The term “Third Place” caught on after Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 book The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. Like many books since, Oldenburg outlined how American individualism was starting to take a social toll.
“The course of urban development in America is pushing the individual toward that line separating proud independence from pitiable isolation.”
This isolation has led to our need for a “third place.” If the home is your first place and work is your second place, then the third place is the place where socializing can authentically take place. For many, the need for such places was immediately recognizable. It resulted in a number of social experiments, most notably, the explosion of Starbucks.
It didn’t take long for thought leaders in churchworld to grab on to this. Churches started building in coffee kiosks and books about how churches can be more like Starbucks started showing up. Continue Reading…