The Bible Marketing Generation Gap
- The Bible Literacy Report I finds that 98% of English teachers say that Bible literacy gives a distinct academic advantage and 90% say it is critical to a good education. They also said that an alarming loss of Bible knowledge among teens is eroding students’ ability to understand British and American literature impairing their study of art, music, history, and culture.
- The Bible Literacy Report II reveals that English professors surveyed at leading universities – including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford – unanimously agree that, regardless of one’s faith, an educated person needs to know the Bible.
- Recent Time Magazine and Religion & Ethics Newsweekly reports indicate that most Americans can only name one of the four Gospels and cannot name the first book of the Bible; and 60% cannot name five of the Ten Commandments.
While Biblical literacy may be spiraling, Internet literacy continues to surge. Perhaps the next big product needed is not a Bible but a blog. Or a series of YouTube videos based on Biblical stories (sex, violence, magic, miracles! What more do you need?!?) Or possibly social-media will provide new ways for this generation to engage with timeless truths.
Malcolm Gladwell discusses the success of MTV in his book Blink. One of the keys is that they don't rely on middle aged men in suits to develop programming for their target market of 18-25 year olds. Hmmm, that's a thought. Maybe folks like Wayne at Thomas Nelson aren't able to answer the question of what the next generation needs. Maybe it is the next generation that will apply God's Word to today's reality in ways that us old folks would never imagine.