The house next door to our church went into foreclosure and we bought it from the bank (for $14,000). Over the last few years, several ideas have come up that would have involved securing an adjacent or nearby property. So, when the opportunity arose, we put in an offer.
It's a bittersweet thing, however, since the circumstances that we got it were painful — specifically, for our long-time neighbor and more generally, for an area where property values are so depressed. So we're praying that this house will help us be 'a living testimony of God's grace and justice in the city' (our mission statement). And we plan to solicit input from our neighbors on the street.
It seems like a fair number of churches have turned former parsonages or other adjacent properties into ministry of one type or another. We already have ideas, but we're looking for more.
If your church owns a nearby house ... how do you use it for ministry?
Or even if you don't have a nearby house ... what would you dream of doing if God gave you one tomorrow?