Today Marshall Shelley and I were at Mariner's Church in Irvine, California, for the pregame show of the first ever Catalyst West Coast conference. Led by Erwin McManus and the rest of the Mosaic team, the Origins Labs (as they were called) were an opportunity for some smaller group, interactive sessions on topics related to engaging culture, reaching the hard to reach, and other perennial challenges. Catalyst West begins in earnest tomorrow, and you'll here more from us about that then.
Erwin used the opening session to explore a familiar story from Acts. For Erwin, Acts 17:16ff provides a framework for understanding the church's spheres of influence. In Athens, Paul first speaks "in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks." This is the "first space," where the church reaches religious people. Paul also speaks "in the marketplace day by day." Our marketplace is where we work, eat, and play. This "second space" is where we reach people most like us. Finally, Paul was invited to speak "to a meeting of the Areopagus." This, Erwin said, is the "third space." This is where you're reaching the world. Jesus thrives in third space.
Thursday will also be the day of unveiling for a new publication produced jointly by Leadership and Catalyst, the Catalyst Leadership digizine. This hybrid publication will (we hope) provide a blend of the very best of Leadership and the Catalyst experience. You can read it here.
When you've had a chance to read the digizine, come back here and let us know what you think.