Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Origins + Labs: McManus and the 2nd Space

The first space, for Christians, is the church, but I suppose every organization/group has it. The second space is the marketplace. Remember, we’re tracking Paul and his confrontation with Mars Hill in Athens. Paul started at the synagogue (1st place) and then went to the marketplace, which is the 2nd space. This is where people live, which is why living in the 1st place can reduce us to irrelevance. The 2nd space scares some of us because we aren’t presumed right there. We have to earn credibility and legitimacy. It isn’t granted. This is where McManus says people aren’t looking for answers, they’re looking for people “on the journey” with “presence.”

The problem with pastors is that we have people in the 2nd space and we pull them out to build the church and then go to conferences to figure out how to mobilize people to get back into the 2nd space. (We shouldn’t have pulled them out in the first place.) If Eldredge is an exemplary 1st space person, Steven Covey is the perfect example of a 2nd space LDS. McManus argues that Covey did far more for the Mormon Church by being legit, having credibility in the 2nd space, than he did as an elder of his local church. I know I benefited greatly from his book … and I’d do well to read it again. If we’re tracing “spaces” with movies, this would be where you’d see The Trial of Emily Rose or Spitfire Grill. I haven’t seen either so I’ll have to take his word for it. The idea, though, is that these are in the mainstream marketplace, not in a Christian subculture.

The goal for the church is to create a second space that helps people engage in their 2nd spaces. Every church is a first space, particularly for believers. At Mosaic they seek to make Mosaic a first space for everyone, but we’ll get more to that in the Eric Bryant’s lab, which I’ll cover in a few days. But it is important to note for pastors that, even though we’re communicating to God’s people in a first space, we’re modeling for them how to communicate spiritual things. They’re going to mimic us in the 2nd space. Are we communicating in a way that won’t sound like an alien language in the 2nd space?

And the success of our people in the 2nd space makes the space of influence, the 3rd space, a possibility. We’ll look at that tomorrow.

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