I have got to get some of this guys perspective. He speaks in my language. He dialogued about the three spaces that we have in life as believers are church leaders. Our first space is the space where we engage with people who like me because they are like me. This is what most churches do. Create a space on Sunday's separate from the world (by the way not what the church was supposed to be in my opinion) where people who all generally agree interact together. The danger is that I create a world where I only interact with people like me. In our first space we can all say and do certain things because we don't filter thought through truth because we all agree anyhow. It becomes our own subculture or language. The dream would be that the 1st space would be a place where unsaved people would bring their unsaved friends. if it's not - then get rid of it and start over.
The second space is the Marketplace, day by day, with those who happen to be there. The place where we all live but we are not always present... There is tremendous opportunity to build bridges relationally in the 2nd space but far too often we get pulled from the 2nd space into the 1st space and loose all relevancy to the world far from God. In the 2nd space I have to earn the right to be heard. That is my primary responsibility. Then the question becomes...Am I present? Am I responsible with the one person that God brings into my life?
For me, this is the mainstream world. Getting myself out of my church world and looking for and engaging in the "marketplace" through anything. Personal training, Triathlon, reading, speaking, whatever. I need to intentionally look for opportunites to be in the 2nd space.
(By the way - all of this comes from Acts 17 where Paul is in Athens. The 1st space is when he heads to the Jew's after being distressed by all the idols. Why did he go there? Because it was the natural thing to do. The second space is where he is out and about teaching, walking around, steeping himself into the culture around him. The third space is in the worlds "then they took him..."
The third space is where you are invited to go, you must be looking for the fingerprint of God and then leading people to that fingerprint, to God all the time.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
My first space is my churchy culture where I'm constantly around people who will not challenge me and let me live in mediocrity. My influence and relevancy is lost because everyone believes as I do and in most ways causes my spirit to atrophy.
My second space is where I need to spend more time and to engage more. This is where I engage with people, one or many and join with them, love on them, relate to them and serve them. Live out the gospel as Christ did.
My third space is what I aspire to. This is where God opens doors of influence to be used by him and through his power to impact and influence people towards him.
Great stuff. I would like to read more of what Erwin has to say.