A Third Place

Where are the three places that you spend the most time?

For most people, the first place is home, and the second place is work. But what about the third place?

"Barbearia" by Fabio Pozzebom/ABr - http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/media/imagens/2006/10/24/1802FP03.jpg/view. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 br via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barbearia.jpg#/media/File:Barbearia.jpg

A barber shop in Brazil. The barber shop is an example of the third place; in many societies it has been a traditional area for (especially) men to congregate separate from work or home.

For parents with school-age children, the third place might be the little league bleachers. For a business professional, it might be the golf course, the coffee shop, or even the bar. Where is your “third place”?

Missiologists (people who study how to do mission work) have written much about the third place because it is one of the places where you can do the most good for the kingdom. A man’s home is his castle—and many people don’t like the intrusion of door-knocking, so it is hard to reach someone at home. A person’s job keeps him busy. It’s sometimes difficult to have a meaningful discussion at someone’s work without getting him in trouble with the boss. The third place usually is a place of freedom, community, and relaxation—a great place to have a spiritual conversation that might bear fruit.

When you read the book of Acts, you see that the apostles tended to spend time in third places. They reasoned in the synagogues—the centers of Jewish community life. They taught in the marketplaces—the centers of Gentile community life.

Here’s a suggestion for how to share the gospel: identify your third place and become more intentional about showing the light of Jesus there!