Monday, April 21, 2008

Demographics are the Future

Our ministry focuses a great deal of our time and energy on the mature or Seasoned members of our society. Despite the fact that businesses, futurists and government planners are working hard to prepare themselves for the incredible rise in older Americans, Christians are still obsessed with youth. Maybe the following thoughts from a futurist will shock us into action.

The Demographic Hour Glass

The demographic concentration of boomers at the top of the population pyramid, backed by their vast reservoirs of disposable income, represents the next American gold rush. Ten years from now, the cover of this magazine (Fast Company) will be graced with the smiling faces of the entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who unlocked the elder boomers' hearts and minds---.

It's hard to overstate the weight of the numbers: Boomers now represent a U.S. market of some 36 million, or about 12% of the population, and as they move up the pyramid, the number of seniors is going to rise dramatically. By 2011, the 65-and-over population will be growing faster than the population as a whole in each of the 50 states. The Boomer Binge will have begun.


Businesses aren't confused about the opportunity that growth represents: Consumer electronics firms such as Vodafone are investing in mobile phones with designs tweaked to the requirements of older customers; IBM has developed a computer mouse that compensates for the tremors that sometimes affect seniors' hands; and Gap Inc. recently unveiled Forth & Towne, a new clothing line for women who fall into the vast retail void between the navel-pierced teen and the librarian in a twin set.

And those examples are just a foretaste. The real breakthroughs are going to come from companies helping boomers to hold on to their youth---. Boomers have never met a life stage they didn't want to remake in their own image, and their golden years will be no exception. (Fast Company; Futurist Andrew Zolli is the founder of Z + Partners, a strategy consulting firm, and curator of the annual PopTech conference.)

American Christians are not stupid so why are they refusing to plan for the future? Why are they acting against their best interests and the best interest of the church and the Kingdom of God?

I prefer to think it is a lack of awareness. That is one reason we are attempting to educate them the data and alert them to the implications and opportunities that lie ahead.

The churches can easily make the changes necessary to bring Seasoned Citizens back into the church. In fact, that group of people have been in positions of leadership for decades so they can lead themselves on their own. These people have been innovators and entrepreneurs leading the economic surge for a long time.

Why are Christians so slow to adapt?

Write me your comments on this topic.

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