Health and Growth

A Simple, Overlooked Side-Hustle for Pastors (That Actually Serves the Church)

Dave Adamson, Social Media Pastor at North Point Ministries, explains how pastors can make side-income while serving their churches at the same time.

A Simple, Overlooked Side-Hustle for Pastors (That Actually Serves the Church)

Guest Author

Hey, my name's Dave. I'm a social media pastor at Northpoint Ministries here in Atlanta, Georgia. Today I want to tell you about

So, is a website that you can upload a cover photo, basic information, and whatever else you want in order to customize your page to your personal brand.

1. How works.

Here’s how it works:

I’m a photographer, so I might upload a “kit” that contained all of my travel gear. I might post, in a similar way to social media: "Here is my travel kit. When I get on a plane, here's everything that I travel with." Cameras, microphones, the bag that I use, the hard drives that I use, even down to the iPad that I might take with me so I can edit photos while I'm away.

And what happens with that is if you've got an Amazon Associate account, you can pull in the Amazon product as the photo and you pepper it all the way through. So I simply list everything, post it through, and get a percentage of whatever people buy when they click on a product through my link. 

2. How I use

Because I'm a YouTuber, I've also posted: "Here's my YouTube kit, here are all the microphones that I’ve used, the lighting that I use, etc." All of this stuff that you’ve got around you, it could be a kit that you post, which people click at no extra expense to them, for which Amazon rewards you with a percentage of the purchase. I literally just post: "This is what I use for X, Y, and Z."

If somebody comes to that site and they like what I shoot photography-wise, if they like the videos that I do and they want their video to look the same as mine, they've got a list of everything that I have that they can buy. And when they click on the link to buy it, Amazon gives me a kickback on this.

There are so many pastors in the U.S. who are bi-vocational. They're spending their time in church and trying to get a side hustle up and running so that they can afford to be in ministry doing what they’ve been called to do.

If we can have little things like up our sleeve to earn us a little bit of side hustle, that just helps take some of the pressure off. That allows us to be better pastors because we're not worried about drumming up money all the time. I leverage for that.

3. How pastors can use

Here's a great way that pastors can use it, because I know there's people watching this video going, "Hey, that's great for you. You're a photographer, you're a videographer, I'm none of that." One of the things that has been most helpful for me on is that I'm kind of known for studying the first century Jewish culture and looking at Jesus as a Jewish figure and what we learned about him and understanding and seeing him through the filter of a first century Jewish rabbi.

And so I literally post kits that say: "These are all the books that I've read that have helped me understand the first century culture so that I can read the Bible better." Another way that a pastor might leverage is by sharing their sermon prep materials. I'm a big reader. Every book that I've read in 2019 I've literally got a kit for. All those books are linked in my kits, and when someone purchases one of them through Amazon, I get a percentage of that purchase with no extra charge to the person who made the purchase. Then I give a review of the item. I give a number review (out of 10), and then I give a one-sentence review. I’ll say something like: "This is why I like this book. This is why you should buy it." Or, "This was terrible. Don't buy this book. But the link is still there.”

Just as we were about to start filming this video, I got an email notification saying that Amazon sent me $11. Not much, but I did nothing for that $11 except I know that this came from my books on Somebody went in and bought a couple of books about Jewish culture. Somebody came in and bought a couple of books that I've read so far in 2019, and I got a little bit of a kickback for it. If you’re more active on, you’ll make more money.

It's free to join and you can be super smart and creative about what you do. Here's another kit that I have—I'm one of these guys because I've got an iPad and I've got an iPhone, I travel with a lot of cables, I travel with a lot of little infrastructure things that I love to have on the plane. So I like to watch my own movies on the plane through my iPad, the headphones that I use have to be noise-canceling. It's just travel hacks, right?

My wife always tells me, when it comes to packing, she leans into me for that because I pack well and I pack specifically for the plane. So one of my kits on is just travel hacks. Everything from computer cable management systems that you can fit into the back of the chair in front of you, right down to portable Clorox wipes that you can use to wipe down the tray and the handrails and all that sort of stuff. I even put travel-sized Febreeze in my kit so that when you get to where you're going you can spray your clothes so that you don't stink.

