Having your own church building to worship in is a true blessing, but it does come with challenges. The most obvious, of course, is the cost of ownership and maintenance. What’s less obvious is the cost of lost opportunities.
Most church buildings are used on Sundays and some weeknights for gatherings. During the rest of the week, they lay vacant. At the same time, various groups who don’t need or can’t take on long-term spaces are looking for venues to hold meetings and events. Traditionally, these groups include church plants, non-profits, and bible study groups. Organizations such as the RCM and other music festival groups have been known to rent out church spaces. However, there may be a growing demographic, borne out of the pandemic, that is looking for flexible spaces to use.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way many people do work. As we slowly ride the various waves of infections, many are questioning the need for permanent physical venues. Predictions of a hybrid model of working from home and occasional physical meetings seem likely. As a result, some are looking for more flexible rental options that allow them to pay for only what they need.
Almost a decade ago, WeWork started a coworking model and flexible office spaces. Even though it has experienced recent devastating losses, the pandemic may have saved it. According to its spokesperson Julia Sullivan, “The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people work, accelerating the demand for flexible workspace among organizations of all sizes. Over the last year, WeWork demonstrated the resilience of its business model and emerged as a partner of choice for businesses large and small looking for flexibility as they return to work."
A report by CBRE that surveyed approximately 80 companies reveals that 86 percent see the use of flexible space as an important part of their future plans.
As a result of these changing attitudes, some churches may decide to provide flexible work and gathering spaces to for-profit organizations whose activities are not contrary to the churches’ charitable purposes.
Once a church decides to start or to expand its rental program to traditional or nontraditional groups, the next question is how to manage rentals. You could use pen and paper methods or even a calendar app, but it will quickly become overwhelming. At least one person will have to be available to field basic inquiries like availability of dates and to process payments. Could there be a smarter way to handle these administrative tasks?
The answer is a definite yes! Sunergo is currently creating a brand new online tool that takes the headache out of rentals. Our Facility Rental System allows you to create and manage rentals, including the use of optional add-ons like furniture and cleaning staff. Renters can easily check for the availability of specific date ranges or time slots and book online with various payment options.
Maximize the benefits and reduce the stress of renting out your space. With this new online tool, your church can easily increase revenue while connecting with community organizations for greater reach.
Stay tuned to find out when Sunergo’s Facility Rental tool will become available later this fall. For more information on this and other online tools, contact us today.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and reflects the opinion of the author. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on as professional advice. You should consult appropriate professionals for your specific situation.