Are you one of the many Christian missionaries and workers who need to support yourself while in ministry? Duh! Yes, I know. Not enough Christians are prepared to support you to serve the Lord full-time. If you are one of these good servants, how can you support yourself while in ministry?
I've begun to collect a number of ideas I've found that can be done in just a few hours a day, or a week.
Very often, it is the searching for such opportunities, and the initial period you have to invest in learning the skills necessary that eat up your time. But once you have something set up, the maintenance of it doesn't have to take nearly so long.
Through a certain community of online marketers I've been meeting (virtually) a number of these individuals and sometimes couples, who are able to travel, or spend time on the beach, and still carry on their business with a minimum amount of effort. Usually, if they really want to keep bringing in their incomes of 4, 5, or 6 figures a month, they enjoy the work enough to put in 2 to 3 hours a day. Or more.
Yes, You CAN support yourself while in ministry.
You can still give the better part of your day to your Christian ministry work.
(I'm just not at that place yet myself, but when I have one big volunteer project done; writing a history book for a mission - then I hope to prove that I can earn the handsome income in just a few hours a day.)
What kind of online work am I talking about?
If you have skills, such as:
writing good content,
proof-reading (if your language/grammar skills are excellent!)
producing good graphics, photos, etc.,
voice overs (for radio announcements, audio books, etc.)
teaching/instructions via videos or webinars
translation of documents
designing software or apps
and many more.... !
Then you can put up a website, but also get listed on specialty sites which attract customers for you. This way you can get paid for things you can send to the customer digitally (by email, or download link). If you are well-skilled and with proper promotion, you can get to be in great demand, so there is some danger of being crowded into full time work.
If your range of skills is not of such great caliber in niche areas, (even if they are) there is always sales. The facts and figures for how much commerce is happening online globally and increasing in huge multiples each year - well, they are just staggering!
It has become much easier to get into the field of eCommerce.
About 13 years ago there one company doing very well with teaching people how to become Amazon sellers with items from cheaper, factory or discount store deals, which could then be listed on Amazon for 2 or 3 times the amount you paid for it. This company had them use their company's proprietary software to find popular items on one website (with free shipping), then go to Amazon, to sell it there at a higher price. Once notified by email that they had a buyer, they would quickly go to the original site, buy the item at the lower price, and have them ship it to your customer. This is called drop shipping. The sales items never touched your hands. You do this all online, and yes, it is perfectly legal.
I met people (by video) who quickly were making $500 to $1000 a month, and some soon became millionaires. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic slowed that kind of business down considerably. Even that particular company quit and turned to something else.
There are other versions of ecommerce. Because people have caught on to shopping online. However, there are easier ways to make money online if you have certain skills that are in demand.
Another plan consists of building a niche website about a topic you know and care about deeply. You build up a large bank of information on that topic with 30 to 100 articles, and each page carefully crafted with good keywords so that when people search for those words in a search engine they will be brought to your site. When they see what an expert you are, they begin to trust you and if you recommend certain products (of course, you will have signed up as an affiliate with a company that sells that product; you will get a coded link to put on your site, so that when your site visitors click that link and go buy that product, you will receive commissions on each sale.
This is much slower work. It may take a year or three or more to build up such a site, but then it can become a steady source of income for you, even if you slack off and no longer add much to that site. Some people who have learned to do this, eventually build a stable of such sites. After they have learned this kind of web-business building they can do it again and again on many topics.
It does not require any handling of customer's complaints, or shipping products, etc. Just good research and writing skills.
I have several such sites started myself. But I am currently rebuilding and updating them. :)
What I have learned in the last year or so, is that no matter what you sell online, even your own skills, or books, or educational videos, you need to learn the Attraction Marketing skills. They involve principles that ring true to God's Word; like, give and help others, provide solutions to their problems as your first goal. People like to buy and do business with people they know and trust. If you have honestly won their trust, you WILL make commissions left and right!
Let me emphasize how important the Lord is to me; I value discerning and obeying His will above all else. I am determined that as I do business online, just as with every ministry project I have undertaken, I want to show people that it IS possible to do this online with Christian ethics and high standards, and to avoid all evil or deceptive ways.
For many years the MLMs (multi-level-marketing) companies have advised their recruits to make a list of everyone they know and to approach them personally, and if they don't agree to sign up, revisit them again and again until you wear down their resistance and they sign up. But this is a crazy and unforgiving kind of approach.
Brian Finale, a young man desperate to make a living tried that method, only to find that he ended up over $30,000 in debt, and often chased by police when he tried to put up phone number signs at busy intersections. But then he met a man who taught that the better way to making sales is to make friends with people, share something useful to them, and wait until they ask what business you are in. Soon Brian and his twin brother, Jim, and a new friend Norbert from Canada became the founders of MyLeadSystemPro, soon known as MLSP to most everyone. They set aside their own business goals, and worked hard at signing up members and training them to use this approach.
Since 2008 they have shown many members how to do all their marketing online, and without the hassles and pressures of twisting people's arms, but rather, winning them over with friendly helpfulness. And whoa, those members began to make 5 and 6 figure incomes a months and they were millionaires in just another year or two!
When I first learned of their website and went to check it out and heard Brian explain Attraction Marketing in a video, I knew this was meant for me! I signed up for an introductory membership for 14 days, and quickly explored the courses and lessons inside. I was still committed to writing a history book for the mission I had been working for, and that project took me two years to complete. So I had to delay actually doing all I learned, but the Wednesday evening webinars were free, and just hearing the testimonials of other members who had become successful was a great education for me.
I still recommend to those who are curious but afraid to venture forth to a monthly membership, that they just sign up for the free weekly webinar. Once they have your email they will send you a new invitation for the next week's webinar. Keep signing up and attending. You will certainly hear enough to convince you that this is a safe and valuable resources company to join. Then, by all means, do so as soon as you can afford it. Here, use this link of mine to sign up for the first one; Weekly MarketingWebinars. Should you be interested in a trial membership like I had, go here: MLSP.com/10 (It is $10 for 10 days now).
Obviously, one needs to invest some money and time to learn this, but once you have the knowledge and experience, you know that you have the know-how to apply to any business you want to join or start up.
I have signed up to a number of networking plans and affiliate programs, and I can recommend a number to you, depending on your interests, but I'll hold off until you are ready. In every case this Attraction Marketing approach is going to be most helpful to make money from these others. But it is possible to sell the MLSP products too, and make money just from those alone.
The biggest danger is getting so wrapped up in this that you don't have time any more for your ministry. There is where commitment and self-control will be important.
If you want to follow my Christian-slanted marketing advice and counsel it would be good to bookmark my blogs and sign up for my email mailing list. It is still fairly new, but that will be where I can connect with those who want to keep in touch with my experiences and advice. eAction LIST signup (Free)