On one hand, there’s no such thing as “part-time” ministry.
But day, many pastors are bi-vocational or co-vocational.
For many, it’s an intentional choice, perhaps even an evangelism strategy. For others, it’s a necessary reality and the supplemental income is necessary.
If you’re a pastor or a church leader looking for extra income, here are some ideas.
#1 – Speak at other churches.
You’re already a great speaker and you know what you have to say would be helpful in other churches. But instead of just “being available,” consider packaging and promoting your three best messages.
#2 – Speak at local businesses or events.
Whether it’s a club having a special event or a business looking to do employee training, organizations are always looking for people to come and speak. Intentionally create two or three non-sermon talks and activity promote them. Let organizations know you’re available to speak on a few select topics.
#3 – Self publish a book on Amazon.
It’s never been easier to publish a book or eBook. Collect your best sermons, write a devotional book, or chase down that topic that’s always interested you. Stack this with the two ideas above and you’ll have a bigger audience than most. Learn more about Amazon Publishing here.
#4 – Write for other Christian businesses or publications.
#5 – Become a coach or consultant.
You’re probably naturally good at this, but with a little formalization, you can develop a nice side business. There are many programs where you can be certified and licensed, with lots of support for growing a coaching business. Check out System and Soul, Giant, The Table Group, EOS, Intentional Churches, and Church Fuel.
#6 – Create an online course.
This industry has boomed over the last 10 years but it’s not too late. You can teach what you know on platforms like SkillShare, Teachable, or Gura. Your course could be church related, Christian-focused, or something altogether different.
#7 – Host a paid webinar or seminar.
Rather than make a full-blown course, you could try a one-time seminar or training. There’s a topic you know better than most people and there’s a segment of the world that wants to know it.
#8 – Rental income.
This isn’t a quick fix, but it could become a nice source of passive income. If you want to get into this world, start with the Bigger Pockets website and podcast.
#9 – Start a website or design business.
A lot of pastors manage their church website, which gives you a skill most people don’t have. Consider packaging up your creative and/or technical services and offering them to small businesses as a retainer situation.
#10 – Start an SEO business.
Similar to the idea above but a little more technical, a lot of organizations need help in this area. If you’ve got some basic understanding, you could quickly add some formal training and certifications and be up and running in a few months. Start with Hubspot’s SEO course or this free SEO course from Moz.
#11 – Start a t-shirt business.
The creator economy has boomed over the last few years, especially during Covid. Partner with a designer if necessary. You can get started on sites like Teespring and not have to worry about inventory.
#12 – Host, edit, or produce a podcast.
You’re a good speaker already, so it wouldn’t be a huge jump to host a podcast. Maybe there’s a business owner in your church who wants to expand his or her platform. Or maybe you’re more of a behind the scenes editor or producer. Either way, this is a service a lot of people need and a good opportunity for retainer income.
#13 – Start a yard sign business.
I recently rented big Happy Birthday yard signs for my daughter’s special day, and someone made a decent amount of money. A little bit of inventory and some high school kids to deliver and pick up, and you’ve got a nice little side gig.
#14 – Deliver food.
Door Dash, Uber Eats, Grub Hub and a host of other delivery services allow you to work a little bit here and there. Many people make this their main source of income but most do it to supplement. Use the time in your vehicle to listen to real estate or business podcasts and you’ll start to stack ideas.
#15 – Offer your services on task sites.
Fiverr, Upwork, and 99 Designs all help connect freelancers to people who need one-time or ongoing project work. It may take a while to build up a portfolio or reviews, but there’s potential there if you have some basic skills.
#16 – Rent your RV.
#17 – Rent your car.
Turo is like Airbnb for your vehicle. When you’re not using it, rent it out to others. The last time I was in Denver, I rented a Tesla from a guy who purchased three of them just for this purpose.
#18 – Rent your home.
#19 – Buy an existing website or app business.
Flippa is a marketplace for small apps or websites with revenue. There are brand new ideas and sites with history.
If you want to learn a lot more about this topic, including advice on how to balance your side gig with being a full-time pastor, where you need to be careful to prevent a conflict of interest, and some general best practices about how to get started, watch this free training.
Author Note: Church Fuel provides insanely practical coaching and resources to pastors of normal size churches. Learn more about their courses, resources, and programs at churchfuel.com.