Christianity--Tips for Ministers/Financial income for a pastor


llo and thank you in advance for answering my questions.

Sorry for the long email but it's necessary to explain.

I have been saved for twelve years and Nearly three years ago God put the call of ministry on my heart I have been doing my best to try and prepare. I very much want to do an outreach type of ministry and do currently do some homeless outreach and pass out periodicals/food/water/bibles etc. and I love doing that. It brings me the most amount of joy over anything else that I do.

Unfortunately, I cannot afford  to attend an accredited school or get formal training so, I have been doing all of the free learning that I can both on line and just good old fashioned bible studies, Church attendance, reading books and so on.

During this whole process God has also brought out a whole bunch of junk in my heart that I didn't even know was there!

So now I am in a very weird place. I am very fortunate to God for my job and all that I have and cannot just quit my job. But, lately I have no desire whatsoever to do secular work anymore and I feel miserable.

I was considering doing weddings to earn extra income but I feel a little bit unsure about not being graduated from a seminary school and I definitely would pursue the proper certification etc. in my City/State to perform weddings.

I don't necessarily think it's unwise to try and do some planning because as I mentioned before, I just cannot quit my job. I also know that I must trust God and sometimes stepping out in faith is the right move. I am just at a stand still and not sure what to feel is the next move. I have asked God to show me and I am currently waiting.

I just wanted to get some thoughts of an experienced pastor on what to do with the financial matters of this type of life.

Please and thank you!


It sounds to me as though you are doing your best to make prudent decisions as you step toward following your call to ministry. Not quitting your job till you have found a way to earn a living in your new calling is sensible. So is seeking advice from experienced pastors.

My main suggestion is that you might want to raise your concerns with an experienced pastor who is nearby. That would be a good way of getting feedback on your gifts, and a reality check on what kind of ministry you are best suited for. An established pastor might also refer some weddings or other pastoral work to you once you have established a relationship.

Best wishes,


Dan Hotchkiss, senior consultant
The Alban Institute

Christianity--Tips for Ministers

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Dan Hotchkiss


I will answer questions about strategic planning, conflict management, fund raising, and clergy transition in synagogues and churches.


I have fifteen years' experience assisting congregations as a consultant and denominational official. As a Senior Consultant for the Alban Institute I work with a wide range of churches and synagogues across North America. Previously I served 12 years as a parish minister.

Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution.
Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association

Ministry and Money: A Guide for Clergy and Their Friends (Alban, 2002).
Congregations: the Alban Institute Journal.
The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History.

B.A. Oberlin College
M.Div. Harvard University

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