So...I've been hanging out in the shopping mall lately and have noticed just how many people seem to be hanging out there also. Some are shopping, some are just sitting, some are eating, some are even just walking around the centre with trainers and track pants on doing exercises...I guess they like the air-conditioning! As mentioned in my last blog, all sorts of people are represented in the shopping mall.
How could the church engage people in this public space? I guess a first question to ask is, 'what are people looking for?', 'what type of a shop are they likely to go in to?'. My first train of thought goes to people like myself who have small kids and who have a busy busy life trying to be a mum and do some type of work, whether that be from home or out of the home. With this in mind, one of my favourite shops is 'Dusk', a candle store that has beautiful smells and has a relaxing, calming atmosphere. For those not familiar with Dusk, it is not so much a spiritual New Age type shop as it is simply a nice, house-hold candle range of products. I enjoy the shop as it presents a space for me to relax, enjoy and browse around for a short period of time.
I wonder how many similar spaces the church could create for this type of a mum wandering through a shopping mall? Maybe a shop where this type of person could drop by, sit down, choose a herbal tea to sip and read a one minute card of some sort that would bring them peace and encouragement. A shop where they could come and catch their breath for awhile? Maybe it is a shop for women only? Possibly it is decorated in such a way that it ministers peace. Maybe it is a creative card shop but one where you could sit down, have a cuppa and choose a card for yourself or others that has words of 'life' on it! There may be shop assistants there to help you choose or process what you have read? Just a thought.
You get my drift hey! You could do this exercise with yourself at home...choose a type of person that you are familiar with and create a shop at your local shopping mall for them. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this.
Well, that's enough for me for now on this, maybe Ill add a few more thoughts soon.