Running a Side Hustle as a Woman in Ministry: A Story of Balancing Passion & Purpose

As a woman in ministry, you are no stranger to the balancing act of serving others while taking care of yourself. You pour out your heart and soul into your congregation, but sometimes it can feel like there’s nothing left for you at the end of the day. That’s where a side hustle can come in.

Now, I know that the idea of adding more to your plate can feel overwhelming. You may be thinking, “I can barely keep up with my ministry duties as it is. How am I supposed to add a side hustle on top of that?” But hear me out. A side hustle doesn’t have to be a burden. It can be a source of joy, creativity, and financial stability.

In studying research on vulnerability and courage, I’ve found that pursuing our passions and interests can be a powerful way to cultivate resilience and self-worth. When we prioritize our own needs and desires, we give ourselves permission to show up as our authentic selves in all areas of our lives.

So, what might a side hustle look like for a woman in ministry? It could be something as simple as selling handmade crafts, offering your expertise as a consultant, or starting a blog about a topic you’re passionate about. The key is to find something that aligns with your values and that you enjoy doing.

One of the benefits of a side hustle is the financial stability it can provide. As we all know, ministry salaries can be unpredictable. But with a side hustle, you have an additional source of income that can help alleviate some of the financial stress. It can also be a way to save up for things like vacations or home repairs without dipping into your ministry salary.

But perhaps the most powerful benefit of a side hustle is the sense of purpose and fulfillment it can bring. When we pursue our passions and invest in ourselves, we send a message to ourselves and others that we are worthy of time and attention. We model self-care and self-compassion, which can be a powerful example for our congregations.

Of course, running a side hustle does require some sacrifice. It may mean giving up some of your free time or cutting back on other activities. But the key is to find something that you truly enjoy and that aligns with your values. When we are fueled by our passions and interests, the sacrifices don’t feel so burdensome.

Now, I know that as women in ministry, we can sometimes feel guilty for focusing on ourselves. We are conditioned to put others first, and the idea of prioritizing our own needs can feel selfish. But I want to challenge that narrative. As I often say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to serve others. We have more energy, more creativity, and more compassion to give.

In her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection,” researcher and writer Brené Brown talks about the importance of cultivating a sense of play and creativity in our lives. She writes, “We need to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth. We need to replace productivity with play, and exhaustion with rest.”

A side hustle can be a way to infuse our lives with that sense of play and creativity. It can be a way to tap into our passions and interests, and to show up in the world as our authentic selves. It can be a reminder that we are worthy of pursuing our dreams and investing in ourselves.

So, if you’re a woman in ministry who is feeling burnt out or stuck, I encourage you to consider starting a side hustle. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or complicated. It can be a small, simple thing that brings you joy and financial stability. The key is to find something that aligns with your values and that you enjoy doing.

As Brené Brown writes, “The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.” Your side hustle can be a way to tap into that creativity and make a unique contribution to the world. So, go ahead and give it a try. You never know where it might lead.

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