How is “Third Culture” Missional?

I’ve been increasingly impressed  by how the “Third Culture” idea which has been floating in some circles really hits the mark for churches striving to become missional.

What is “Third Culture”?

“Third culture” is an attitude.

It is simply the willingness to cross (first and second) cultures – that which is familiar – in order to serve others, even if it is uncomfortable (because of the differences in culture).

I have seen well-meaning religious orgs that talk “missional” and yet everyone inside looks like each other.

I have seen well-meaning people talking missional jargon and yet this amongst themselves. To “talk missional” is a culture unto itself; to do it is another thing. Because the longest distance is not from the head to the heart, it’s from the head to the heart and out to the hands.


But really, my intent is not to rant; (sidetracked) but rather to understand “Third Culture” more.

What does it mean to you?

How have you exemplified it, or strived after it?

Wikipedia’s definition of “TCK’s”, or “Third Culture Kids”

Dave Gibbon’s The Monkey and the Fish

DJ Chuang on “What is Third Culture?”

“Third Culture 101” breakout session (mp3) with Dave Gibbons and John Park (Google)

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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