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Trends in Church Architecture Part 4

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Here are seven "Third Places" churches have built in and for their communities.

It has been noted that third places serve as postmodern wells churches create to cross paths with the community.

Given that broad description, third places could include: cafes, coffee shops, bookstores, shopping centers, bars, hair salons, community centers, workout facilities, parks, playgrounds, restaurants, and many other entities. It is my contention that Third Places are the new multipurpose buildings for churches.

Seven different examples of churches creating third places.

National Community Church, located in Washington, D.C. invested a coffee shop called Ebenezers Coffeehouse. It is similar to other coffeehouses in the area, but is owned and operated by NCC.

I’ve sat there for meetings, but also filmed programs in the basement. It’s a third space, but also highly functional.

The Journey Church in St. Louis created the Luminary Center for the Arts, a space for the artists of St. Louis. It’s a former Catholic convent. The Journey uses this space for a variety of purposes—from a gallery, studio, and event space for concerts, to a place for art shows and community formation.

Granger Community Church, in Granger, IN has transformed their church space into Granger Commons. This third place includes: The Eatery, Reads & Things, Read & Things Jr., The Atrium, Early Learning Center, and Natural Playground. Granger Commons “exists to elevate and transform our community.” While being a place to gather, have fun, eat, read, drink coffee, study, or bring one’s kids to pre-school, it also houses the worship facilities for the church.

Granger sees their building as a gift to the community, not just a place to have church services.

Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, ...

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