For congregations struggling with declining attendance, decreasing revenues and increasing building expenses, the task of regenerating their place of faith can be daunting. And for heritage advocates and community groups, the potential loss of those places and the multiple activities they house can be overwhelming.
Successful revitalization of a place of faith results from many intersecting actions. Many faith communities are rethinking their operational model and embracing new uses, new revenues and creative partnerships with the goal of increasing their vitality. These organizations are open to: creating a strong leadership team that involves the congregation and has a clear missional focus; exploring space sharing options based on a thorough understanding of the building; considering alternative governance models; improving building performance for financial and environmental benefits; engaging in a meaningful way with the community; and building new partnerships.
Armed with patience and inspired by examples from across the country, congregations and their community partners can undertake these actions to help retain these important places as community assets, regardless of whether still owned by the faith group as a place of worship or sympathetically converted to a new public use.