The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Faculty Associate in Religious Leadership, has an article in this month’s Christian Century magazine called 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Using your Church Building Well.
In it, the Rev. Dr. Schaper describes the problem of church buildings going unused and makes suggestions about how to use church space more effectively, including offering it to different religious or arts organizations. The first “do” is to take out the pews so that the sanctuary can be a more flexible space.
“The holy is not threatened by these changes. God will find a way to continue to touch people’s lives,” she writes.
Her suggestions also include ways to “go green” by using the building more frequently:
“The more people use the space, the more efficient its maintenance and energy use are. People who work remotely during the week could use your Sunday school rooms—instead of coffee shops or coworking spaces—and help with the Internet bill. Sunday school parents may want to have a parents’ night with child care at the church. Yoga classes can thrive in sacred space. Once your space is being used more and bringing in some income, it’s easier to prioritize investing in things like energy conservation, solar power, or even accessibility.”