Today I bought pollster John Zogby’s new book, The Way We’ll Be, subtitled, The Zogby Report on The Transformation of the American Dream. Called a “super pollster” because he uses innovative methodologies in his polling work, Zogby sees a very different future for the US than you might imagine. Here’s what he says about the future of the church:
“The church of the future will be a bungalow on Maple Street, not a megastructure in a sea of parking spaces. It’s intimacy of experience people long for, not production values.” — The Way We’ll Be, p. 215.
In a previous chapter, “One True Thing,” Zogby says that people are “searching for authenticity in a make-believe world.” That’s what will drive the tremendous growth of house churches in the coming years, especially among the demographic he calls ‘First Globals” which others label Millenials. Zogby quotes one house church enthusiast, “What is so exciting about doing small-group house church is just the chance to be real.” Authenticity, not high production values, is what First Globals are seeking.
If you want an excellent book to give you a professional pollster’s take on where we’re headed as a nation, especially in understanding First Globals (Millenials), buy Zogby’s book. If you’ve read unChristian or They Like Jesus But Not the Church, you need to read this book, too. Add to your reading Strauss and Howe’s books on Millenials such as Generations, The Fourth Turning, and Millenials and the Pop Culture, and you’ll be well on your way to understanding developing trends in our society.
I have about 50 blogs on my feedreader at a time. Half of them are blogs reflecting popular culture. Hey, I’m trying to keep up. So, I’m reading Ruby Pseudo from the UK and she describes herself this way —
“Ruby Pseudo is a lucky girl that works with a network of young minds across the country to find out what they want, wish for and need. It’s also stuff they hate, have and haven’t.”
Bingo. Ruby has the most incredible post from a 17-yr old guy about what he wants brands to be to him. Not which brands he wants, but how he wants brands to behave in relationship to him.
[New idea: we have a relationship with our brands like, he says, we have a relationship with our friends.] Here’s a clip —
- I’m the kind of person that likes brands to be one step ahead of me and have the things I need before I need them.
- I like to have the freedom to use them as and when I please and not be pestered when I’m not using it. (If they’re good they will be used again)
- I like them at my fingertips but not in my way.
- What I’m doing has to look good, be easy to accomplish but not simple. Involves skill but not time consuming.
- My dress sense is like my uniform, I need to look good but not smart, has to match but not be the same.
- I like to follow the trends but be different, look like everyone else but stand out. Be the same but unique.
- Read the whole post here.
Take this peephole into the world of young adults and teens, and translate it into church applications.
Then for an insider (of the church, that is) perspective on the same issue, read They Like Jesus But Not the Church by Dan Kimball, and unChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons of Barna, and you’ve got some real insight into how we should be dealing with older teens and young adults.