Faith Popcorn, the market-savvy forecaster of social and “lifestyle” trends, has increasingly turned her eye toward the religious future in recent years.
In an article in the evangelical digest Current Trends & Thoughts (June), Popcorn applies many of her unique (and strange-sounding) concepts to religious institutions. Two conflicting forces will continue to shape Americans religious search.
“EVEvolution” involves the “secrets of marketing to women.” Popcorn says that since women often “seek to `join a brand,’ religion’s traditional invitation to `join’ a group will find new relevance. At the same time, the trend of “Mancipation,” that is, the liberation of men to express their deepest emotions and fears, will give congregations the opportunity to extend its role and relevance in the life of men.
“Being Alive” deals with the growing concern with health and the quality of life. As research increasingly shows a health-spirituality connection, the church can be in the vanguard of this “wellness revolution.” Lastly, “99 Lives,” concerns Americans lack of time and growing stress and pressures. Organized religion will have to adapt to this reality by abbreviating services, without losing their impact. Religion will also have a role in making Americans’ free time more meaningful and “life altering,” Popcorn adds.
(Current Trends & Thoughts, P.O. Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO 80935)