToker or YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of followers? Or how about a pastor recording himself reading the Bible, one chapter a day, and sharing it as a podcast? Or someone who sells crafts on Etsy?

Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about.

Well, never fear, because in today’s episode I’m going to explain what the creator economy is, why churches should tap into it, and I’ll share 5 ways that pastors and churches can profit from it.

So first, what is the creator economy?

At its simplest, the creator economy has been described as the rise of creators of all kinds who are earning money from their work.

Yes, we often think first of Influencers on Instagram, YouTube and social media.

But creators also include:

  • Writers
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Crafters/Makers
  • Bloggers
  • Podcasters
  • Authors
  • Speakers
  • Coaches

A creator is anyone who makes something and puts it online, builds a community of engaged fans, and earns money from their fans.

I am a creator. Bloggers and podcasters you follow are creators. And if you’re a pastor, guess what, you’re a creator too! Not sure what I mean? We’ll talk more about it in a moment.

I believe the creator economy could also be called the Community Economy or the Connection Economy, because people today are hungry for connection. They aren’t just looking to buy a product or service from someone. They want connection. They want to be part of a community built around a common interest, need, or value.

The global creator economy is booming, generating over $100 billion in the last year. At least 50 million people worldwide consider themselves content creators, with about 17 million creators in America.


Six Ways Creators make money

  1. Sell their own products/services - coaching, courses, physical products.
  2. Affiliate income by promoting other people’s products - get a commission
  3. Sell their branded merch - my daughter liked Girlypop and bought one of her sweatshirts
  4. Membership community - I’m a member of several communities, which I’ve talked about in previous episodes.
  5. Tips/patronages - Buy me a coffee, patreon
  6. Sponsors/Ads - Sponsor your podcast, brand ambassador


Today, Everyone Can Be a Creator

Anyone can become a creator if you have a message or product to share.

There are no gatekeepers. You don’t have to get permission. Get a publisher, agent, or producer who is interested in you and what you have to say.

Today everyone has the same opportunity to create, and the same opportunity to earn money.

You don’t even have to be original to be a creator. You can also curate other people’s content, and even repackage it and make it your own.

That’s what Stephanie Beggs did.

Last week, I saw a news headline about a nurse who made $2 million dollars from her side hustle. I clicked to learn how she did it.

In an interview, Stephanie Beggs explained that,

"I fell right into it. It was very unintentional. I got started selling my notes when I graduated from nursing school. I was studying for the boards exam, what we call the N.C.L.E.X. for nursing. And it was right when the pandemic happened, so I had nobody to study with. I would teach myself to the wall and I would record it. And then I posted that onto social media and people loved it."

"They asked to buy my study sheets. So then, I created a shop that eventually became viral. And yeah, and so now I sell study sheets. I passed the boards a long time ago, and now I sell them for students who are approaching the board's exam and taking tests in nursing school."

Beggs started selling her notes in June 2020 and surpassed $2 million in profits in 2022.
That, my friend, is the creator economy in a nutshell.

Here was a person who had some type of message or content that could benefit others. She saw a need for it, born out of her own experience. She decided to share this message/content in a way that would work for her (creating videos). And then she created helpful products (her notes) that people were willing to buy.

She didn’t need someone to give her permission. She didn’t wait until she had a certain level of professional success.

She simply decided to share something that she wished she had when she was going to nursing school that could have helped her. As she began to share this content consistently, others found out about it, and decided to join her community. They developed a connection with her. And they were willing to buy what she was offering, because they trusted her and knew it had helped her and it would help them succeed too.

Believe me, anyone can do that. Even pastors!


Pastors are the Ultimate Creators

In fact, guess what? Pastors are the ultimate creators! We were made for the creator economy!

Because not only do we know how to create consistent content weekly for our sermons, classes, workshops, devotionals, etc. But we know how to deliver these in written form, through speaking, and many of us are already sharing these things online. Plus as pastors we’re all about building community and making meaningful connections with others.

