Aim Young

Tim Stevens has an interesting article in the latest issue of Rev! magazine. Here are some highlights:

In recent years, we've learned a surprising fact: In order to hit the bull's-eye, we have to aim far below it. That is, if we're going to reach a 45-year-old man, we must focus our services, especially the artistic elements, on the 20-something demographic.

Hollywood has found the same thing to be true. Writing in Entertainment Weekly, Lynette Rice revealed that television programming also aims below the target. With scores of new shows that clearly target teens and younger adults—it's amazing how old the average viewer is. The O.C. writers are after the older teens—and yet their average viewer is more than 30 years old. The average viewer of Desperate Housewives is almost 43 years old, and viewers for the reality show Survivor are 46 years old on average.

I'm not sure why we've got to aim low to hit our target. ...Whatever the reasons, 20 years ago we could focus on 35- to 55-year-olds and effectively reach them. Churches that continue to do this today, however, are likely to find their congregants to be in their 50s or 60s on average, with attendance decreasing as people die and few young people join the church.

Today's culture requires that we intentionally aim at a younger age group. At Granger one of the ways we do this is by paying close attention to our music, video, and drama presentations because this younger generation has a different learning style...

If we're going to reach a 45-year-old man, we have to figure out what appeals to his 22-year-old son. I don't know why this works; I just know it does.