Sharing your church building with other groups is compassionate and an effective use of space. Renting out your building can also provide an extra source of funds. Before you enter a formal agreement letting others share the building, you must consider a few key points. These include theological beliefs, frequency of meetings and the sharer's responsibilities. Don't be afraid to tell an organization "no" when approached to use the facilities. In fact, the group should share a similar understanding of purpose so that there are no complications in the future.
Write down the theological reasons for sharing the church building and other on-site facilities. Define the number one purpose for lending or renting out the available space.
Approach organizations who may be interested in renting or sharing the building. You can also publish an advertisement in local newspapers and through online classified websites.
Get church board approval for each interested group or organization. Though you can allow temporary, short-term sharing with groups that meet your criteria, it is best to receive approval first.
Write a formal agreement that addresses policies, room use and schedule availability. Include a disclosure for cleaning the facilities and common areas after every use.
Set a regular monthly meeting where one party from the church and other organization can discuss important news and objectives.
Determine if it is necessary to schedule cooperative activities between your church members and the sharing group.
Evaluate quarterly or bi-annually the existing relationship with each group or organization that shares or rents the building to reevaluate whether continuing the cooperative space sharing is worthwhile.
- Check the current federal and state laws for renting buildings in your area. If you receive a certain amount of income, it is possible you will have to file a separate tax form claiming money received.
- church image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com