I came up with creative ways to use to serve others, and so can you. I could see pastors posting the books that they read for a sermon series. If you're doing a seminar series on marriage, you could post: "Here are all the books I read for this sermon series on marriage." You're helping your congregation go one step deeper and follow along in the stuff that you're already leading them into.

So, if you've done that marriage series, giving them the books that you read after the series has started is a great way for them to go deeper. It's a great way to kick off small groups, for example. The small groups could start reading those books as well. The great thing about it is you get a little bit of a kickback. It's not much, but it's just a little bit of a kickback that can help you, especially if you're bi-vocational.

4. The big benefit of

So the benefit is this: because somebody can open up my kit, this is what happened to me one time. I woke up one morning, Amazon had sent me $146. I thought: "Wow, that's weird." I went and checked my Somebody had literally put the whole kit in their cart with the click of one button. So one of the options is, "Do you want the whole kit in your cart?" They click one button and it auto-fills into Amazon the entire list of products and they just hit buy. That's all that happened.

5. How churches can use to serve their congregations.

I'm a pastor at North Point in Atlanta, and I started using this as a tool for our churches—not to make money but for an ease of convenience for getting the resources in their hands. In fact, the church account is not connected to an Amazon Affiliates account because that's a whole different theological issue at that point.

But we do this annual giving thing called Be Rich where we ask people to come in, do backpack drives in the lead up to school, and run food drives where we want people to bring nonperishable food into the church so that we can take it to our partners. The point of the series is that we can be can be rich in generosity to the partners that are around us who are serving people who are in need.

When we do the backpack drive, we want backpacks, we want books, we want pens, we want school supplies, general school supplies. As a result, I’ve set up three of our churches with accounts so that they can create “kits” that are pre-made that people can purchase through Amazon. Again, no Amazon Affiliate links are attached to it, but it's for convenience and ease. 

So, we're asking families to come in with the backpack packed already with all the school supplies. Not every family can get to Walmart to pick up all of that stuff. We live in a world where this is a great stat, 80% of all shopping research starts on Amazon, right? That's where people go. If I want to go down to the local store and buy a book, I'm literally going to look it up on Amazon first to see what Amazon charges. How often do you do this? I go into Barnes & Noble if I'm buying a book, I go into the Apple Store, wherever I'm going and I'll always look at the price on to see if I can get it cheaper. That's the way that we shop nowadays.

So what I did with the last backpack drive at three of our churches was this: "Here's the list of everything we need on Amazon." You can just click the whole cart and it will fill your cart and you can get it delivered to your house two days later with Amazon Prime and then you can bring that into the church. That makes the most sense to me.

We're giving out links, we're giving out emails, we're sending all this stuff out with all the information printed on it hoping that people will walk into a physical store with a shopping list. We're also giving them this more digital approach, a more technological way to do it that's just one click to get it all into your cart, another click for you to buy it on your Amazon account. So that's how we use it from a church perspective as well.

6. How to use on your website.

There is a way that you can get a kit button onto your own website. I don't use that for my website personally. It's just not what I do, but it's easier for me to use the kit as my home interface. 

7. How to use on social media.

The way that I use it is I leverage that for social media. I'm always tweeting out my links. For example, "Hey, want to know the books I've read in 2019 with a review?" That's what I will do to drive people to that. And I think more than its being a benefit to me financially, I really hope that it's a benefit to the person who's going to my kit to see the books that I've read because I know those books will bless them. I know those books will help them grow because they've helped me grow as well. We can't lead people to any place that we haven't been ourselves.

I want my congregation to read the books that I'm reading so that they can know what I know so that they can do what I do, in order to manifest the biblical ideal: "Follow me as I follow Christ." That's how I hope you can use to serve your church, serve your ability to continue in ministry, and serve your family.

This is a guest post by Dave Adamson, Social Media Pastor at Northpoint Ministries. Connect with Dave on Twitter, YouTube, and his website. Most importantly, follow him on here.

Show Notes

Watch the full video of this episode here:

Today on Modern Church Leader, Dave Adamson, Social Media Pastor at North Point Ministries, explains how pastors can make side-income while serving their churches at the same time.

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A Simple, Overlooked Side-Hustle for Pastors (That Actually Serves the Church)