3 Ways to Use Your Church Facility to Reach and Engage Millennials

Last week I visited with a church staff to talk about how Burlap could help them reach Millennials in their community.  The church was in a suburban ring of a major us city.  When I drove onto the property I couldn’t quite tell which door would lead me to the office where I was to meet the senior pastor.  I parked where I noticed the most cars gathered and walked up the sidewalk and opened the door.  

The lights were off and, therefore, the hallway was dark.  I exited the door I came in and walked around to another entrance.  That hallway, too, was dark.  Finally I noticed a woman leaving the building so I made my way to that entrance and proceeded to wander around trying to find my way to the office.  I finally found the office and was greeted by a very nice receptionist who called the pastor and then led me to the conference room.  

[This post could also be about signage and hospitality. Maybe more on that another time.]

Halfway through our conversation it became apparent to all of us that one of the best strategies for reaching Millennials in their community might be to use their empty facility.  Below are three of the creative ways we brainstormed the church using their facility. (It important to note that in this particular part of the city there were many young entrepreneurs launching new companies, some profit and some non-profit, primarily in technology related industries.) 

BTW, did you know that 66% of millennials want to start their own business as their main career goal, and millennials are creating new companies at twice the rate of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, according to a recent Inc.com article?  

3 Ways to Use your Unused or Under-used Church Facility to Reach Millennials:

  1. Create a co-working space.  A co-working space is a shared office setting in which self-employed people; people who work remotely or people who just want to work in a collaborative environment share the space.  Often the equipment, receptionist and other fundamental office needs are shared.  The main goal, however, is to work in a place where ideas can interact with one another and people can be inspired by others’ creativity and innovation.  
  2. Start a social enterprise.  A social enterprise is typically a for-profit business that has the stated intentions and goals of helping people tangibly through social cause and concern.  In addition, most social enterprises use any earnings to invest back into the social cause(s) helping it to become sustainable.
  3. Give space to a non-profit.  There are many NFP organizations that could use the gift of free or very low cost rent.  Many NFP organizations operate on a shoestring budget.  Free or low cost rent could literally change the success, effectiveness, and sustainability trajectories of the organization.  


Do you have space available during the week in your church?  Would one of the ideas above provide help to people, show your concern for the community, bring life to your organization ultimately resulting in reaching and engaging Millennials?