How often do you use your church building? For many, the answer to this question is 4 hours on Sunday morning, a couple of hours Sunday evening, and a couple of hours on Wednesday night. Other churches use their facilities more frequently with preschools, christian schools, and/or sports ministry on the weekend.
From a financial stewardship perspective, this is terrible. A church that utilizes it’s biggest investment for approximately 10 hours per week is ridiculous. From a missional perspective, a church that spends 20% of it’s budget on facilities and utilities, yet only uses the facilities 6% of the time (10 hours out of 168 hours each week) reflects poor stewardship of the resources of God.
While reading a recent report from The Centre for Theology and Community, I was reminded of the importance of exegeting your community and identifying ways of serving the community while sharing the gospel. One helpful approach is to utilize the facilities of your church for community activities. Be proactive. Don’t wait until a school or civic organization comes and asks to use your facilities. Go to them and make an offer. Think of needs within the community and make your buildings available to accommodate the need. This could be by providing counseling space, group therapy space, venues for concerts or plays, or any number of things.
How is your church doing at engaging the community? Invite them to use your space. Build relationships. Share the gospel.