My previous post on the Apple Store, and my experiences there really resonated with a lot of you. There was some really good comments on this post, and what seems to be clear is that people are drawn to places where they can connect with others and the Apple Store provides that, such as some coffee shops do. One of the commenters, Rich wonders if it’s like the experience in street markets long ago. Lars thinks the design and architecture connect deep within us. And everyone agreed that they are addicted, and want to buy when they walk in there, but usally don’t have money for it.
Fuller professor Eric Jacobsen is doing a lot of work as a theologian on what is termed the “New Urbanism.” The New Urbanism stresses the importance of a “third place”, where people spend their time away from home and work. For me, that has probably always been a coffee shop where I hang with friends and study. Sometimes it was the gym, or a local sandwich shop. Jacobsen says,
Jacobsen said places like Zona Rosa might make an ideal “third place,” the term New Urbanists use for a location where a person spends time that is not his home or place of employment. The third place is an important part of a community, he said. It’s where people from diverse backgrounds learn to interact.
Here is the full article,
Churches Embrace New Urbanism as Antidote to Isolation
It’s interesting that a lot of Christians, especially those that are younger, don’t often see the church as this “third place”, but rather secular institutions, such as a bar, club, coffee house…..the Apple Store.
Why is this?
I had a friend comment to me, who happens to work in an Apple Store, that he feels more used (in a good way), and does more ministry than he did when he was a full-time pastor. Interesting.