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7 Tips for Pastors on How to Generate Extra Side Income

Today, we’re talking about money.  

As a pastor, you may find yourself in a church that doesn’t pay well- or at all- and need to earn some extra money in order to be able to provide for your family. At the same time, ministry is time-consuming, so you need something that doesn’t require your full-time focus!  The question you’re asking yourself has to be, “How can I leverage my core strengths in order to make a little extra income?” 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some tips to help you generate extra side income while pastoring!

Side Income #1: Writing

Don’t set out to become Youtube or TikTok famous- that will take a lot of time and effort.  Instead, leverage the work you’re doing and skills you’re using every week while preparing your sermon.  Writing a sermon is kind of equivalent to writing a midterm paper- there’s a TON of research and writing involved.  So why not try to increase your income by writing?  

We’re not talking about writing a book- although, if you have the time to do that, great, but that’s not going to make you much money!  Instead, consider something like writing a blog posts with affiliate links.  We know one guy who makes five figures a month off of affiliate blog posts!  

Here’s what “affiliate” blogging is- you get a special link for a company, and you write a blog post that sells their product.  If people click your link and buy the product, you earn a commission.  Many companies (including Amazon!) do this, and by getting started as an affiliate, you can earn some extra cash.  And hey, if you want to write a review of Ministry Pass or Sermonary, we’ll give you an affiliate link.  Just let us know!  

One of the things that makes affiliate blogging such a great option for pastors is that you work for a small amount of time, write the affiliate piece, and then you’re done- and it can keep earning you money year after year!  

Another writing option would be writing for magazines- church magazines, ministry magazines, and even online blogs.  The pay is less for this option, but you’ll likely know your subject matter very well- so it wouldn’t take a ton of time for you to write something.  

Other options along this line include writing emails and blog posts for other churches, that capitalize on your knowledge of the Word, and translating teaching material if you are bilingual.  

Side Income #2: Research

There are many pastors who need help researching their messages before they sit down to write them- for example, reading books on topics and providing summaries and quotes, or doing a deep dive into the Greek or Hebrew of a passage of Scripture.  There are different organizations, like Docent, that can help you write and research as a way to help out other pastors!

Side Income #3: Short-term Investing

We aren’t financial advisors- make sure you use wisdom!  

But if you’re going to leverage your extra income to make money, don’t buy dead assets.  If you have a home or RV, you can rent those out using sites like Airbnb, RVShare, Outdoorsy, etc.  So look into buying something that can help you make money down the line.  

Something Justin does to make extra money is buy and sell sports cards.  Because he keeps up with sports stats and knows who all the players are, it’s much more comfortable for him to keep track of players.  Basically, he buys the graded sports cards, then resells them when their value is higher.  

Wade and Justin have also dabbled in buying and selling Lego sets, particularly the ones that have the IP attached to them.  If you know which sets to buy, Legos increase in value on an average of 14% annually, which can make it a fun- and lucrative- hobby!

Thrift Store flipping is another option- and flipping in general can be profitable, as long as you take the time to understand that world.  So pick a topic that you already know and understand- that’s the best place to make an entry into this world.

Side Income #4: Creating and Selling Resources

If you’re already creating Bible Studies or original sermon series for your church, consider selling them to other pastors in your network!  If you take photography and video at your church, you can also sell your photos to lightstock– that way, other churches can pay to use your images on their website!

Side Income #5: Public Speaking

Preaching at camps and retreats can be a great way to get more mileage out of your sermon preparation, and enable you to go full time at your church.  Another option along these same lines would be to become a chaplain- a lot of times, Christian business owners will hire a chaplain to come in and speak with their employees, because a pastor can minister to their people and share about faith in a way that they, as the boss, can’t.  Some businesses would LOVE to offer that additional coaching and spiritual development as a benefit/morale booster to their teams.  

Side Income #6: Coaching

If you’re younger, this might not be an option for you.  But if you’re a seasoned pastor, other churches and pastors would love to have you as a coach!  It’s a great opportunity to pour into the next generation, and make a little more money in the process.

Plus, you may not realize this, but with the amount that you preach and prepare your messages, you are a professional public speaker.  So leverage that!  You can coach others in business or public speaking, 

Side Income #7: Teaching Classes

You can teach classes online or in person- but online is HUGE right now.  But let’s say that you wanted to work through the book of Galatians, or do a youth ministry coaching cohort.  You can put together some videos, and put them on Youtube or create a class and allow people to join for a fee.  This can help you coach more people at once, because once you create that class, people can join at any time- you’re just doing administration work!  

A great way to approach this is to develop a resource for your church and then sell it online!  There aren’t many people in our society who write the equivalent of 40 or more college term papers every year, and people don’t realize how unique it is.  So leverage that strength for your family and ministry’s benefit.  

If you’re bi-vocational or have a side hustle, we’d love to hear about it!  Comment on Youtube or use the hashtag #hellochurchpod on any social media platform!