“Third Space” is a conversation about how we inhabit spaces and places in our lives. The notion goes something like this: We occupy Home, Work, and Third Spaces – those other places where we spend the bulk of our time and interactions – a coffee shop, or “Cheers” is the quintecential example.
This is not particularly a faith discussion, so much as a sociology discussion. Some in the faith communities are listening though, and coming to a variety of conclusions
I’ve found several useful articles that help flesh out the ideas in this conversation to date:
Or is it “Third Place”? – Community Christian Church
One church seeking to allow the idea to be at the center of it’s DNA ~ They’re part of a church planting project in Canada. Emergent, youngish, ‘cool’ (they are in Canada, eh?), etc.
Church as the hang-out – this article from Youthworker Movement takes a non-missional approach to third space – When was the last time young adults came to your church just to hang out? When was the last time someone brought a chessboard to church or spent the afternoon in study and conversation or came to just read or listen to music or drink coffee? If you’re involved in that kind of church – one that provides that kind of community – let me know. That’s the kind of church I’m looking for. Missional is about becoming church in the community. This author has the same old goal of the church being a place where people congregate. I think this may be good, but missional is about going out into the marketplace – the third spaces of our society – and being Christ to them then and there.
Exploring the Emergent Church ~ “The problem with most church people is that their 3rd space IS the church.” – I couldn’t agree more – this is confessional for me as much as it is a challenge to others.