10 Ways Youth Pastors Can Make More Money

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1.      Guest Speaking/Preaching

Hey, you know what you might already do a lot of? Public speaking! You know what you might be great at? Guest Speaking at schools and churches or becoming a camp speaker. You just need a website and some networking. Show off a couple preaching videos and provide a short description of your typical “fees” and what you specialize in. YouthGroupCollective runs on Squarespace but my church uses Wix which tends to be more customizable (and in my opinion easier to use) and even has a free option if you just want to get your feet wet with a website builder. Click here if you want to check out wix templates

2.      Weddings/Funerals


Honestly, I don’t super love doing weddings. It’s a high stress time for people and sometimes they’re pretty picky. There’s also a lot of premarital counseling sessions and just a good amount of work all around. Funerals on the other hand? I actually don’t mind doing funerals. I kind of like them. Insert Ecclesiastes verse. I’d talk to your local funeral director (either develop relationships while you’re on the field or send out an email blast to all your local funeral homes) and let people know that you’re available to preach at funerals if the family doesn’t have a church/pastor already.

3.      Sell Blood Plasma

I’ve had plans to sell blood plasma before but never ended up doing it. It sounds like a good way to pick up some side cash and get a few hours of down time while you’re at it. You can read, study, or watch videos, or listen to podcasts. Use google to see if there’s a blood plasma donation site near you. Generally, you can donate twice a week. It takes an hour and a half. It usually pays around $20 or $30.  That’s up to $240 a month although I’ve seen higher figures.

4.      Etsy

I know pastors that make handmade wooden pens, that print fidget spinners with 3D printers, and my wife even has an Etsy account. We’ll talk more about that later. If you have a crafty side, consider building an etsy shop. And take it seriously. Find inspiration by googling the most successful etsy shops. It’s cool to see what people are able to do.

5.      Craigslist/Ebay/Facebook Marketplace

My wife loves selling our things on Facebook Marketplace and we’ve definitely sold a few things on craigslist too. Go through your home one day (room by room, closet by closet) and make a list of all the things you’d be willing to part with. In the last two months we’ve sold some children’s boots ($10), a northface coat ($100), kids drums ($5), a lamp ($15), a slide ($30), a baby monitor ($20), and a French press ($10). That’s almost $200.

6.      Free Stocks

I’ve always wanted to learn about investing in the stock market. Thanks to smartphones it’s easier than ever to get your feet wet. Robinhood is an app that let’s you buy shares of stocks and doesn’t charge you any fees. That’s actually unheard of but it’s true. And right now you can get a free stock using this link: ROBINHOOD (We'll both get a free stock!) 

(most free stocks are worth around $5-10 but you can also get high value ones like Apple, Ford, or Sprint)

You also get free stocks every time you refer a friend. I’ve told 5 friends about it and they each signed up. Thanks to them I have 2 stocks in Groupon, one from Zynga (the company responsible for FarmVille), and two for SIRIUS XM Radio. So I’ve got a stock portfolio worth $24.47. It’s cool to watch stocks grow and to track other companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Google. Get your free stock here.

7.      Acorns

Acorns is another app that automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests that extra money into an investment portfolio. I started two months ago and so far I’ve saved $64.00 as well as grown my savings by $3.18. For a total of $67.48. It’s not a lot of money but that’s the idea with acorns. You’re slowly growing your oak tree. It’s not gonna break the bank but I’m projected to have $60,000 extra 40 years from now. Of course, the app has a lot of other features that would increase that rate but I love the idea of setting aside savings without really affecting the ol’ budget. Here's your first five dollars to get you started. 

8.      Uber/Lyft

I’ve used uber before but I’ll be honest, I never considered driving for them until I read this: According to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from SherpaShare — a service that let drivers track income and expenses — an Uber driver can make $50,000 a year if they pick up an average of around 60 fares a week — which is about 20 hours of work. 

One of our youth pastors wrote in to tell me that they drive Uber and they provided us with their link. Use it to sign up and get an advantage. Click here. 

9.      Sell Items from thrift stores

Hey wait. You like thrift stores and flea markets right? My wife and I went through a spurt of hunting down items for cheap and reselling them on Etsy. You can sell antiques on Etsy. Pretty sweet. We nabbed a Polaroid camera for $2.00 and sold it for $35.00. We also sold a vintage children’s book (that we got for free) for $9.00. We bought a 1980’s alarm clock for $4.00 and sold it for $29.00. And we bought an owl figurine for $1.00 and sold it for $12.00. That’s $78 profit and you can do it while you’re shopping for yourself! We decided not to sell clothes and other items that we thought low income families actually need. Here’s some pro tips: Give these items a nice clean and take good pictures (use daylight!). The photo we used above is our photo of the camera we sold. My wife's etsy shop is called barleysoup and as you can see, she doesn't have a ton of followers but it was still easy to sell the items we listed. 

10.   Pray (How I got a car and $500)

We’re far from being prosperity gospel preachers. In many things I believe we are to be like Nehemiah who prayed AND posted a guard. He partnered with God and did what he could do while asking God to do what He could do. What a beautiful and powerful concept. I just feel like this list wouldn’t be honest, pastoral, fair, or God-glorifying if I didn’t take a chance to say: God has always provided for me. When we needed cloth diapers, my wife won some on online giveaways. When we needed a car we prayed for one. A member of our congregation gave us theirs. I’ve prayed for shoes before instead of buying them simply because I believe that my heavenly Father can provide like that. And He’s given me shoes before. When my wife and I were super strapped for cash and just tired of living paycheck to paycheck and constantly worrying about finances I remember praying once and it went something like this:

“God, you are filthy rich. You own the cattle on a thousand hills and you don’t need anything from anyone. And all good things come from you. I don’t want to be rich. I’m just tired of being stressed all the time and I know you’re a good Father. Can I have $500? Not for anything in particular but just for a little padding in the bank account so my wife and I don’t have to stress for a while.”

I remember that prayer. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of my church after finishing up a day of work in the office. I also remember the answer to that prayer: a few days later I happened to be praying in the sanctuary about an upcoming sermon (this isn’t typical of me and when I share it, it makes me sound SO holy and righteous and prayerful. Unfortunately, I’m not always this awesome. I pray much less than I should and I need to work on that). So I’m sitting in the sanctuary praying and woman walks in and she says, “Pastor Keith, I think God wants me to give this to you.” I thanked her and she left. I went to my office to open the envelope. It felt thick. When I opened the card there were five one hundred dollar bills. She and her husband had given us gifts before (mostly gift cards to Cracker Barrell). Never in the past had they given us anything like this and never again would they. It was a gift from a generous sister in Christ responding obediently to God’s prompting. He’s filthy rich and He loves us. And I’m not a prosperity preacher but that story is a part of my walk with God and He deserves all the glory. So pray. It can only help.

Hey Collective! 

What do you do for side money? Share your success stories and tips in the comments section. Not so that this article can have more comments (I could care less) but please take the time to help out our financially struggling brothers and sisters. It'd be cool to hear from you especially on this topic.