Starbuck’s has a desire to be the third place in every community for every person. What they mean by this is that the first place is the home, the second place is the workplace, and the third place is where you go for community. They want their coffee shop to be that in each town. Well the Starbucks is a busy place and you can see a lot of people there. I once met a pastor there and we had to go somewhere else because too many of his parishoners were there.
Even though that is a busy place it in no way compares to the Walmart in town. We went to Walmart on Saturday and it was packed. Not only was the place busting at the seems people were clogging the aisles everywhere talking to one another. We even ran into a friend there and we have only lived up here for a week! People desire community and will go anywhere to find it. We used to say in Santa Maria if you wanted to find someone go to Costco because you will run into them there.
The Church used to be that third place. As we have removed God from more and more things that becomes less and less the case. I think if a church creates true community like what is modeled in the New Testament people would flock there because they are so hungry for it. That means we need to be a place and a people that aren’t about ourselves but instead about our submission to God and our selfless service to one another.