What if everything you need is already there?
Many Christian churches and related institutions in the United States are struggling or, in some cases, facing imminent crisis, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance is down. Funding is harder to come by. People are no longer drawn to traditional church services and programming in the ways that they once were. Often, we feel broke and powerless to do much about it. We settle for doing more with less: Less money. Fewer people. Fewer churches.
But if we reexamine our perceived limits and our assumptions about how resources are supposed to be used, then something remarkable and beautiful comes into view: we aren't broke at all but have enormous resources at our disposal. Church and missional organizations nationwide own billions of dollars of prime property and investment assets, which, when combined with social enterprise and new expressions of mission, can be put to work for innovation and transformation. And these resources are often available to us right now.
This book is an invitation to envision a different way of putting God's gifts to work in the world. It draws upon a remarkable story of rebirth at a Presbyterian affiliated campus ministry center at the University of Wisconsin, along with profiles of other creative social enterprises, to describe how church property and investment assets can be put to work for innovation, transformation, and financial sustainability. Theologically rooted but practically minded, it provides guidance and tools for church and nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors of all kinds who are seeking new ways to fund and participate in God's work in the world.
About the Author
Mark Elsdon lives and works at the intersection of money and meaning as an entrepreneur, pastor, consultant, and speaker. He is cofounder of RootedGood, which seeks to create more good in the world through social innovation; executive director at Pres House on the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus; and owner of Elsdon Strategic Consulting. Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his spouse and two daughters.