Watering Holes for People

August 27, 2009


It is official!  Though many people have tried to make the opposite case, last night it was confirmed that Nieuw Vennep is not just a city people sleep in!  While we’re not battling the garage door syndrome, so common in America (where the garage door has become the new front door and neighbors never see each other anymore), our challenge is more in the breaking in learning the new rules of social engagement–both the how and the where.

I can’t remember who it was, (probably Alan Hirsch, Reggie McNeal or Tim Chester and Steve Timmis), but someone in the books I’ve been reading recently brought up the idea of the watering holes around which your community congregates.  Commonly known as  third places, they are the places we go to connect with people socially.  Maybe its a pub, a starbucks, a restaurant, a play group, etc.–its different for each culture and context.

So what’s the point?  We’ve begun searching for these third places in our town.  On top of recognizing the buildings that house them, where do people connect? Where do people hang out?  Where does relationship happen?  (Please notice, we’re not asking how we can create a cooler Christian hangout, but  how we can go connect with people where they already are).

So, here are a couple ideas we’ve been throwing around:

  • Taking a language class (or other community ed. programs?)
  • Joining a play group (check out Meetup.com for groups in your area–there are 700+ within 10 miles of Crossroads’ zip code!)
  • Joining a local play pool
  • Finding a pub, cafe or restaurant work out of
  • Joining a soccer team

As Neil Cole says: “If you’re going to reach people for Christ, you’re going to have to sit in the smoking section.”  I guess this is just one little way in which we’re looking for the smoking section.

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One Response to “Watering Holes for People”

  1. Katie Says:

    Amen and amen!


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