10 Ways Youth Pastors Can Make More Money

By October 17, 2019 No Comments

Working as a youth pastor can be a very rewarding career and life purpose. The typical duties that a youth pastor takes on are not financially redeeming by any means. Although, the professional qualities that these pastors hold do have value.

You should know that there is hope if you desire a side income as a youth pastor. Outside of your main gig, many other avenues are available for you to explore. Take a look below at the list of 10 ways youth pastors can make more money to get some ideas for yourself.

1. Speaking

Youth pastors target a specific audience and their services are in-demand. Recording some of your sermons to use in your work portfolio will help you get more speaking gigs. You can always offer them free-of-charge at first to accumulate samples and earn a reputation. Or, offer your first sermon for free to show that you are serious about bringing value to the client’s audience.

You can increase your speaking fees as you establish yourself as a professional speaker. You should scale up pricing as your schedule starts to fill out. You can command a higher rate as your demand grows and this will make a big impact on your financial gain if you succeed.

2. Self-Publishing

Writing a book or eBook serves to achieve two things. First, it gives youth pastors a direct source of income that requires a passive effort after the initial writing and promotion. Second, it gives you greater exposure and recognition as a specialist in your field.

Self-publishing gives you a way to get your message across an extra communication channel. This material can be referenced when you are doing outreach for potential speaking gigs. Add the book to your portfolio and provide some powerful excerpts so people get a feel for you. Remember to differentiate yourself based on your personality and the strongest beliefs that you tend to speak of when doing your sermons.

3. Side Business

Youth pastors are natural-born leaders and a subset of people that are highly qualified when it comes to becoming a great entrepreneur. The go-getter mentality and confidence that these people wear so proudly is a big part of the puzzle for starting and growing a successful business.

The idea of the business doesn’t matter so much–it could be anything from digital marketing to lawn care–the key is to recognize their individual potential and find a niche that fits your skills and interests. Take some time to consider how you could make your own business and follow the “lean startup” approach so an ongoing financial investment isn’t a concern.

4. Coaching

You can provide coaching services (similar to what “tutors” offer students) and charge your clients a fair rate for their time. You could work 1-on-1, with small groups, hold classes, etc. However, only coach something you have a high level of expertise and knowledge in so your reputation remains intact.

An experienced youth pastor could provide coaching for an up-and-coming youth pastor as well. The experiences that you have from serving as this type of pastor make you unique and your knowledge is exactly what someone who wishes to become one would love to access.

5. Consulting

Consulting is similar to coaching but you are not trying to teach things as much as you are attempting to help people with brainstorming their plans. As a coach, you would bring your extensive experience and knowledge to the table to help other churches, organizations, church marketing agencies, what-have-you, with ensuring their plans are solid and effective.

You will find that there are many unique opportunities to provide consulting services. As an example, a youth convention might be in the planning stages and the people looking to host these events could need some consultation to help make it a success. You will need to do some cold outreach and attempt to network around to get your foot in the door but consulting opportunities can pay very well.

Take some time to learn how to maximize your earnings as a coach or consultant before you begin either journey.

6. Writing

The online world is full of paid writing opportunities. Clients want to hire those with specific expertise and are not appealed by generalists. The knowledge that you have as a working youth pastor can appeal immensely to clients in this specific niche. Your writing services could become in-demand and it will become easier to attract new clients and higher pay rates as you establish yourself on the Web.

A great way to build up a reputation online is to publicize your writing on some popular sites free-of-charge. You can utilize platforms like Medium if you are unable to get into well-known religious websites. Over time, you will be able to get a bunch of bylines acquired and use these in your portfolio to show that you are an expert in your niche. This extra effort will help show that you are an industry expert and an influential figure which will translate to consistent gigs and increasing pay rates.

7. Host Events / Conventions

Youth events can be profitable if done right. You can try to run the event on your own or host it alongside a church. There are many lucrative ways to go about finding new opportunities when working with other churches and organizations. Youth pastors have greater youth outreach in particular, which can appeal to the other party (bringing something for all ages to the same event).

You should upsell the fact that you can serve the younger audience. You can provide consultation alongside speaking services for these events. You can provide some marketing help as well. The more you bring to the table the more the other parties involved will believe that you are needed. The more they invest in you being a part of the project the greater your share of the pie will be when it comes down to the bronze tax.

8. Youth Camp

Youth camp is a great way for a youth pastor to get involved with their core audience and make a little profit on the side. While it can be tough to arrange everything, it is a lucrative opportunity for those who manage to bring it to life. Plan out some fun activities to play at camp with the kids that join and make it an experience they seek out every year. Also, look at the youth camp as a specific venture and learn how to run a successful camp before you start to plan it out.

Running the camp alongside other pastors or a church can make it a bit easier to handle all of the responsibilities as well. The camp can be more for fun but still Christian-based so it caters to a wider audience.

You could try to promote the youth camp through local gyms like the YMCA, local (Christian-based) schools, etc. Think of lucrative ways to market the camp and you will find the attendance rate to be sufficient to make it financially worthwhile to continue each and every year.

9. Funerals

A youth pastor can serve as the perfect choice of person to preach at a funeral when a younger person is lost. While they can technically provide the preaching services required for any funeral–this area is where their specialty adds to their demand. Contacting local funeral homes is a great way to network around and find possible funeral preaching gigs.

You can also market yourself online for this service. Start a PPC ad campaign around keywords that have to do with speaking at funerals. This part of the market is highly tailored and not optimized by service providers. The clients also do not have a good idea on how to find the right person for the job so if you stand out as a specialist you will get more interest.

10. Church Marketing

Set up marketing services for other churches in or out of your area. Help with advertising, media production, etc. There are many opportunities at solid full-time income for pastors that focus their efforts on digital marketing and advertising. For example, you could specialize in managing Facebook ads for churches and provide your services both locally and remotely.

Bringing your marketing efforts to the Internet would be a great idea. Many churches are trying to set up websites, mobile apps, social media campaigns, etc., and become more engaged with their members and prospective members. You could find yourself making money consistently off of multiple clients which is a very lucrative and secure working situation.

Opportunities for Side Income Do Exist

Without a doubt, youth pastors are able to make extra money on the side if they take the initiative to find work. Sometimes you need to be creative with your ways of thinking but you would not be the first one to make it happen. Actually, there are many youth pastors out there making $50,000 to $100,000 and more annually by working their way into the right opportunities.

If you are a youth pastor with a native church, we recommend you look at ways to increase funding through current church members. Check out our Ignite Coaching page to see how you can see a big change in monetary donations which will also increase your bottom line earnings as a youth pastor. If you pour your heart and soul into your home church—you won't need to look for income elsewhere.

Stu Baker

About Stu Baker