6 Ways to Leverage a Building That’s Too Big

By Kyle Bueermann

One of the things the Replant Team often encounters when we consult with churches in a season of revitalization or replanting are buildings that were designed for several hundred while the congregation may currently only be averaging a few dozen in weekly attendance.

Often, these church buildings have become more of a liability than an asset for ministry. In some cases, there are major maintenance issues that need to be addressed, but the church does not have the financial resources to take care of the problems.

In a recent episode of the Revitalize and Replant podcast, Mark Clifton, Mark Hallock and Dan Hurst discussed some way to handle a too-large building.

Here are six ideas they discussed:

1.     Share it with other churches

New church plants may struggle to find a usable meeting space, particularly as they experience new growth. The rising cost of building and new construction can restrict a church plant’s ability to move into its own space. So, if your church has space, consider how you could share it as an incubator for a church plant. You just might find that relationship is a deep blessing to both congregations.

2.     Allow your fellowship hall and kitchen to be used by the community

Could you allow your fellowship hall to be used as an “event venue” for your community at no cost? Of course, you’ll have to think through what activities you will (and will not) allow, but community groups often are looking for a place to meet.

3.     Create a birthday party room

Imagine a space in your church building dedicated for folks in your community to host birthday parties. Again, you may need to think through some acceptable-use policies, but this space could be a blessing to families looking to celebrate a kid’s 10th birthday, or even that matriarch’s 100th!

4.     Partner with community nonprofits who need space

A nonprofit meeting needs in your community may need office space or even rooms to meet with clients. If your church has extra space, consider partnering with one of them to share it. After all, if you both have the goal of meeting needs in your community, it could be a great partnership!

5.     Allow local businesses to use your fellowship hall or kitchen

Businesses often need a kitchen or space for holding meetings and gatherings. This could be a great way to begin a relationship with business leaders in your community you might otherwise not have the opportunity to interact with.

6.     Other ways to bless the community

With a little work, you might be able to create some co-working spaces for those in your community who work remotely. You could provide “study rooms” for local high school or college kids. If you already have high-speed internet service, you could provide a space for kids who don’t have access to it at home. We know of one church that worked with their local internet service provider to provide a public Wi-Fi connection in their parking lot during Covid so students still could tackle homework assignments when inside gathering restrictions were tightest.

Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to using your church building to bless the community!

For more ideas, check out the episode!

Published November 7, 2023

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Kyle Bueermann

Kyle Bueermann is a Rural Specialist for the Replant Team. He served as a youth and music minister and as a senior pastor for nine years in New Mexico. He’s married to Michelle and they have two kids: Noah and Hailey. He’s a fan of the Texas Rangers and loves black coffee. Kyle and his family live in Lubbock, TX.