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LEADERSHIP asked a number of pastors, seminary professors, and church consultants to recommend the books that best help American churches "exegete" contemporary culture. Taken from their lists, these are just a few of the books that can give churches insight into the people to whom they'll minister in the coming decade.
The People's Religion: American Faith in the 90's
by George Gallup, Jr., and Jim Castelli
A comprehensive survey of the present American religious landscape. What do Americans want most from their churches? How many Americans have had a religious experience? What percentage believes in God? What percentage prays? Gallup and Castelli answer these and other such questions.
The Clustering of America
by Michael J. Weiss
Harper & Row, 1989
Michael Weiss classifies America not by region or class, but by Zip Codes. Based on an intriguing marketing system, he describes forty neighborhood types - their values, lifestyles, and eccentricities. Whether your church is in a "Furs and Station Wagons" neighborhood or "Norma Rae-ville" or "Smalltown Downtown," it's portrayed here with wit and insight.
200 Predictions for Baby-Boomers: The Next 50 Years
by Cheryl Russell
Cheryl Russell, editor-in-chief of Demographer Magazine, marshals her vast knowledge about the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Making predictions about such areas as the family, work, the home, beliefs, and retirement, she offers insight into the future of the group that now constitutes one-third of the American population.
The Postponed Generation: Why American Youth Are Growing Up Later
by Susan Littwin
William Morrow, 1986
This book probes the minds and hearts of the late baby-boomers and early post-baby-boomers, young adults who in 1986 were between 20 and 35 years old. Susan Littwin sketches a generation "hovering reluctantly in the passageway to maturity in a world for which they were unprepared." The book describes the world they face and their varied responses to it.