business building tips for pastors

6 Steps To a Successful Business

business building business tips

Successful people take action.

Pastor Tony Evans shared that when he would go home to visit his father, he could wander down to the streets he used to hang out on as a teenager. He could run into many of the same guys – the old crowd. They would brag about yesterday – the “good old days” – and they might brag about what they “might do” in the future.

Tony, after high school, left home to go to college. He worked his way through a master's and doctoral degrees at seminary, becoming the first African-American student to complete a Doctor of Theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. In years to come he became an internationally-known pastor and teacher. He also became the first African-American to author a complete Bible commentary and the first African-American to publish a study Bible.

Tony didn’t just stand on the street corner and wish and dream. He took action.

Step One: Set your goals and have a plan.

Our friend and mentor, Dan Miller, shares, “An action plan will separate you from 97% of the people around you. Everyone has dreams, but very few ever turn their dreams into goals. The difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal is a dream with an action plan attached.

"If you don’t have a written plan for your life, you’ll feel like you are driving a car without having your hands on the steering wheel. Goals give you a starting point and a destination. The important thing is that you take the initiative when working on your goals. That is the easiest way to give meaningful direction to your life.”

Our targets may move at times – and they often will as we go – but we have to start somewhere. Some people never get started because they never figure out where that goal line is and it keeps them paralyzed – sometimes for years. And they never get moving.

Other people just drift from one endeavor to another. But they don’t move forward purposefully because of a definite vision and plan. That’s why we need some specific, concrete goals that answer questions like . . .

Who do I want to serve?

What need am I trying to meet?

Why am I starting this business?

What do I want this business to do for me and my family?

What is my plan for the next year?

In this episode, we talk about the actual things we did to help move the needle forward for our success. And we love helping other people do the same.

Step Two: Take Action

After setting your goals and writing down a plan, the successful EntrePastor moves on to step number two in a fail-proof business plan: taking action.

As Tony Evans learned, standing on that street corner with the crowd wishing and dreaming would not get him anywhere. What was required for him to be successful was massive, consistent action.

Motivational author-speaker Andy Andrews says taking action is one of the most important decisions we can make in life. He writes in his book, The Seven Decisions, “You can’t do anything about the past. Your future lies before you. Grasp it with both hands and run with it! When you’re faced with the choice to do nothing or do something, you will always choose to act.”

Successful people know the great power of taking action.

Calvin Coolidge said, “We can’t do everything at once, but, by God, we can do something at once!”

Andrew Jackson said, “Take time to be deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in!”

Thomas Jefferson advised, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.”

And Abraham Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Perfectionists and procrastinators can spend much of life delaying actions that they could take. Don’t get stuck in that trap. Taking action may mean taking a course, intentionally networking, reading a business book, being decisive, making a call, starting a podcast, creating a website, hiring a virtual assistant, or applying for a business license.

In our world, we (Jon and Les) learned to just start moving the ball down the field, and things started happening. God has a way of making stuff work as we get moving. As the old saying goes, it’s easier to steer a car that is moving than one that is parked.

We want to find the specific action steps we need to take and then take them!

Step Three: Get the Right People Behind You

Whether it's working with a partner in your business like we do, having a team around you that can complement you and fill in the gaps, or a mastermind or group that can support you along the way, it's important to get the right people behind you.

There's an old African Proverb that says, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." That is so very true in business. 

At EntrePastors, we subscribe to the model outlined by Dan Sullivan in his book, Who Not How, and by Gino Wickman in his book, RocketFuel. We recommend you take stock of your own skills and abilities as well as the things you want to do and then fill in the gaps from there.

This doesn't mean you have to hire full-time staff members. Get creative about how they're compensated and build the business together.

Step Four: Accept the Fact That You are In Sales

This may not sound too appealing for pastors and the ministry-minded, but the truth is we are all persuading someone to do something, which is sales.

The difference is whether you believe in what you're selling. If you know what you're selling will benefit the other person then you won't hesitate to sell it to them because you know you're helping them.

Look at sales in this light and figure out the best way to serve others by selling.

Step Five: Be Willing To Pivot

The truth is there will be some twists and turns along the way as you're building and growing your business. That's part of the fun, so be open to the doors that are opening in front of you and be willing to pivot when necessary.

But be mindful of Shiny Object Syndrome. Being willing to pivot does not mean that you run toward every new idea without giving your plan an opportunity to work.

Step Six: Don't Quit Too Soon

Be sure to give your plan an opportunity to work, but always remember that you're either growing or you're learning. If you're not getting the results you wanted, it doesn't mean you have failed. 

Remember Thomas Edison's story. He went through thousands and thousands of different materials to find the perfect material for the filament in a lightbulb. He is noted as saying, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

To hear more about our story as it relates to these six steps, check out our podcast, Six Components of a Fail-Proof Business Plan.


We believe God is a God of abundance who gave you multiple talents to build and serve His Kingdom. By using ALL of your God-given talents, you take better care of yourself and your family, and become a better pastor in the process.

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