This week at SaveYour.Town, we’re sharing how to take big empty buildings and divide them up for multiple small businesses. One model is co-working spaces, which offer shared office and workspace. Then our friend Jon Swanson sent us an article on rural churches doing innovative things, including one doing a co-working space. This seems like a perfect fit for some small town churches.
The article is by Allen T. Stanton: Rural churches can thrive beyond numbers. The example he gave was First United Methodist Church in Sanford, Florida, which he describes as “a small city outside Orlando.”
Stanton listed questions that a pastor named Meghan has started asking about their role in the community. “What are the needs we can meet?” and “What does it mean to be a leader in this particular community?”
That’s where the co-working space for non-profits idea came up. So far, the non-profits include food-based programs, support groups and entrepreneurial initiatives focused on justice.
“All of these groups were trying to find ways to work together,” Meghan said. “We want to find ways for our church to help in that.”
Think about the churches in your small town. Are any of them asking questions like this? Are any sharing their buildings with outside groups or another congregation?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.