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?

Burning Your Candle at Both Ends? Good!

“Sow your seed in the morning, and work at something different in the evening; for you do not know which activity will succeed–whether this one or that one–or whether both will prosper equally.”
– Ecclesiastes 11:6

Ecclesiastes 11:6

Are you a bivocational pastor? This verse is about work diversification – not putting all of your eggs in one basket…

Do your regular work AND see what else you can do that might bring you success.

As a pastor that might mean that you also have a job on the side or that you’re steadily writing your novel or turning your sermons into a book manuscript. You might be starting up a coaching business or creating a podcast…

Do your regular work AND do something else… You don’t know which one will succeed. And maybe both will do equally well.

New Wage Conversion Calculator

I’ve just added a new Wage Conversion Calculator to our growing list of free online financial calculators.

Use the Wage Conversion Calculator to “translate” an hourly wage into a yearly income. Or use it to convert your monthly salary into how much you’re actually getting paid per hour (Yikes!!!).

This calculator could prove very useful as you prepare to renegotiate your compensation package or if you are considering taking a side job to support your ministry habit. Or use it to motivate yourself to be “worth” the $26.44/hour they’re paying you.

Use the Wage Conversion Calculator here.

Clergy Financial Health Checklist

checklistHere is a checklist of things for you to consider as you are assessing your financial health.  Use this checklist to be sure you’re on the right path:


  • I have tracked ALL of my expenses for 1 month (even automatic deductions)
  • I understand how to budget with a variable income
  • I have created (w/ my spouse) a spending plan for every dollar before I get paid
  • I am prioritizing giving, housing, utilities, food, clothing, and transportation
  • I have renegotiated the budget (w/ my spouse) when the budget isn’t working
  • I have done one month of cash envelope budgeting for food, gas, and clothing
  • I have a $1000 starter emergency fund
  • I have successfully lived within my budget for 6 months



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