Keynote Speaker – Pt. 2, Consumption and sensibilities
Joe Myers continued his keynote address with comments building on yesterday’s introduction of socioeconomic concepts and a grouping new to many of us: technomadic. Following are some notes from this presentation.
Theme of consumption
How we consume is very dynamic.
In the past, three questions have guided consumption:
• Hunter-gatherer question: Is it good for me?
• Pastoral question: Is it good for my flock?
• Peripatetic question: Will you purchase what I’m selling?
For the agrarian consumer, the primary question became: Is it good for me?
There is nothing inherently wrong with this way of consuming. Congregations addressed this by establishing programs. Agrarian consumerism resulted in individualism.
Consumption and the Technomadic
How does the technomadic consumer consume?
• Hunter-gatherer: Is it good for me?
• Pastoral: Is it good for my flock?
• Peripatetic: Will you purchase what I’m selling? (Nuanced to Will you take me seriously?)
But these questions are being asked at the same time – as one holistic question.
Are congregations offering these same questions at the same time at our worship services? That would be a holistic approach.
What you’re doing in your little corner of the planet affects what goes on on the rest of the planet. Think about the impact if you put your services or parts of your congregational life on Facebook or YouTube.
It is the last consumer question that we (as Lutherans/ELCA) have to wrestle with most. Technomadic asks: Can I walk into your congregation today (as a non-Lutheran), will my voice be listened to, and will I be able to make a change today?
Technomads want to know that there’s no ladder to climb, no hierarchy, and that they will be taken seriously today.
Without answering these questions, we will be irrelevant to technomads.
Where are we headed?
It’s not clear what technomadic consumerism will result in.
• Geographical proximity (being able to see someone face-to-face, having even a philosophical plot of land that’s mine)
• Exclusive ownership (I will get as much productivity out of this land that I can; I will get what I need out of a liturgy.)
• Control and maintain
• Settlement (not only on property but on ideas; “This is what the Bible says, and this is what it should say for all time.”)
• Relational proximity (has everything to do with relationships – doesn’t matter if we’re face-to-face or not)
• Stewardship (not about exclusive ownership but about leaving a legacy behind)
• Collaborative, co-creative process (taking differing ideas and putting them together)
• Holistic, relative, hybrid movement
If things are not transcendent, transportive (above to move), transformative, and transparent, then the technomad is not interested.
“Farming nomads” is an opportunity of our times.
• Geographic proximity ? relational proximity
• Exclusive ownership ? stewardship
• Control and maintain?collaborative progress
• Settlement ? holistic, relative, hybrid movement
Don’t give up your identity. Be stronger, be more Lutheran, be stronger in that regard. But do it arm-in-arm with those who are against you. Be collaborative.