“Why do churches want to own real estate?” That was the question we asked ourselves as we walked across the parking lot of our local church in 2015. Struggling with an aging HVAC system and a roof in need of repair, they needed to raise $100,000 just to keep the building functioning. That was the day Narthex was born. A month later we presented an idea to a focus group of twenty pastors from across the country. “Let us own the real estate. We’ll manage the property and lease back to you the part you actually use. And we’ll find other groups; start up churches, not-for profits, and daycares that will use the other spaces in your building. And by sharing costs, the burden of the building will no longer be a burden.”
That’s how we started. With a simple idea and a desire to solve one big problem for churches. Along the way we’ve learned a lot about church buildings, the communities of faith that worship in our spaces, and about ourselves. The Narthex community is a special place where congregations and sacred spaces come together to advance the Kingdom. Every property we own tells its own story. We learn the creaks and the squeaks and feel a part of the history. We love the buildings as much as our tenants. The architecture, the stories…these are remarkable properties that deserve to be preserved, protected, and revitalized. This a partnership for us, not a transaction.
We’ve also learned along the way that what we do is hard. It’s time consuming and each building requires its own unique blend of uses, tenants and renovations. It’s also true that running a church, or a daycare, or a business is also hard and that work deserves a partner that is helpful and supportive and creates solutions not problems. We strive for that in everything we do. When we get it right…the blend that works for our tenants, our investors, and honors the history and architecture of the building that feels just about perfect to us.
Narthex is a revolutionary concept that brings the access economy to older churches.
Kansas City has many churches that are underutilized and, therefore, facing decline. Meanwhile, many organizations, including start-up churches are in need of space to gather, worship, wed, perform, work, play, celebrate and fulfill dreams. Narthex breathes new life into existing churches and revitalizes community assets.
Sacred spaces are a Narthex specialty. Every year more than 4000 churches in the US close their doors.* Often churches find themselves failing, in part, due to the financial burden of facility upkeep. By purchasing the church, Narthex removes financial concerns, infuses operating capital and allows the church to go on the offensive.
Meanwhile, more than 1000 new churches start each year.* Many church plants long for appropriate meeting space. Narthex can provide growing congregations access to quality worship space as well as room for offices, daycare and music ministry needs. All of which allows an aspiring church a chance to build momentum without incurring debt.
Narthex is revolutionary. It purchases and revitalizes the cash-strapped church, catapults the church plant, and returns pride to the nearby community.
*www.church leadership.org. Statistics and Reasons for Church Decline
For over 20 years, Rob has been an entrepreneur and successfully started many ventures across a wide variety of industries. From start up to successful exit, he has developed expertise across many aspects of owning and operating a business.
He has a talent for strategic thinking, simplifying complex processes, and maximizing return on investment which allows him to revitalize historic buildings into pieces of art.
Born in Brazil, Fernanda graduated in Social Communication & Journalism and later studied French at La Sorbonne in Paris. She is fluent in four languages, and her worldly experience has given her insight into community and how cultural influences impact clients’ decisions.
Fernanda uses her unique perspective to create elegant expressions of Narthex’s vision, introducing Narthex and our ever-growing collection of exceptional properties to the world.
Darren is the liaison for Narthex. He identifies buildings which fit into the Narthex mission and orchestrates growth opportunities for communities who use these buildings to prosper.
His excellent listening skills and connections contribute to his extensive experience in Business Development, which allows him to cultivate strong relationships in the community.
He truly understands the needs of our clients and alleviates their stress by finding new ways to transform the building’s purpose.
For more than a decade, Carly has used her unique skills to benefit the organizations with whom she works. Her loyalty and dedication provide a strong foundation that brings order and clarity. She has worked in office management, administration, and bookkeeping.
She seamlessly coordinates transactions and documentation across a variety of companies and provides the steady hand needed to ensure the efficient operation of the company. Narthex is a stronger community because of Carly’s steady influence.
Ben brings over 20 years of management consulting and executive leadership experience. His love for the Church and desire to channel the power of business in service of God’s kingdom align perfectly with the mission of Narthex.
His expertise in building dynamic organizations in complex operating environments provides a strong foundation for the continued growth of Narthex.