With the rise of personal technology and the lifestyles that accompany it, the world is changing rapidly, and we all feel it. This interesting analysis from Barna sums up the experience of many of your church members. Here are current trends to consider:
1) People feel modern life is accelerating and becoming more complex.
"It's complicated" - this is how the majority of adults today describe modern life, according to Barna research. The increasing digitalization of life, economic pressures, the disintegration of the family, shifting moral moorings and many other factors all contribute to this shared sense of cultural acceleration. But whatever the reasons, two-thirds of adults today say the complexity of modern life is only growing.
2) People want to be culturally informed, but they are becoming accustomed to skimming content.
The second characteristic of the modern reader is that he or she wants to stay informed of culture and trends. More than seven out of 10 adults affirm this self-description.
And while the Church is often accused of being several steps behind the culture at large, Barna's research shows practicing Christians want to keep up with culture and trends just as much as anyone else - 73% of practicing Christians say this is of personal importance to them, mirroring the national average.
3) People are moving beyond mere facts and information, and are looking for holistic integration of faith and life.
Yes, people want to stay informed, but they don't want just any information. Information, after all, is becoming increasingly commoditized every day-it can be found anywhere, instantly and often for free. What consumers in an age of over-information are after is a different kind of intellectual currency. They want knowledge curated for them that helps them find meaningful ways of living.
Be sure to read the full report. Or you can skim it, like everyone else.
Copyright © 2013 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
Click here for reprint information on Leadership Journal.