A few years ago Providence Church (Holland, MI) harnessed the energy of HGTV’s home makeover craze while also building bridges to near neighbors, increasing fellowship within the congregation and raising thousands of dollars for a Ugandan missional move coupled with their own building expansion project.
The idea developed when a small neighborhood ranch home, which had been an eye sore for multiple years, went up for sale. A member of the congregation proposed purchasing the home and doing a quick flip with the energy of multiple congregational volunteers and various near neighbors then reselling the home for a profit. That thought led to a fundraising effort among the congregation so the home could be purchased for cash. From there a remodel supervisor was identified, volunteers were scheduled, home repair product donations were sought, and the flip began.
Within two weeks this neighborhood eye sore became a community gem with structural improvements, a home facelift (inside and out), and brand new landscaping. The neighbors were grateful for their own improved home values while, at the same time, relationships were built between dozens of volunteers.
Within a couple weeks the home sold for over $100,000 with proceeds helping build a large retail center in Mukono, Uganda, with rental income that will serve the Ugandan church for years to come while also supporting Providence’s own building expansion project.
Here is a “to do” list if your congregation is interested in doing a neighborhood home improvement project with proceeds for a missional move:
- Identify a missional cause that could benefit from the infusion of financial resources that would also capture the energy and imagination of the congregation;
- Seek council approval for the concept of a home remodel;
- Identify a needy and doable home to flip somewhere in your near neighborhood;
- Secure donations for the purchase of the home;
- Find a construction manager who will coordinate the remodeling work;
- Cast a vision to the congregation for the missional cause and the quick flip;
- Look for businesses willing to provide building materials at little or no cost;
- Alert neighbors to the project and invite them to participate;
- Identify a two to four week window to accomplish the work;
- Sign up volunteers;
- Execute the flip;
- Hold a prayer gathering at the home remodel sight in celebration of what God has done and in support of the missional cause the project will support;
- Put the home on the market and sell it for under the appraised value to bless the new owners;
- Bless the new residents with home warming gifts from the congregation;
- Create a picture board to post in the church celebrating the results of the project and the fellowship that was shared.