Monday, October 11, 2010

Third Places, part 3.

If you watch have watched Friends the third place is the coffee shop, if you watch Eastenders its the pub, if you watch Coronation Street it is the pub.

I'm not sure there are many churches that are truly third places. They don't meet part twos criteria.

The line that make sense to me is about proximity to the host culture. If you're going to have a third place it needs to be be near the people you are trying to reach.

The other thing I see a lot of is people with a dream for specific kind of place. So you have always dreamt of running a coffee shop, you start a coffee shop, it doesn't work! Why? because it was not what the host culture needed.

Work out who the people you are trying to reach are, then develop your third place, don't do it the other way around.....

Our third place must be in response to the culture we are trying to reach, not some form of Jamie Oliverish fantasy.

Is the kitchen table the third place? No I don't think so, it's part of the first place, the home, the family. You would expect at some point the people you meet in the third place to end up at your table.

There is always a temptation by the church to use third places as a means by which they can gather souls to invite to their Sunday services. This is not how it is meant to be.

Third places are places where we should invite people into our lives.


jonny mccormick said...


i have subscribed to your blog for a long time. however, i don't often comment.

but, this time, i wanted to make an effort and say that this mini series you have been doing on the third place is one of the most insightful, useful and interesting pieces i have read on any blog. truly brilliant.

keep 'er lit.

jonny mccormick

Nicki Ferg said...

brian, loving this third place stuff!! its great, really seeing how the centre fits into it too :)