A “third place” is a safe place between home and work, or home and school. Think soda fountain, barbershop, the pub, even church. Today Starbucks and its worthy competitors are playing that role:
Regulars at St. Arbucks are greeted by name and the baristas may have their favorite drink –Asimakoupoulos is a grande-drip purist — ready when they reach the counter. Many modern churches have grown so large that people cannot know the names of many people with whom they are praying.
It’s also crucial that these coffee sanctuaries are open to all kinds of people. At the Starbucks a short walk from his church, the pastor, people watching over the top of his laptop screen, has even seen believers reading their Bibles.
Writing in Leadership Journal, Asimakoupoulos noted: “At St. Arbucks, I’ve seen a rabbi mentoring a Torah student. A youth pastor disciplining a new convert. High school girls working on a group assignment. A book club sipping mochas while discussing a fiction author’s plot.” Could churches try to be more open to outsiders?
Read it here in Scripps News.
See also Getting religion at the pub.