Excerpts taken from a seminar given by Dr. Greg Linville and Ryan Farr at the 2011 CSRM Summit
Localization is sweeping North America. Local Uniqueness is in…National Uniformity is out.
Partially in response to Federal Government “Takeovers” and partially in response to emerging Gen X values of being distinctive, a new wave of expressing entitlement is shaping culture. A belief in “being different is better” is driving localization to a fevered pitch.
Politics: The Tea Party is riding the wave of a movement to localize government;
Socialization: Face book and Skype “shrink the world” via electronics
Wetting a Palette: Micro-breweries and regional wineries are all the rage;
Culinary: Farmer’s markets, locavore restaurants and cuisine emphasize local grown produce;
Architecture: Regional “nooks and crannies architecture” represent local history, culture and ethnicity;
Athletics: Regional Minor league attendance grows
Recreation: Individual participation sports emphasize experience shared amongst friends
In addition…Gen Xers are eschewing divorce, two-career couples and prefer the local “Free Press” over the USA today and blog news over the networks. They are driving less and biking more. Flying less and putting down roots. Concerned with terrorism, the ever higher cost of fossil fuel and its effect upon the environment and their fellow citizens the current generation is thinking globally but staying home - living and acting locally. They want what the world has to offer but prefer the cost of living, slower pace and safety of the Midwest as opposed to rat race of the “coastal metros.” They expect the world, but expect it to come to them. Their “roots over shoots” mentality hearkens back to 19th century values of “who are your people” in direct antithesis of the 20th century “what do you do and where have you been” philosophy and values.
How is this affecting local church sports outreaches?
Trends in team sports
Local churches that maximize national trends but regionalize them are staying relevant. Those who utilize technology to connect friends and families remain relevant. Those who include webcasts of live youth league devotionals as well as the games and post inspirational messages on web page stat sheets not only remain relevant but are also effectively communicating the gospel.
How is your church localizing global trends?
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.