Church Planting? – why not buy a business?

Want to plant a church? Why not buy a business instead? I’m part of a group people considering a church plant in a small village. Whilst there is a large community hall for hire on one side of the picturesque street, it’s the cafe across the road that we have our eyes on, and its for sale!

Increasingly, church planters are finding that placing themselves in the heart of a community and operating a business is one of the most relevant ways to get to know and serve a community.

As a case study, a good mate of mine in the UK is part of a great church in Buxton that have done just that. They have bought a premises in town from which a range of different community services are hosted. Here’s their own description of what they have set up:

The Source building is wholly owned by Buxton Church in the Peak. It houses The Source Café and the Church offices; it is also a base for ‘Choices Pregnancy Advice and Support Services’ and ‘Jubilee Debt Advice’ and is equipped with a small counselling room, and a larger training room. The Source continues to provide excellent café facilities, offering quality service, generous hospitality, good value for money and a range of the best Fairtrade and ethically sourced products available. The Source Café is a separate Community

Interest Company (CIC) from the Church and its accounts are therefore reported independently. The Source Café remains wholly owned by Buxton Church in the Peak, with all of its profits being used to support a range of charitable projects in South Africa and Lesotho.

The rooms at the Source have been used as a venue for a wide range of church/community projects:

– Marriage Course

– Grace meetings – social events arranged specifically for women

– Men’s curry nights

– Alpha Course – an introduction to the Christian faith

– Crowning Years – monthly lunch club for the over 65s

– Music evenings

– Freedom in Christ – a Christian discipleship course

– Future Leaders course

– Christmas Lunch – for those unable to spend the day with family

The Training Room and Counselling Room have also been used by a number of agencies and groups, including Addullum Housing, the NHS, a local school for staff interviews, the Christian Golf Society, Specsavers, Derby CVS and the Children’s Society.

Now that sounds brilliant! In addition to the above they also offer debt counselling to the community.  If you gave me the choice between a fantastic church building on the suburban fringe or instead owning an asset like the above, its a no brainer for me. Find out more about Buxton Church in the Peak click here.

What do you think?  Does your church have a similar investment/ministry and do you know of any others?

Lastly – if you have a lazy $60 000 get in contact a.s.a.p!