Seeding a cowork in a faith based entity or established cowork space

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

Hi Jennifer,

I am a chaplain / and coworking space owner, so I am familiar with but areas!

  • I am not familiar with you first point, I have read about groups of people leaving a coworking space and starting their own thing either because the space closed or because a disagreement with the management. I am not sure this is the type of seeding you are looking for. Some of the other veteran space owners may be able to speak to thos.
  • As to your second point, I was looking at the costs associated with the church that I attend, and you are correct most of the space goes unused throughout the week. I don’t see why a pastor would not let an organization use their facilities if they are respectful of others that are in the space

This is a coworking space / chuurc in New York. - http://stlydias.org/

Hope that helps!

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On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:04:46 PM UTC-7, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

Thanks Tabari! I remember meeting you at GCUC during an intermission at Salvage. I now have to find a progressive? church who might be interested in a partnership.

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On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 3:28:43 PM UTC-5, Tabari Brannon wrote:

Hi Jennifer,

I am a chaplain / and coworking space owner, so I am familiar with but areas!

  • I am not familiar with you first point, I have read about groups of people leaving a coworking space and starting their own thing either because the space closed or because a disagreement with the management. I am not sure this is the type of seeding you are looking for. Some of the other veteran space owners may be able to speak to thos.
  • As to your second point, I was looking at the costs associated with the church that I attend, and you are correct most of the space goes unused throughout the week. I don’t see why a pastor would not let an organization use their facilities if they are respectful of others that are in the space

This is a coworking space / chuurc in New York. - http://stlydias.org/

Hope that helps!

On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:04:46 PM UTC-7, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

For point 1, I think existing space owner would have to have a pretty large stake in whatever was being “seeded” from their space. I don’t really view other spaces as competition and really believe that more spaces opening only helps everyone, but even I would get pretty nervous about helping another space open from within my own office. Now, if I had ownership in it and it was branded as a part of my own “network” of coworking spaces or something along those lines, I think that could be an exciting opportunity.

As for #2, I think that’s a brilliant idea, and I’m kind of surprised that nobody’s tried it yet.

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On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 3:46:38 PM UTC-5, Jennifer Kready wrote:

Thanks Tabari! I remember meeting you at GCUC during an intermission at Salvage. I now have to find a progressive? church who might be interested in a partnership.

On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 3:28:43 PM UTC-5, Tabari Brannon wrote:

Hi Jennifer,

I am a chaplain / and coworking space owner, so I am familiar with but areas!

  • I am not familiar with you first point, I have read about groups of people leaving a coworking space and starting their own thing either because the space closed or because a disagreement with the management. I am not sure this is the type of seeding you are looking for. Some of the other veteran space owners may be able to speak to thos.
  • As to your second point, I was looking at the costs associated with the church that I attend, and you are correct most of the space goes unused throughout the week. I don’t see why a pastor would not let an organization use their facilities if they are respectful of others that are in the space

This is a coworking space / chuurc in New York. - http://stlydias.org/

Hope that helps!

On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:04:46 PM UTC-7, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

Turns out The Mix, in Dallas is in the basement of a church. I’m going to talk with the space owner this week about negotiating faith culture and politics to make this happen.

Side note; Jensen- My husband and I will be coming to your new location this Friday. I want him to see a space and what I’m trying to do. He gets it but being in one will put the concepts together. See you then and congrats on your new space.

Jen

The answers I think are yes and yes, but the first one is a hurdle that several spaces have tried to clear over the years, some more successfully than others.

We had a really interesting discussion on this board about something similar to #1 which was initiated by Will Bennis, though he did not frame it the same way. Here it is: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!searchin/coworking/Will$20Bennis|sort:date/coworking/KSj1E913T_k/LRB3IF7JPB8J

For it to happen in an organic way (sticking with the seed metaphor) your best bet is to locate a sub-community within your community and transplant them to a space focused on their needs I think. For us that was Internet based retail and services which 1) have some identifiable shared needs and/or some identifiable shared values and/or 2) have some needs which can be problematic for other coworkers. (Packing and storage space which just sort of spreads out all over the place like a crawling ooze).

I have helped some folks with #2 in their setup phase. It can be done, there are some legal issues to look out for if the faith based entity has restrictions on coworkers. The line between identifying allied businesses and illegal discrimination is not always obvious to people who have a particular point of view. And I mean that without rancor; often they do not see it.

Also, zoning. :slight_smile:

But in general it is a really fun and inspiring experience. I recommend it.

Shoot me an email if you like, Jeannine @ Opencoworking.org. We can put up a page on the Wiki just for you guys to collaborate if you like.

Cheers,

Jeannine

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On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 10:04:46 PM UTC+2, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

Hi Jennifer, I founded Epiphany Space in LA. We are a coworking space with a religious 501c3 but all are welcome. We share an office building in Hollywood with a church whose large meetings are in another location. The relationship has been great however being closely connected to a church can limits those who are interested/comfortable coming to the space. When we opened the space in 2013 we did not have the ability to acquire space of our own and the church allowed us to sublease from them. We also loved having the additional built in community and shared resources. Most of the church’s congregation are Hollywood creatives. The church refers people to us but we have had to cultivate the community on our own.

If you’d like to talk more about your ideas or what we’ve done I’m happy to connect. BTW, I’m an ordained minister too.

www epiphanyspace .com or melissa @ epiphanyspace .com

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On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:04:46 PM UTC-7, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen

Hey Jen-

Curious if you have made any progress on #2? I work at a church in Palo Alto and we have been considering creating a coworking space.

···

On Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:04:46 PM UTC-7, Jennifer Kready wrote:

As I don’t have a space yet, so I host cowork mornings at coffee shops my community. This morning we were talking about coworking and two of us were pastors. The pastors were seeding a church and coworking offers them a place to meet, but they were also interested in hosting coworking for their parishoners and general public within the church. The pastors helped us understand how a church seeds future churches, from within the sponsorship church walls. So I wonder…

  • Can an established cowork space ‘seed’ a future cowork space?

  • Can a cowork be seeded from a faith based entity?

  • As most of us know, church space is pretty empty during the day and the church knows they’re spending a lot to maintain these unused spaces, too. Without the typical fear of ‘our coworkers will be evangelized’, is it possible to partner with a church (rental contract perhaps) to use their space to grow a community (outside the coffee shop) and move them to a cowork space?
    Jen