I recently read (and would highly recommend) a fairly old (but often-quoted from) book by Ray Oldenburg titled The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community.
As often is the case, some of my favorite quotes can be found on Instagram.
Quite honestly, I wonder why the publisher has yet to request an updated edition of this book. Think about what has transpired in the nearly twenty years since this research was originally released? What would the author say about the rise of the information age? The proliferation of smart phones and social media (especially amongst the emerging generations)?
I can only imagine that he would have devoted entire chapters to the rise (and fall) of bookstores such as Barnes & Noble or Borders (ultimately being trumped by Amazon and other e-book distributors). Or how he would critique the carbon copy coffee shops that seem to color every corner?
Is the absence of viable third places a cause or effect of our individualism? Or pursuit for privacy?
What can the church do? What can we as the church do? What can Blue Bridge Church do? As people within the community? Living in the midst of the marketplace? What type of lease or land will we seek when the time and price are right? How will that place be utilized to best be a transformative presence within our community?
Check this book out (if you have not already) and let me know what you think.