To achieve this, the ambiance of the store must be inviting: it must be a place where a person will feel comfortable hanging out alone or with friends. This setting, often referred to as the "third place" (a phrase coined by sociologist Ray Oldham) must capture a unique warmth that sets it apart from the first two places in most people's lives: work and home.
Hit the pause button.
Would creating such environments at your church be something worth doing? Is it time to "get physical"?
Think like a designer - be an environmental architect
Just as an architect asks a number of questions before designing a building, church leaders who want to be environmental architects must ask questions to reveal the function of the space, which in term determine its design.
If you were to own the architectural responsibility for every environment in your church, you should be asking questions like:
- What's the purpose of this environment?
- Who will use this environment?
- What do we want people to experience?
- What do we want people to leave with?
- Who's responsible for quality control?
Another description of environments that you are probably familiar with is North Point Community Church and its use of rooms in a house.
- The foyer is a place where you welcome guests
- The living rooms is a place where you develop friends
- The kitchen is a place where you are loved as family
You're on a journey to create experiences that keep people coming back. Yesterday we looked at product; today at quick view of place. Tomorrow, it's all about people.