Day: December 3, 2007

RenGen: Rise of the creative cohort

Patricia Martin has an interesting Change This piece — The RenGen Manifesto — about the new Renaissance Generation.   You need to read this and here’s an excerpt titled, It’s about fusion, not fission:

“If the last century was defined by fission—the segmenting and dividing of people and things—the new century is defined by fusion, in which consumers fuse a dizzying array of disparate choices. Consumers want to fit in and stand out at the same time.  They want to share values with the communities they form, but also express their individuality.

They may cleave to the religions they were raised with, and embrace new mysticism simultaneously.

Businesses will miss some of the juice of this movement if they continue to apply old-school market segmentation of age, gender and household income. Today, punk rock might appeal to both a fifty-year-old male and a sixteen-year-old female.

Lesson: The old rules of marketing by age, sex, income and other identifiers no longer dominate.  Targeting the consumers’ interests and appealing to their sense of creativity in a way that leaves room for their self-expression wins the day. They will do the work of customization for you.” — The RenGen Manifesto by Patricia Martin

If this generation, and I think it spans more than one, is fusing stuff — think remixes for your life — then what does that say about our typical age-group ministries divided into Men’s, Women’s, Children, and Youth ministries?  Or age/sex/marital status Sunday School classes?  Or the “teacher-pupil” model for Christian education?  Or, you think of some examples of fission versus fusion in church. 

This is the culture we live in.  This is a lesson we need to learn.  What are we learning?  The missional church meets people where they are, gives them options and choices, and shapes rather than controls the environment.