UNDERDOG REPORT: What Happened to Your Third Place? Part 2 – Your Third Place is the First Place | Joe Hoft


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UNDERDOG REPORT: What Happened to Your Third Place? Part 2 – Your Third Place is the First Place

What Happened to YOUR Third Place? Part 2 – Your Third Place is The First Place

In Part 1 of Your Third Place, we defined this term based on Ray Oldenburg’s book, Celebrating The Third Place,[1] as a familiar spot where people connect over a shared interest or activity, with others they may, or may not know. He defined these as being

separate from the Home (“the first place”) and the Workplace (“the second place”).

Emily McGowan wrote “…third places often catch us at our best…[And] they also offer up a safe place for us to show up at our worst …[2]

Think of the TV show “Cheers,” a place where “Everyone knows your name.”  Third Places allow people to comfortably enjoy the company and conversation around them.

At the end of the Part 1, UnderDogReport mentioned the real Third place is really the real first Place, someone’s Home. Let me really explain. 😊


Here is a short parable.

People were at a local party, and the conversation came up about a famous man (or woman, it’s interchangeable). One person said they saw him, another said they saw him at an event, another said she shook his hand, and the last person said he had a photo taken with him (showing the photo to the group). Finally, a quite member of the group spoke up and said, “Yes, I was at his house last night and had dinner with his family.”

Thar last comment trumped all those before because our homes are our sanctuary. It’s the place we most want to protect; it is where our loved ones live. It’s the place we are most guarded about who should be and who should not be invited there. To be invited to someone’s office is one thing, but to be invited to their house is a much more intimate invitation. It’s a special feeling of belonging when we are invited to someone’s home. Home is where the heart is, regardless of what or where your home is.


Most people, and dare I say, the majority of Christians, do not know what the word “Church” in the Bible really means.  Most people believe “The Church is a building with a Cross and a Steeple, and when you open the doors, you see all the people.’ (Well, not as many as there used to be.).  But there is something wide of the mark with this understanding of the word  “Church.”

The Biblical definition of “Church” is a group of people who are ‘called out’ by God. It’s from the Greek work ‘Ekklēsia,’ and it is meant to define the people who follow Jesus. You see, we are the Church, it not a place, but a group of people.  God has placed the gift of Holy Spirit in us, and with that we are ‘called out’ by God. Hey, it’s not a bad thing to be called by God (Just make sure your line isn’t busy). We don’t need to go to a place to be a Christian, we just need to live as one, with others.


You see each person’s body is a temple,[3] but when just two or three are gathered together in Jesus’ name, they become the church.[4]

Where do you think the first Christians met after Jesus was ascended? Do you think the Church (The People), met in a Church (a Building)? No, they met in the most available place they could, in their homes. The Church met in the homes.


The absolutely best Third Place is really the First Place, the home. It is where the heart is, it is where we welcome our closest friends, it is the place of ultimate intimacy.  Let’s not concentrate on the ‘place,’ and let’s look into what it really offers. It’s not the place, it’s what you receive from the place that makes it attractive. So, what is so attractive about third places in a home? Fellowship. The Fellowship of the Believers.

Psalms 133:1 (NIV) 1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Acts 2:46 (NIV)  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.


Not counting the number of times Jesus met in people homes in the Gospels, there are seven different instances (indications at least) AFTER the Gospels where it mentions someone’s home:

  1. Acts 2:13 -14 – A Upper Guest Room (See Luke 22:12)
  2. Acts 2:46 – Breaking bread in their homes
  3. Acts 16:40– Lydia’s house
  4. Acts 20:7-8– The upper chamber of an unnamed person’s home
  5. Romans 16:3-5– Priscilla & Aquila’s house
  6. Colossians 4:15– Nympha’s house
  7. Philemon 1:2 – Apphia and Archippus home

A home is the place where “Everyone knows your name, and your heart.” This is the place where you can feel most welcome by others, and you can be most welcoming to others.  This is sweet fellowship, and intimate friendship. It is  safe place to be, a safe place to learn, and a safe place to train others.


Under the Wizard of Oz’s Rainbow[5], ‘There Is No Place Like Home.’ And there is no place like yours or someone else’s home to meet with others. It is a welcoming place. We all know a house does not make a home, but it’s the love that emanates within the walls of the house that makes it a real home. And it’s the love we show the Church in our homes that will have positive effects on others, in our town, city, nation, and the world.

Of course, I’m not advocating you abandon your Church building you attend today. I encourage you supplement this with a home meeting. The home is the perfect place for the church to meet and grow, so go home, invite you friends, and teach the Bible! It’s really not that hard.

Links to Other UnderDog Report Blogs          X.com/UnderDogReportr (Twitter)

  1. Abortion & Immigration are Related – Immigration Part 1
  2. Biblical Mass Immigration – Immigration Part 2                              
  3. The Scariest Halloween Decoration EVER!
  4. They – Who Are “They” Really – Immigration Part 3
  5. What’s Missing From Conservative Media?
  6. Should We Obey God or Man?                           – Obey God Part 1
  7. ¡Adios America! – Immigration Part 4
  8. Christmas Is Not The Day Of Vengeance 
  9. Weapon of Warfare                                                     – Obey God Part 2
  10. The Freedom of Preach – Obey God Part 3
  11. Getting The Word Out – Obey God Part 4
  12. Epstein’s Victims – Sexual Abuse Part 1
  13. Epstein’s Victims – Sexual Abuse Part 2
  14. Epstein’s Victims – Sexual Abuse Part 3
  15. What Happened To Your Third Place? – Your 3rd Place Part 1

The Underdog Report is a team of two men, one Black and one Brown who write on current event from a Biblical perspective. The use of the possessive “I” is interchangeable between both parties.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Celebrating-Third-Place-Inspiring-Communities/dp/1569246122

[2] https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/third-place-community-spaces/

[3] John 2:19, 21 (NIV) 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”…21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.

[4] Matthew 18:20 (NIV) For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

[5] Ezekiel 1:28 (NIV) Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown…

Genesis 9:16 (NIV) Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

2 thoughts on “UNDERDOG REPORT: What Happened to Your Third Place? Part 2 – Your Third Place is the First Place”

  1. This is a great article describing a part of our lives most fail to recognize. Our third place is the comfort zone as it should be. Is the church thought of as our comfort zone? Is there anything in creation that goes from a lower state of being to a higher state without effort? If there is please let me know. I am saying that effort needs to be put into something to keep it going or improve it. Leaving anything alone and expect a it to improve goes against all laws. It is up to us individually to improve the church as a third place.

    • Dear Cum Dilectione:
      Thank you for your response. I agree totally that we must put more effort into improving the church. My belief is if the church’s organized strong home fellowship with individual leaders (not a video presentation from the Pastor, or a rehash of the Pastor’s message), that would teach the Bible (See 2 Timothy 2:2), this one thing would improve and greatly strengthen the church greatly. To many Christian are simply spectators and don’t really participate. Keep us the good work and love to hear more from you.


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