Extra Income from Moonlighting

Do you need extra income?

My employer has a strict “No Moonlighting Policy” (even though it’s probably illegal in California). They expect every pastor to give full and complete attention to their work as a pastor.

However, there are many ways to repurpose your ministry output, make connections in the community, and make extra income on the side. Many of these are even seen as evangelistic opportunities or prestigious ways to help your church’s standing in the community.

Repurposing Ministry

  • Do community weddings
  • Become a funeral pastor for area funeral homes
  • Write a book (from a sermon series)
  • Write a book (from personal ministry experiences)
  • Publish a Book Study Guide
  • Create a curriculum
  • Publish a video curriculum
  • Write, record, publish worship music
  • Do concerts
  • Market your sermon outlines
  • Sell CDs or MP3s of your sermons
  • Sell videos of your sermon series
  • Start a “supporting ministry”
  • Become part of the area “Pulpit Supply” (Great for Adventist Pastors)
  • Become an expert and lecture or do workshops
  • Create a religious smart phone app
  • Join the board of directors for a company
  • Get elected as an officer on a nonprofit board of directors


  • Create a job you can do ONLY while on vacation (4-6 weeks/year)


  • Don’t market to your own church members. They are not a captive audience for your side-hustle!
  • Don’t give your best time, thought, and energy to your side efforts. Reserve that for ministry.
  • Don’t give time to something else if your church is in turmoil. Unhappy members will make your life miserable.

We’ll talk about Copyright Law and your sermons in a different post.

What are some of your ideas for repurposing ministry to make more money on the side?

Webinar – Thriving on a Pastor’s Salary

Thriving on a Pastor's Salary WebinarClergy Financial Coaching is offering a free webinar to help you learn the Three Keys to Thriving on a Pastor’s Salary.

Pastors have unique financial needs. They also have unique opportunities. This 45-minute presentation gives you the framework you need to gain full control of your financial situation.

Thriving on a Pastor’s Salary is available three days a week.  Click now to reserve your spot.

Salary vs. Package

The compensation package is NOT the salary!

compensation packageOur church is in the market for a new Collegiate/Young Adult pastor. As we were working through the numbers on our budgetary finance committee, one of the members was aghast at how much we budgeted for this new pastor: “Is that how much pastors get paid?!”

The answer is, “No, that’s not how much pastors get paid.”

The numbers we were looking at weren’t just the salary, they were the total compensation package. This number includes health insurance (“Couldn’t we just not give them health insurance?”), travel budget, continuing education, retirement (“Why should we pay for them to retire?”)…

Your pastor is likely an employee, not an independent contractor. And as an employer, the church has to pay the entire compensation package for the pastor. Church members may see the pastor’s pay as a line-item in the budget and think that the pastor is getting rich off the backs of the members: “I don’t make that much money at my job!” Yes. Well, neither does the pastor. In fact, a pastor may be making only $50,000 out of a $75,000 employment package:

$50,000 salary
$12,000 health and disability insurance (or more with kids)
$5,000 mileage and travel reimbursements
$3,000 continuing education, seminars
$5,000 403(b) match for retirement

Add to this the amount it takes to interview, hire, and move a pastor, and you’re looking at substantial total compensation package.

This can make it very awkward for a pastor going into salary negotiation. Instead of dealing with a Manager or HR professional who understands salary vs. benefits, you may be dealing with church members who are new to the concept, hearing about this for the first time. Or you may be dealing with people who want to “keep the pastor humble.” There may even be people on the church board who have a bone to pick and would love to force the pastor out any way possible.

It can feel downright defensive to have to justify a health benefit and a disability insurance benefit and mileage and a 403(b) match. And this defensive, justifying posture can really derail the entire negotiation!

This is why I believe it’s important to have a standing committee that is educated on these matters. It should be a small subcommittee of the church board. The members should be tasked with reading and bench-marking to become familiar with the overall cost and structure of a competitive compensation package in your area and your denomination. This subcommittee would then make recommendations to the budgetary committee or church board. Ideally, this committee would be bumping the salary every year just to keep up with inflation.

As a pastor, it’s relatively easy to put a standing committee like this in place. And it’s relatively easy to give them resources and benchmarks to look at.

Taking this extra step as much as a year in advance of asking for a pay raise will drastically increase your chances of receiving one!

What are you doing to make sure you have the right structure in place to pay you and all future church employees a fair compensation package?

Do you need to negotiate a better salary? Or better benefits package? You may need a coach to help you. Schedule a free, no obligation 30-minute strategy session to see if Clergy Financial Coaching is right for you!

A Little Inflation

inflation purchasing powerLast week news came out that the United States experienced 1.4% inflation over the last 12 months. Economists say that’s an indicator that the economy is growing and healthy. In fact, the Federal Reserve tries to create an economy with roughly 2% inflation per year.

Practically, this means is that our dollar buys less today than it did a year ago.

1.4% inflation means that if something cost you a dollar last year, it will cost you roughly $1.01 today. Prices are going up and your purchasing power is going down.

1.4% inflation is not much. And there’s a tendency to look at a number like that and know that’s just the way things are. But year after year, inflationary pressures are real and significant!

My question is this: Did you get at least a 1.4% raise last year? If you didn’t get some kind of cost of living adjustment or raise, you’re actually losing ground. You’re actually getting paid less this year in purchasing power than you were paid last year. A stagnated salary is not neutral. It’s negative.

Churches have a tendency NOT to revisit salaries. In fact, most pastors are getting about the same pay they were getting 5-10 years ago.

1.4% is a tiny pay raise. In fact, with an average $50,000 salary, you’d be earning just $700 more for the whole year. That’s less than $60 extra per month in your paycheck. But you probably can’t afford to be going backwards with your purchasing power year after year after year. It’s one of many reasons pastors feel the long-term squeeze in their pocketbooks.

If it’s been a while since you’ve received a pay raise, you’re going to have to become proactive. You’re going to have to ask for one. There are many things that make salary negotiation uncomfortable for pastors. But it’s easier if you have a standing committee that meets regularly to discuss your salary.

If you need a raise, but don’t know how to start negotiating, sign up for a FREE 30-minute one-on-one strategy session to figure out your next steps

Make, Save, Give

“Make all you can; save all you can; give all you can.”
– John Wesley, Founder of Methodism


Wesley’s advice is still good after all these years.

Are you earning all you can? Are you saving all you can? Are you giving all you can?

Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation to see if we can brainstorm how to make more, save more, and give more.

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