Those who preach and communicate for the cause of Christ always will want to know something about their audience. It is always instructive to learn something about the culture of young adults, a group the church is desperate to reach. Every year, Beloit College issues the “Beloit College Mindset” list. It tells about the world in which the incoming college students have grown up. Here are some insights from the 2010 list, which represents the class of 2014:

1) Clint Eastwood is a sensitive film director, not Dirty Harry.
2) The Russians are friends who work together in space, not adversaries ready to blow each other up.
3) Many never have learned cursive writing.
4) “Beavis and Butthead” is a quaint cartoon.
5) Computers never have lacked a CD-ROM.
6) Hundreds of cable channels always have been routine.
7) Kurt Cobain’s music is played on the oldies station.

Audience analysis is important at every stage of strategizing to communicate. If nothing else, this list will help us deal with cultural references in our messages.

View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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