Sacred Spaces, Innovative Places

Reimagining Church Property and Facilities As Assets

Sharing Stories, Expanding Horizons

 

For almost two years, we have researched the creative ways churches are using their property and space to further live into their mission, share resources with the community and generate needed additional revenue. We have discovered this is both a growing and much-needed element of Kingdom work in many congregations.

Often out of the necessity to be better stewards of their real estate and to enlarge their financial base, these churches have discovered needed energy through more regular use of their buildings. They have also been afforded the opportunity to participate in ministries led by outside groups that are housed under their roof. They have forged new friendships with entities now using their space. And, they have also seen their financial situation improve significantly through the income generated by these creative ventures.

This is not to say, however, that such opportunities are without challenges. Most congregations that seek to use their space in creative collaboration with others have an example or two of obstacles they have had to overcome and shareable lessons learned. Yet, the benefits of finding wise ways to steward space and property generally far outweigh the challenges.

We have discovered through Sacred Spaces that we can contribute in at least three ways to this new frontier. First, we feel called to tell the stories of these churches. As we share about congregations doing innovative things with their property, we affirm their good work and invite new churches into the conversation by challenging them to dream about what might be possible in their own context. In a large part, this desire to tell the stories of these congregations in what led to Sacred Spaces Volume 1 and now to this second volume of equally compelling stories.

Second, in telling the stories, we have the chance to begin to identify overarching themes. There are numerous characteristics that many of the churches share. Particularly in this second edition of Sacred Spaces, we want to highlight some of these shared traits. You will find a section toward the end of this edition that offers our findings.

Third, we are eager to help congregations think strategically about starting to use their property wisely. Beyond reading the stories found in the two volumes of Sacred Spaces, we hope your church will invite us to lead a conversation on the topic or accompany you as you walk through a season of discernment about your facilities. Further, if we can help your leadership connect with one of the churches profiled in our Sacred Spaces studies, we would be happy to do so. How congregations creatively use their space will become a critical element of church life in the years ahead, so we want to help your church strongly consider engaging in this type of work.

For more information, contact Rickey Letson, CBF Congregational Stewardship Officer, at rletson@cbf.net or 678-230-8341.

 
 

Case studies featured in Volume 1

The Church As Secondary Tenant | Englewood Baptist, Gladstone, Mo.
Solar Farming | First Baptist Church, Mount Olive, N.C.
Sale of Church Property | First Baptist Church, Augusta, Ga.
Use of Parking Lots | First Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C. & Auburn First Baptist Church, Auburn, Ala.
Innovative Preschool Program | River Road Church, Baptist, Richmond, Va.
Leasing Space to Nonprofits and Other Congregations | Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.

 

Case studies featured in Volume 2

Low Investment/High Yield Family Outreach | University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La.
Shared Outdoor Space with Neighbors | Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.
Proactive Facility Marketing | Willow Meadows Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
Stewardship of Space in All Seasons| Hillside Church, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Video Profiles

 

 

First Baptist Church, Mount Olive, N.C.


 

 

Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.