If your church is short of funding and your members don’t have property and development skills then you’re certainly not alone. Many churches with aspirations to grow their ministry find themselves in this position.
However, a lack of money or experience doesn’t necessarily mean that church property projects cannot proceed. Often, with appropriate care and advice, the plans and aspirations of a church with limited funding and experience can become a successful reality.
In many cases, a shortage of funds can be overcome by using the property itself to generate revenue for the project. For example, lump sums or rental streams can be generated to fund a church project from underutilised land or surplus property.
Sometimes a good developer can fund the entire process for the church. Having said that, it’s important to immediately add that in order to protect the church’s’ best interests a competitive developer selection process is essential and investigation of the developer’s track record, capacity and reliability is a necessary prerequisite of this type of arrangement.
The benefit of a well-structured development agreement is that it can require the developer to fund all of the work that would otherwise be at the church’s expense while at the same time placing the vast majority of the risk on the developer.
The skills and experience available within your church congregation is another key consideration. However, the lack of specific property and development experience also doesn’t prevent you from activating a project. Care does need to be taken when selecting who you work with because both developers and real estate agents have very different incentives to churches and can skilfully pursue their own objectives to the detriment of a church.
Unfortunately, we have seen many church and other not for profit property owners try to navigate this path alone only to find themselves – despite their best efforts – in difficulty. Working with an experienced and independent advisor greatly improves the outcomes for the church while exposing them to as little risk as possible.
Whatever your level of experience and funding, the first step in progressing your church project is to undertake a financial assessment to test the viability of your ideas for the church property. This will generate solutions to any identified hurdles and set out a positive forward path for your church.
We have helped numerous church clients whose only assets have been their property and their common sense.
Contact us today on 02 9966 8898 for a confidential discussion about turning your church property goals into a reality.