A third space is a chosen place other than home or church where you will intentionally show God’s love to others in order to develop habits and a lifestyle of doing this wherever you go.
Having a third space allows us to invest in people where they’re at. It involves us operating under the authority and creativity of God in partnership with the Holy Spirit. The practice of intentionally pausing to see a space in the way that God does, allows us to show his love in ways that extend beyond our intuition and ideas. It joyfully gives God room to do his work, even when we don’t fully understand what he’s up to.
In this moment, we have a unique opportunity to focus our attention on people in our neighborhoods or people we interact with through social media, so for now, we’ll be highlighting ideas to connect with people in those spaces.
Ask God for creativity on how to engage your neighborhood and social media channels.
While in your space, intentionally pray…
- with someone in real time (in person or through media)
- that the Lord would give you opportunities to connect with others
- for your neighbors as you walk by their homes or your friends/followers as you scroll through social media
Commit to be active in your space regularly. Choose a rhythm that provides frequent opportunities to interact with others.
Set specific goals to…
- learn x neighbors’ names this month
- walk your neighborhood x times a week to pray for and/or engage your others
- reach out to x number of people individually from your third space this month
As you engage your third space, listen to God and intentionally show his love to others. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and show you what he is doing. Ask the Holy Spirit if there is anyone he wants to highlight. If he does, ask him what he would like you to do.
Ask intentional questions and listen…
- “What has been a high point and a low point for you this week?”
- “What are you experiencing in your home/family/workplace right now?”
- “How can I pray for you?”
- Keep listening, you can provide a safe space for others to share
Be proactive to serve others by…
- reaching out to neighbors to let them know you are available to help
- respond to the needs people share with you
- utilizing the Crisis Care resources on rockharbor.org for needs you are unable to personally meet
Ideas to Get You Started
It’s important to remember that when engaging in a third space, the primary goal is to have a conversation with God and act out of that. These resources and ideas are here to inspire you, but each step should always be surrounded in prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Place a sign in your yard or on your front window letting your neighbors know you are actively thinking about and praying for them. This small act of reaching out can help to create a sense of community and closeness with your neighbors, and may even spark a conversation or a stirring in someone’s heart. It doesn’t have to be fancy; this gesture and the heart behind it can go a long way to encourage someone.
Social media is another great way to stay connected and reach out to those in your community and beyond. To use social media as your Third Space, share about a way that God has met you during this time with your virtual community either through a written post or video. Share your heart and what you feel God is teaching you during this time — chances are, someone will be greatly encouraged by it!
To mix things up during quarantine and find a way to get to know your neighbors in an easy way, eat a meal in your front yard/driveway to greet people that walk by! Engaging with your neighbors in this way can be a fun, spontaneous way to meet new people, strike up unexpected conversations, and is a great approach for those who want to go deeper with their neighbors. To take it one step further, you can even invite your neighbors to join on their front yards as well!
Have your child create an encouraging chalk design and/or message in front of your house for your neighbors to read. Children naturally have a pure, confident faith that adults often have to strive for, and because of this, kids have a unique capacity for encouragement. Have a conversation with your child about what would make their neighbors smile, and help them write or decorate it on the sidewalk outside of your house. Another option is to decorate a poster and display it on your front window. They are guaranteed to make someone’s day!
- Prepare cinnamon rolls and OJ to share on a Saturday morning in your driveway
- Schedule a food truck to come to your street and pass out flyers to your neighbors inviting them
- Throw a socially distant driveway block party
- Have your kids make a bouquet of flowers while on your prayer walk. Then have them ask God who it needs to be delivered to
- Pray for your neighbors! Go on a walk by yourself or with your family to map out your neighborhood and become more familiar with it as you pray
- Phone a friend and reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile or has been on your heart lately
- Delivery a goody bag to a friend or neighbor
- Set up a resource table for neighbors who might be in need of supplies
- Put a sign in your lawn to let your neighbors know you’re praying for them
- Set up a picnic in your yard to greet people who walk by
- Have food or coffee delivered to a friend or neighbor
- Set up a firepit at the end of your driveway as a place for conversation
- Project a movie or Rockharbor service on your garage door and invite neighbors
- Have kids color a picture or write a note to deliver to neighbors or classmates