generosity with a church building

I think there’s a smarter way to put older church buildings to good Kingdom use. Capital campaigns easily cost millions of dollars for churches that need to raise funds for new building facilities. Not easy to come by.

There’s another way to get facilities — renovate an older church building that’s gifted from an older declining congregation. (cf. Generosity from Generation to Generation)


And, I heard about this story of an older church gifting their building to a younger church from Isaac Park (@isaacpark), an amazing story in the heart of Durham, North Carolina! 95-year old Lakewood Baptist Church (about the building) deeded its building to the younger Grace Mission Community Church and now cohabitate [sic] as 2 churches on 1 campus. [update: since September 2014, the building is now occupied by Oak Church]

Granted, some older church buildings are located in a place where fewer people now live, so that real estate might not be useful for worship gatherings. I think those church buildings can still be generosity deeded over to a next generation of worshippers as good stewardship. Plus, a very tangible connection with the history of the saints upon whose shoulders we stand. Could be better outreach, too — Unchurched Prefer Cathedrals Over Contemporary Church Buildings.

Keeping it in the family (of God) sure beats cashing out a Christian church building to developers and turned into a luxury home or bookstore or or condos or event venue/ nightclub or apartments or into a Buddhist temple or mosque.

See my pinterest board with photos of ex-church buildings that became adaptive reuse, nearly 200 photos and growing.

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11 Responses

  1. Benson Hines says:

    When I’ve been at campuses around the country, this has pretty regularly been my dream for the countless older church buildings situated directly next to college campuses. There are SO MANY churches that were started next to big state schools long ago, but the people seem to have long since forgotten about that beautiful campus tribe across the street. …and that sit on really prime land that the school hasn’t bought yet.

    There are LOTS of options here (and clearly some complexities), but there’s a real opportunity there, too – for churches that love students or college ministries. Especially while “vintage” is, as you noted, the trend.

    This would need to be done with a really strong understanding of the campus world and the college ministry world (or it could harm the campus without knowing it), but it’s an opportunity…

  2. djchuang says:

    @Benson, thanks for your comments, and your observations are so keen! College campuses are so very much a strategic place to reach the next generation, and having the facilities to do so is so valuable indeed.