Redefining Pastoral Ministry, the Church, and Wealth with Jon Sanders

When people hear the word “pastor,” they often think of a middle-aged man with a beard. And when they hear the word “church,” they picture a building with stained glass windows and a steeple. But there is so much more to pastoral ministry and the church than just that. 

Redefining pastoral ministry, the church structure, and our beliefs about wealth and business sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it? But it’s one that we need to tackle if we’re ever going to see genuine change in the church.

In this episode, Tim talks to Jon Sanders, the cofounder of EntrePastors. Jon has a vision of a healthier church structure that would allow pastors to thrive financially. He discusses our nebulous concepts of church, ministry, and wealth and how we could change the limiting narratives surrounding those to live a free and prosperous life.

Find out how we can move toward a healthier church structure and lean into the freedom God gave us so that we may follow our calling truthfully. Don’t miss this episode!

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Learn about the flaws and limitations in the current church structure. 
  2. Find out how to break free from these limiting structures and beliefs to become healthier Christian communities.
  3. Discover the power of leaning into your freedom and serving God through entrepreneurship.


About Jon

Jon Sanders is a podcaster, speaker, and a coach. He is passionate about using his voice to motivate and inspire leaders in ministry and business through his platforms. He is the co-host of the EntrePastors Podcast, which serves pastors by helping them think, act, and thrive as prosperous entrepreneurs, and the Small Town Big Church Podcast.

He also serves as the Director of Coaching for the 95Network, an organization that specializes in serving small to midsize churches. Besides his passion for ministry and church leaders, he also works as a full-time firefighter for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.

If you’d like to reach out to Jon, you can contact him on the EntrePastors website.

Episode Highlights

[02:58] Who Is Jon Sanders?

  • Jon has been in pastoral ministry for his entire life.
  • He is a full-time firefighter and an entrepreneur with several businesses.
  • He is also a husband, father, and grandfather.

[06:43] What EntrePastors Does

  • The institutional church model is limiting and flawed.
  • Entrepastors is a mashup of “entrepreneur” and “pastor.”
  • It aims to get rid of the “starving pastor” narrative and urges them to enter the marketplace.
  • Pastors can launch a business, thrive financially, and lead the church at the same time.
[09:45] “The model we call church is broken, and it’s time we fix it.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[12:29] Going Out Into the World

  • Christian societies have the tendency to build walls and turn their backs on the community.
  • Rather than inviting people to come to us and conform to our culture, Christians are called to reach out to people.
  • Go out and engage with the community.
[13:52] “I think it’s time that the church gets back to that going piece and learning again.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[15:52] The Sacred vs. Secular Ideology

  • Some people believe Jesus cares more about certain parts of life. Secular or “icky, worldly stuff” doesn’t fall under this category.
  • People push themselves into a mold not meant for them because of this flawed dichotomy.
  • Many think that full-time Christian ministry means becoming a pastor or a missionary.
  • However, starting a business and glorifying God through the products you create and people you serve is also full-time ministry.

[18:10] Answering God’s Call

  • If all we had was the New Testament to build and model our church after, would our churches look anything like they look today?
  • Having a full-time pastor encourages the body of Christ to sit back and simply become consumers.
  • It’s not a pastor’s job to do all the work of the church.
  • Depending on just one stream of income could also hold pastors back in their ministry.
[18:27] “Your calling can look like a lot of different things in different seasons of life.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[25:36] Challenges in the Church

  • The first challenge is the financial struggle for pastors.
  • The second challenge is how most churches are structured after human forms of government.
  • Bringing human politics into the church inhibits a pastor’s leadership.
  • It takes an act of congress to rewrite bylaws and enforce healthier leadership structures.

[29:33] Breaking Free from the Scarcity Gospel

  • The idea that the more broke you are, the closer you are to God is false.
  • There’s no shame in making good money. People who earn well could do good things in the world.
  • The scarcity gospel is a man-made idea.
[31:07] “When good people make good money, they can do good things in the world.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[34:27] Creating a Healthy Church Structure

  • If God calls on you to become a pastor, He is calling you to lead.
  • While leaders must be free to lead, pastors need a small leadership team to support them, help with the vision, and advise them.
  • Pastors don’t need permission to launch a business.
  • There are unsaved people in the marketplace that Christians need to reach.

[40:42] A Change in Mindset

  • While Jon loved the church and ministry, he also saw his parents’ financial struggles. To him, it looked like they were poor because they were pastors.
  • After a financial skid in their church, he began to question God and suffered from mental struggles. He came to the conclusion that God quit blessing his church.
  • Jon realized he needed to step into something more profitable.
  • That experience rocked his faith in the system and how success looks in a church.

[50:33] A Crisis of Faith

  • Jon is an emotional eater.
  • He did not handle his struggles perfectly, but he got through with God’s grace.
  • It takes humility and courage to face the flaws in the current structure and change it.
  • We need the church and Christian communities around us, so we should not abandon them completely. Instead, we should move toward a healthier church structure.

[53:03] A Pastor’s Roadmap to Financial Freedom

  • “A Pastor’s Roadmap to Financial Freedom” is a four module course with coaching built around it. It’s centered on MAPS: Mindset, Assessment, Pathways, and Strategy.
  • Mindset is about changing their thought process on wealth, business, and calling.
  • Assessment involves assessing how God has uniquely shaped and wired people to serve Him and other people.
  • Pathways explores the different paths pastors can take.
  • After deciding the course of your business, you will build your Strategy.

[56:42] Hindrances to a Healthier Structure

  • Pastors are overworked so they might think they have no time to launch a business.
  • Other pastors might think that they cannot afford EntrePastor’s mastermind, but the goal is to get them to a place where that’s not a limitation anymore.

[01:01:52] Lean Into Your Freedom

  • Pastors have more freedom than they are led to believe.
  • Lean into that freedom and know that you can move in different directions.
  • What if God doesn’t want your church to look like every cookie cutter church? What if He’s calling on your church to do something unique in your community?
  • We were created to create.
[01:02:21] “If you’re a pastor, I want you to lean into that freedom and understand you can move in a lot of directions, and God’s not disappointed in you.” - Click Here To Tweet This

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About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create - The Leadership Journey for Christian Entrepreneurs, Faith-Based Leaders, Purpose-Driven Success, Kingdom Business, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Leadership Development

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.