IV. Re-Envisioning Space
The United Methodist Church began as a movement, often meeting in homes and community centers. Through the years, we have been blessed with many properties, including churches, parsonages, fellowship halls, land and cemeteries. Some of these properties now house closed churches and currently sit vacant. Others are historic facilities that are in disrepair. Still others are underused and yet sit in the midst of communities in desperate need for the love of Christ. Through the Re-envisioning Space/Property Development Pathway, EPA wants to work with congregations that are discerning new ways to be stewards of their most valuable financial resources to expand mission and make disciples to transform the world.
Some of our churches may want to consider repurposing their underused property for expanded mission. For example, The Garden Church in Landsowne, PA discerned that the need in the community was for senior housing. Through a bold God-sized vision, the church demolished their sanctuary and worked with an anchor partner, Simpson Senior Services, to build an assisted living facility with the new sanctuary housed inside the facility.
Property repurposing for expanded mission can be simple or complex depending on the needs of the community. Other reasons for repurposing include: vacancies due to building damages in excess of the current structures’ value, unoccupied buildings resulting from mergers, and buildings that would better serve mission in a changing community in different ways (including more cost effective, sustainable use)
The Re-Envisioning Space/Property Development Pathway is for churches considering building expansion, turning space into community ministry or selling property. Outside consultants may be used in this process.