Tag Archives: Missional

Engaging Third Places

The Missional Church – Part 3: Living Missional Principles

Luke 10:1-12


Isolation is a word that describes the kind of lives many people are living today. More and more people are spending less and less time with others.


Third places

Third places are represented by public places of common ground where people enjoy the company of others.


  1. What examples of increased isolation do you see or have you experienced in the lives of people? Are things really that different from 10 or 20 years ago?
  2. What might be examples of third places in our community?


Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 book:

The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You Through The Day

(find Ray Oldenburg’s books at the Hennepin County Library here)

8 Characteristics 3rd Places Share:

  • Neutral Ground
  • Act as a Leveler
  • Conversation Is the Main Activity
  • Accessible and Accommodating
  • There are Regulars
  • Low Profile
  • Mood is Playful
  • A Home Away from Home



“Typical” Third Places

coffee houses, cafes, pubs, etc.


“Atypical” Third Places?

Missional Living Homework:

  1. This week discover at least 3 “typical” third places in your community and three “atypical” third places. What would you have to do for each third place to become a daily or weekly rhythm in your life?
  2. Pick at least one third place to enter into and spend at least 1 hour observing. Take note of conversations. What do you notice about the people? What is the vibe of the place? How does this third place bring life and vitality to the community? Where do you hear God at work in the conversation? How might you join him?

Facilitating Biblical Hospitality

The Missional Church – Part 3: Living Missional Principles

Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 14:12-14; Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9

Missional Living Homework:

  • Each day this week, take some time to read the local newspaper and watch the evening news. Follow up by praying for the welfare of your city in light of what you know, asking God to bring his kingdom to bear upon those situations as well as the ones you don’t know about.
  • Each day this week, pray for the people who live on your street. Specifically pray for them by name (if you know their names). Pray for their physical and spiritual well-being, as well as any trying situation they are facing that you are aware of.


How would you define it?

φιλοξενία – the Greek word for Hospitality

compound word: philo – xenia “love” of “stranger”

Biblical hospitality is distinctive from the conventional view because it reaches out to undesired, neglected people who cannot reciprocate.


The Stranger

Strangers are not simply those we don’t know

Strangers are those who are disconnected from basic relationships

Barriers to Hospitality

Lack of Margin

Changing view of family & home

Practical Ways to Live Out Hospitality

  • Invite people into your home
  • Sometimes being outside is less threatening
  • Identify single parents in your neighborhood who need weekend childcare
  • Provide short-term or long-term foster care
  • Care for someone who is recovering from surgery
  • Be a “home away from home” for college students or others away from family
  • Hospitality isn’t always about inviting someone in. Provide hospitality at a local nursing home.


  • In what ways does an understanding of biblical hospitality change your regular practices?
  • What first steps would you need to take to create a space in your home (or church) to welcome children, teens, the elderly, students, and so on?
  • Besides welcoming people into our homes, in what other settings might we be more hospitable?
  • What might you have to give up in order to make room in your home and church for hospitality?

Missional Living Homework:

  • Identify the “strangers” in your neighborhood. Make a list of those who are in need of hospitality.
  • List three things that need to change to allow you to make hospitality a way of life. Develop a plan to take steps toward being more hospitable toward strangers. Who is the first stranger your will welcome?

Our Whole Lives

The Missional Church – Part 2: Principles of Missional Living

Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Mark 12:29-31; Romans 12:1-2

Missional Living Homework:

  • Where do I see God at work? Where and how do I see God working in the lives of those around me? Where and how is God working in my neighborhood? What about my place of vocation?
  • In light of my gifts and resources, how does God want me to partner in what he’s doing?

Different Worlds

The Shema

Polytheism -> Monotheism

Monotheism -> Polytheism

Lord Over All

Secular – “non-sacred” “apart from God”


No such thing in the missional church

No such thing as a “kingsdom”

There is a real tendency to think of the spiritual life as a life that will begin when we have certain feelings, think certain thoughts, or gain certain insights. The problem, however, is not how to make the spiritual life happen, but to see where it actually is happening. We work on the premise that God acts in the world and in the lives of individuals and communities. God is doing something right now. The chipping away and sculpting is taking place whether we are aware of it or not. Our task is to recognize that, indeed, it is God who is acting, and we are involved already in the spiritual life.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.


  • In what ways have you viewed the world from the perspective of a secular / sacred divide?
  • How might Romans 12:1-2 affect the way you approach your daily life?

Missional Living Homework:

  • Take some time to meditate on the Shema, asking the Lord how you can most faithfully love God and neighbor.
  • Based on Romans 12:1-2, what “sacrifice” of worship will you offer up to God this week?


Incarnational Ministry

The Missional Church – Part 1: The Missional Nature of God

Missional Living Homework from Last Week

  • Identify at least two people groups or geographical locations in your city or neighborhood to which God is looking to “send” someone.
  • List areas in your life that may need to change for you to be able to say, “Here am I. Send me!” What is the first step you will take to overcome each hindrance?


Is our direction


How we go

What we do as we go

The Incarnation

John 1:14 a  (The Message)

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.

John 20:21

As the Father has sent me, So I am sending you.



We cannot demonstrate Christlikeness at a distance from those whom we feel called to serve.”


Identification & Surrender

(Philippians 2)

With and for


  • How would you describe the concept of proximity? What about the concept of presence?
  • How does this influence the way you think about where you live and how you live?

Missional Living Homework:

  • Ask yourself, Am I in close proximity to those to whom God has called me? What will I do this week to encourage proximity? Identify one way to experience greater proximity and act upon it.
  • Ask yourself, Am I experiencing incarnational “presence” with those I live near? Do I identify and understand the fears and concerns of those around me? Now determine one way to experience a greater level of presence and act on it.

God’s Sending Nature

The Missional Church – Part 1: The Missional Nature of God

Isaiah 6:1-8; Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:18-19

God is a sending God

God’s sending starts in Genesis 12 and continues to Revelation 22 (the final chapter of the Bible)

The Father sent the Son

The Father & Son send the Holy Spirit

Jesus sends the church into the world as his witnesses.


Missio Dei

Missio Dei = “mission of God” or “sending of God”

Motive: Love of God for all creation

Goal: the Kingdom (reign of God over his people)

Whom does God send?



  • What thoughts do you have about the missionary nature of God?
  • How has God called and sent you as a missionary to participate in his mission? Do you sense a “sending” call to participate in any of the activities mentioned in Isaiah 61?

Missional Living Homework:

  1. Identify at least two people groups or geographical locations in your city or neighborhood to which God is looking to “send” someone.
  2. List areas in your life that may need to change for you to be able to say, “Here am I. Send me!” What is the first step you will take to overcome each hindrance?