More and more people are now working from home that faith organizations are opening their spaces to accommodate the needs of telecommuters.
Lutheran Church in Manhattan dedicated a space for people who have flexible working hours and preferred working at a non-traditional office setup. Using their church space is more affordable than those in established brands. Artists, writers, professors and people in similar fields flock to coworking spaces where they can enjoy the comforts of a corporate space without the high price tag, reports The Guardian.
Our purpose is to create space for people to be able to thrive and for art to be able to be cultivated. —Melissa Smith, founder of Epiphany Space
Churches offer coworking spaces not to convert people, but to build a micro community among freelancers. Most coworking spaces offer facilities found at a regular office space, including phone and mail access, printing services, conference rooms, pantry, and parking.
“[Being at the co-working space] feels like a revelation or a rediscovery of something I thought I didn’t need or didn’t want. I could very easily see myself not becoming a parishioner, but becoming a member of the community, said Ted Henken, a sociology professor at Baruch College, New York.
Coworking spaces have grown not only in the US, but worldwide. Data from the 2019 Colliers International flexible workspace report showed that from 300 coworking spaces in 2010, there are now more than 4,000 at the end of 2017.
Melissa Smith, founder of Epiphany Space, conceptualized a coworking space in Los Angeles where people can build a community with fellow remote workers and small business owners, reports Religion News Service.
Smith clarified that Epiphany Space is not exclusive to Christians. “I never designed Epiphany to be a Christian Club. We have conversations about God, we pray for one another, but we don’t force our beliefs or perspectives on anybody.”
She added that, “Our purpose is to create space for people to be able to thrive and for art to be able to be cultivated.”