Recently, I was listening to the DYM Podcast and heard the panel discussing a particularly thought-provoking question:
What kind of “side hustles” are out there for youth pastors?
If that particular vernacular is foreign to you, another way to ask the question would be:
What types of side-jobs can I work as a youth pastor to bring in extra income?
If you have been involved in local church student ministry for any length of time, you are well aware that youth ministry is not the highest wage-earning occupation on the planet. In fact, many part-time and full-time youth workers live month-to-month, scraping by to pay their bills and feed their families. Spouses work. Credit card balances increase. Sometimes youth leaders even get behind on their mortgage payments, rent, or car loans just trying to make ends meet. Therefore, it’s understandable that many youth pastors are looking for other sources of income to supplement their salary from the church.
While it may not be an option for every student minister who finds themselves needing a little extra cash on the side, becoming a professional “Youth Speaker” can provide a helpful solution for some. In fact, not only can this role provide you with supplemental income, it can increase your influence and expand your impact as well.
This post begins a three-part blog series in which you will learn how becoming a paid youth speaker or strategically growing your youth speaking ministry can increase your income, influence, and impact.
INCREASING YOUR INCOME
While the other two benefits (influence and impact) are actually more important from a Kingdom-perspective, let’s begin by examining the first reason you might be looking at beginning a side-career as a Christian youth speaker – EXTRA INCOME.
Did you know that the average honorarium for newbie youth speaker at a three-day retreat during their first year of professional speaking is $1000 per weekend? Typically, during their second year of speaking, youth speakers will earn an average of $1500 per weekend. That’s an increase of 50% in just 12 months. How many days would you have to substitute teach or drive a school bus to earn the same amount of money? The answer is 20. While many youth leaders get involved in their local school districts in different ways to bring in extra money (both of which are very noble professions by the way), the trade-off of time for money just doesn’t add up.
Ready to have your mind blown? In a recent coaching session with an aspiring youth speaker (in his second year), he told me that he had been booked as the motivational speaker at a local high school to talk about making wise choices. How much was speaking fee the school had set aside for this semi-annual assembly? The amount was $3500 per day. That’s over 46 evenings of pizza-delivery for one day’s-worth of youth speaking.
ARE YOU A GOOD ENOUGH SPEAKER TO BE PAID?
This is the Million-Dollar Question (or maybe I should say $3500 Question). You as a youth pastor are probably a pretty decent preacher and communicator. While you may not be able to be categorized as a “great” speaker quite yet, you actually are pretty good. The fact is, there are youth speakers out there (whom I’m sure you have heard or hosted at your own events) who are not that great (they ramble, get off topic, speak too long, are all-fluff and no content, etc.), yet they are compensated at a level that is far higher than they are worth. My hunch is as you have sat in the audience with your students, you have thought to yourself, “I can do better than that.” You’re right… you probably can.
The issue for most youth pastors who are trying to break into the Christian youth-speaking marketplace is not a communication-competency issue, but a speaking-business issue. They don’t know the in’s and out’s of the “business-side” of running a successful speaking ministry – Sales, marketing, administration, bookkeeping, negotiation, websites, book-writing, product sales, social media marketing, client follow-up, etc.
HOW DO YOU START?
Let’s connect for a FREE, 30-minute Youth Speaking Breakthrough coaching session, and realistically evaluate where you are at as a speaker. During this session we’ll work together to:
=> Create a crystal clear vision outlining the type of impact you’d like to have when you speak to students and the level of speaking fees you would like to command when you are booked to speak at an event.
=> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging the growth of your speaking business and hindering your impact when you communicate to students.
=> You will leave this session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to grow as a youth communicator from “good to great!”