This is truly a pivotal and unique moment in church life in the United States as thousands of congregations ask themselves how to best use their property and buildings. Churches and denominations are one of the largest landowners in many states. But often church property is vastly underutilized - some estimate church buildings are in active use only about 12% of the time, even before the pandemic reduced in-person church activity. Some estimates suggest that more than $3.5 billion of church property will change ownership in 2022. We are in the midst of a “once every few generations” shift in church property that is going to radically change the landscape of neighborhoods in almost every community in the United States.
Many churches are looking at developing their property in order to engage in new expressions of ministry and generate revenue. Churches are looking at building affordable housing, student housing, co-working spaces, and other projects on their property. Often this involves partnering with a developer who provides expertise and assistance in developing church property. While potentially fruitful, that partnership can also be complicated to navigate. A congregation considering partnering with a developer needs to have good clarity about what they hope to accomplish in development and in such a partnership.
RootedGood is pleased to release a new congregational resource tool called, How to Develop Well: A Guide to Help Churches Work with a Property Developer. This resource contains a framework to help churches and denominational networks determine what is most important to them and therefore how to structure a fair and effective relationship with a developer.
This tool will help to generate good conversations within the church so that members and leaders will be able to:
By using this tool you will:
How to Develop Well is a part of a series of tools from RootedGood helping churches navigate their economic future. For more assistance with questions around taxation, check out our free training video on churches and taxation or reference our decision tree tool, What About Taxes?
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