Friday, 14 June 2013

Third Space Evangelism

Paul Weston (in "The Word's Out: Speaking the Gospel Today", BRF, 2013) commends the idea of what he calls third space evangelism.  We have tended to engage in first space evangelism.  We are in the church and we wait for people to come to us.  It's what we might call a 'come and see' approach.  Sometimes we press things a little further and emphasise the need to go out as per the great commission.  We recognise the need to go and meet people where they are.  That going out is second space evangelism.  However, Weston suggests that what is likely to be most effective is what he describes as third space evangelism.  "Third space evangelism is a movement away from ourselves towards others, and then a movement with others towards something that is new for both of us."

We are good at introducing people to church as we know it - when God maybe wants them to be in a different kind of church.

"This may mean that the form of church that we know is not as central to God's plans as we thought it was, or at least not in the form it presently takes.  The church is not the mover and shaker in mission: God is."

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