General Assembly Proposals That Make a Difference: Property Sales and Church Planting

The following amendment would single handedly turn around our negative growth trend in the number of churches in the USA.  It also ensures that we are focused on sustaining and promoting mission as opposed to sustaining and promoting structure.

AMENDMENT CONCERNING PROPERTY SALES AND CHURCH PLANTING
P. 198 – S. 49 ALL PROPERTY HELD FOR CHURCH OF GOD
(Addendum to current three paragraphs):

All properties of disbanded congregations are either to be designated as a new field work, assigned to an existing congregation for an additional campus, or sold with proceeds less expenses associated with the sale of the property funding the establishment of new churches.

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6 Responses

  1. This one may be a little more difficult to pass because it is so restrictive. What if an existing congregation was relaunching and needed a new location, but not an “additional campus”? The amendment proposed would not allow this. When I think about the 6,000 US COG congregations, the vast majority of them are smaller churches in decline. Perfectly set up for a radlcal re-launch. So I think from here forward we should be focusing on 2 things: 1) Launching new churches in urban areas. 2) Relaunching our many declining churches in rural areas.

    Maybe we could change it to add this possibility.

  2. Jerry,

    This proposal governs disbanded congregations. If the state shuts down a church and sells the property, it wouldn’t be able to go into the administrative abyss. It wouldn’t be able to fund massive state insurance losses. It wouldn’t be able to be spent on non-core mission initiatives.

    An existing church would not be bound to those restrictions.

  3. Is there room for a state to assume a property owned by a church that isn’t disbanded? How would you reword a provision like that?

  4. Trav,

    I don’t think my earlier post was clear. I’m all for keeping the funds from administrative abyss, insurance, etc. What I was saying was that your proposal also eliminates the possibility of using that money or property to “re-launch” an potential “turn-around church.” As I read your proposal, the money can ONLY be used to launch a new church or a satellite location of an existing church. I think we should also add the possibility of using those funds and/or property to “re-launch” a church in need of a turn around.

  5. Jerry,

    The proposal may be unclear. Let me try to explain it. Then, help me rephrase it.

    All properties of disbanded congregations (assumes properties have been taken into state custody) are either to be designated as a new field work (no longer in state custody and are now assigned to a church planter/church plant and can be sold by the new church or repurposed however they like outside of these restrictions), assigned to an existing congregation for an additional campus (an existing church could take on the property but could not simply liquidate it and put it into their current stuff…it would need to go to establishing a second campus) , or sold with proceeds less expenses associated with the sale of the property funding the establishment of new churches.

    So, I think the re-launch situation would be covered under “designated as new field work.” As long as the property is in the hands of a pastor/church plant, the discretion to sell and repurpose is up to them.

  6. I don’t think a “re-launch” would be classified as a “new field work.” When we re-launched “Glory Hill Church of God” (seriously, that was the name…I’m not making that up), literally everything changed but the church is still considered to be the same congregation. The same church file number and everything. I believe that the kind of model we used would be a good one to fund in the future.

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