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Ever heard of the "bowling alone syndrome" or "refrigerator rights?" If not, that makes you an average out-of-touch-with-pop-culture American. Society is changing and every ministry and marketer needs to adapt or die. Here are three vital new sociological labels C. Jeff Woods, author of Congregational Megatrends, (Alban Institute) says are impacting the church. The "bowling alone syndrome" describes the break-up of civil society and the retreat from participation in voluntary associations. The American Bowling Congress reports more people are bowling than ever, but they are bowling alone. The number of bowling leagues is down because people will bowl when they feel like it, when the mood strikes, not when they are scheduled to be there. It’s a Lone Ranger mentality overriding a team mentality. Where are you when the mood strikes your market? Woods explains another phenomenon, "refrigerator rights," as "how many people do you know who feel welcome to come into your home, go to the refrigerator and get a glass of cold water without asking?" Probably not many in our isolated and lonely culture. Helping people feel more connected to you is crucial today. A third ...

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