Real estate investment for churches and ministries can be a curse or a blessing. It's one area you can't afford to get wrong. Learn from the new church movements around the world that are RENTING URBAN and BUYING RURAL.
RENT URBAN: Urban real estate is expensive. And if you buy too early, your ministry gets stuck. Renting is cheaper and gives more flexibility. Some ministries have a number of rental properties in the city that act as urban monasteries and intentional living communities and sometimes shelters in the red light district. Renting allows you to set up short term ministries and then change strategy and location when needed. Be smart and rent urban.
BUY RURAL: Land out in the country is cheaper and more spacious. Even better, you can plant crops and generate some income. Buying rural gives stability to the crazy and often temporal urban ministries. If you get the chance, buy rural.
- I am blogging this from a rented shelter for street kids in Indonesia. They also rent a house for ex-prostitutes around the corner. But in the country, an hour and a half away, they have bought some land that enables them to plant crops, host big events and enable ex-addicts to start a new life with Jesus and his friends.
- Urban Vision NZ, an outgrowth of Youth For Christ, that rents houses in the city for ministry but purchased an old Presbyterian campground and turned it into a contemporary monastery. This monastery is the location for PassionFest in February.
- In San Francisco, we operated out of a rented space that became our urban monastery but enjoyed a rural training center that was donated to another ministry and made available to us.