Thursday, April 26, 2007

Missional - Creating Third Spaces

Third Spaces are all about creating places where we can interact with pre-believers. Im finding all kinds of kewl ways people are doing this. What Im not finding is ways churches are doing this.

New church plants that use the concept of creating a third space first and then creating a meeting location for the church is a model for the future every plant should consider.

New church buildings need to be built in consideration of how to create a third space first. A place of service to the community and not another fortress for the church.

Here's a great example of what Im talking about for the Planting God Communities which I used with permission.

Our missional incarnational approach here in Turley, OK with the creation of 'a third place' as part of our planting got written up today in the Tulsa World. Here is the link where you can read the article.
A Third Place: Turley's New Community Center: Facility gives residents area to relax, socialize

I guess, since there is no mention in the article of me as a minister and of the creation of the center as a way that our church is serving the community, of how we are purposefully becoming "a guest in our own home" as a spiritual discipline, that it must be working. No seriously, when I first read the article, my old default mode of thinking went up and I thought "oh I wish they'd mentioned the church" but if they had, since we are not only serving people of existing religious affiliations but especially the de-churched and unchurched, I probably would have thought "oh I wish they hadn't played up the church so much." Such is the plight of the 50-something planter moving more into missional approaches to what it means to be church.

We don't have a sign that says the name of our church or even a flier out front that we meet in the space we have created (we did but I took it down); we do have a flier for the church that is available in the community information area but we also post information prominently about events that take place at other churches in our area; we do have a cross placed next to the cable television area but I have been debating about taking it out and just bringing it out, in a kind of processional, whenever we have our meetings (still haven't decided; there are pros and cons). Upshot is that people will find out about us first through our mission, our work together, and through conversation rather than some printed material, a sign, slogans, or worship service.

The fact that it all feels weird, disorienting to people's stereotypes of church, means we are on the right track I think. End. Ron


This is the kind of church concept that changes communities. Imagine what would happen if each church in the US decided to open such a place. Think of the lives that would be changed and the opportunities that would come to share the Gospel and build the kingdom.

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