Richard Beck posted a great story on the Experimental Theology Blog about creating a great “Third Space” in a laundromat a couple of miles from their church.
….A lot of people feel intimidated walking into a church. A third space, it was hoped, would be a non-religious place where relationships with neighbors could be formed.
A lot of churches have created third spaces by starting up a coffee shop. That’s a great idea, but coffee shops tend to be a part of affluent White culture. The working poor don’t hang out in coffee shops with their Mac laptops. Nor can they afford $4 specialty drinks.
So a coffee shop isn’t going to be frequented by the working poor–White, Black or Hispanic–in our neighborhood. To be sure, a cool coffee shop would attract White hipsters, but that’s not the demographic of our church neighborhood.
So what would be a good third space for a poor neighborhood like the one surrounding our church? A place that would serve the neighborhood but could also be a place where people would spend time talking and forming relationships?
My idea has always been for our church to run laundromat. [Read More]