My friend John Stange is a great example of this. John has had a habit of reading the Bible one chapter a day for his own personal spiritual growth.

Several years ago, he decided to record himself reading his chapter each day, add a little musical bed to it, and then share it as a daily podcast episode. He was already reading a chapter a day for himself…why not share it with others, right?

Today the Chapter-a-Day Audio Bible with Pastor John Stange has had millions of downloads.

You’ve probably noticed something interesting here…but in case you missed it, I’ll mention it now.

John did not create the Bible. Nor did he divide it into chapters. But what he’s doing is curating the Bible…repackaging each chapter into a daily audio reading for those who would enjoy hearing as a podcast while they’re exercising, driving the kids to school, having breakfast or who knows what.

Then John began to record his weekly sermons and posted them as a weekly podcast. Then he realized he could repackage all of his sermon series into books, many of which he has self-published on Amazon.

Now when his millions of listeners tune in for their daily Bible reading, John invites them to go to his website, DesireJesus.com, where they can find his books and other resources to aid them in their spiritual growth.

Starting out as a creator, John was able to supplement his ministry salary very nicely. But within a couple of years he has now replaced his ministry salary many times over each year.

And now John helps other creators build and grow their own profitable platforms through his Platform Launchers membership community. You can learn more at morethanapastor.com/platform.
So now I want to share…

6 Reasons why the Church Should Embrace the Creator Economy

  1. We’re living in the creator economy now, and it’s really just getting started. Gen Zers and younger Millennials (the generations the church is rapidly losing) were native-born into it. In fact, more than ⅓ of Gen Zers say they want to become YouTube creators.
  2. The creator economy is centered around community and connection. So is the church. In an age where people are abandoning traditional churches, they are still flocking to communities they trust.
  3. The church could tap into the creator economy to reconnect with the people it is losing.
    Inflation budget gap has effectively reduced the average family’s income by $500/month due to rising prices. This means church staff and congregants need to find ways to bridge the budget gap, and this could result in declining giving to churches.
  4. Churches could tap into the creator economy to generate new revenue streams and move beyond the traditional church funding model of receiving tithes and offerings, which is in decline.
  5. Pastors could create their own income streams to supplement or even replace their ministry income if needed.
  6. Church multiplication will depend on co-vocational pastors creating their own income outside the church.

And that’s why I launched More than a pastor, and made it my mission to help pastors discover the best ways to leverage your ministry know-how into a business or side hustle that's right for you, so you can serve God and provide for your family, no matter what.


5 Ways that Pastors and Churches Can Make Money in the Creator Economy

  1. Start a Creator club to engage Gen Zers and Millennials (and others) in your community who have launched or want to launch their own platforms. Celebrate the Creators in your church. Give them an opportunity to build community, share how-tos, etc.
  2. Create an incubator or co-work space in your building. Rent out space or memberships for people to office, meet, work on projects, and launch their business.
  3. Launch one or more income streams to benefit the church. Examples: A church that records its own worship album of original songs. Another that creates its own church staffing agency. A third that launches a Bible Institute.
  4. Encourage pastors and staff to create their own income streams outside the church. This will help them feel more fulfilled, create more income for their family, get them outside the walls of the church, etc.
  5. Re-think your discipleship and connection strategies with the Creator economy in mind. How could you use a podcast, TikTok or YouTube videos, social media, etc. to foster connections and share the content you want to share in ways people are more readily able to consume it.


So, what do you think?

  1. Have you already embraced the creator economy through your own side hustle?
  2. Can you see how this could benefit your or your church?
  3. Do you know what you’d do if you decided to launch your own creator platform? Here’s a tip: You can start by making a list of everything you know how to do, like to do, could do for someone else, or could teach someone how to do.

If you want more tips and resources to help you launch your own platform, grow your income, and build financial security, then join me in the private More Than a Pastor Community on Facebook


Let's Stay in Touch!

Sign up to receive free tips and exclusive offers to help you grow your income and build financial security.

We promise not to share your email with anyone or send you any spam!